The Northeast Florida Builders Association reported that housing permits in January fell to 847 from 1,052 in December, a 19% drop.
Compared to January 2022, when 1,457 permits were issued, the decline is 53%.
The trade group said the decline reflects that of January 2019 before the 2020 pandemic. In January 2019, 805 permits were issued.
“We always talked about 2019 being the last normal year. When we look back at that 2019 number we are currently 5% over 2019,” said Jessie Spradley, NEFBA executive officer.
Annualized based on one month, the 2023 total would be 10,164, near the 10,235 permits issued in 2019.
NEFBA counts the permits pulled for residences in Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns Counties.
All four counties saw drops.
Spradley said he is optimistic after the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Home-start cancellations due to rising interest rates and inflation are leveling off. Business overall is good.
“Everyone seems busy,” Spradley said.
“Builder confidence for the first time in almost a year has gone up slightly.”