CEO of The Astor Companies and Merrick Manor Developer Henry Torres Featured in The Miami Herald

Source: The Miami Herald

By: Dylan Jackson

South Florida home prices and rents are already expensive. And they could soon get worse.

Miami’s already-expensive housing costs could go even higher as the U.S. wades into a global trade war.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed against most global markets earlier this year now also apply to Canada and Mexico — two of the biggest suppliers to the U.S. The steel and aluminum tariffs come on top of a nationwide labor shortage and previous tariffs on lumber. The combination is pushing up costs for South Florida home builders and home buyers, and may affect renters as well.

Sergio Pino, founder of the Century Homebuilders Group, said his suppliers are expecting the cost of materials will rise by 5 percent in the coming months. His subcontractors are already raising price estimates on drywall installation — an essential element in local homes and rentals — as the costs for steel partitions rise.

“It’s definitely going to hurt the industry,” said Pino, whose company has 200 condos and single-family homes under construction across South Florida. “I know our homes are going up $20,000 to $30,000.”

The Astor Companies, which is currently building Merrick Manor in Coral Gables, could feel a pinch on its future projects.”The tariffs alone bring prices up on materials,” said developer Henry Torres, founder and president. “We’re trying to figure out ways to keep prices steady, but housing is just going to get more expensive.”

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