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New housing construction takes off in metro Orlando

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CENTRAL FLORIDA - For the past five years 900 acres of land west of Orlando, along Interstate 4, sat undeveloped.

WFTV has learned that Lennar Homes is planning to fill the land, at ChampionsGate, with 3,200 homes over the next 12 years.

The developer didn't get far when it first bought the property. It only built the roads. Because the land has been vacant for so long the road will need repairs.

But now they've named the streets, and houses are being built.

Development is booming not only at ChampionsGate, but all over metro Orlando.

In just three months, from July to Sept., 1,800 new homes were started. That is a 59 percent increase since last year.

"How long will this up tick last?" WFTV reporter Racquel Asa asked Home Builders Association President Scott Merritt.

"I think it will ultimately last a couple years," said Merritt.

Merritt told us the problem central Florida faces now is finding enough skilled workers.

"At the end of the day, for every 100 homes that are built, 300 jobs are created. It's a huge opportunity. So if one builder has 900 homes that's 2,700 jobs," said Merritt.

For those in the market looking for a new home, the news is not all good.

"Ultimately it's the cost of the material that's going to increase the home price or home value," said Merritt

Orange County had the most home startups in metro Orlando in the last three months.

Lennar homes plans to open its new development in ChampionsGate in January.