Florida's housing market fluctuated widely in the 1970s and early 1980s. During the mid-1970s recession, home buying dropped off markedly, and much newly completed housing could not be sold. By late in the decade, however, the unused housing stock had been depleted, and a new building boom was under way. The number of housing units in Florida increased 73.2% between 1970 and 1980, but only by 39.4% between 1980 and 1990. In 1990, 35% of all housing units had been built in the previous decade; only 3.7% were built before 1940.
In 2002, there were an estimated 7,624,378 housing units in Florida, ranking the state fourth in the nation for total number of housing units (after California, Texas, and New York). About 6,568,733 of the units were occupied; 70.4% were owneroccupied. About 52.5% of all units were single-family, detached homes; 11.8% were in buildings with 20 units or more; and about 11% were mobile homes. It was estimated that about 222,508 units were without telephone service, 27,078 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 38,126 lacked complete kitchen facilities. About 76% of all units relied on electricity for heating; about 2,189 units were equipped for solar power heating. The average household size was 2.48 people.
In 2002, 185,431 new privately owned housing units were authorized for construction. Multifamily housing ranges from beachfront luxury high rises along the Gold Coast to dilapidated residential hotels in the South Beach section of Miami Beach. In 2002, the median value of one-family homes was $128,120. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,091 while renters paid a median of $702 per month. Florida received over $280.6 million in community planning and development aid from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2002.
The Division of Florida Land Sales and Condominiums, within the Department of Business Regulation, registers all sellers of subdivided land and oversees the advertising and selling of land, condominiums, and cooperatives. A major controversy involving condominiums in the early 1970s centered on "rec leases." Until the practice was outlawed in mid-decade, condominium developers often retained ownership of such recreational facilities as the swimming pool, clubhouse, and tennis courts, requiring apartment purchasers to pay rent for their use. The rents were generally set quite low at the time of sale, but raised sharply soon after.