Total new-home closings: 5,104
The good: Following indications of worsening in January and February 2015, permits in March show signs of increase.
The bad: Starts were down year over year in January and February—by 49% and 25.7%, respectively.
The bottom line: With Metrostudy predictions calling for a slow pickup and with permits rising by 5% year over year in March, this market isn't done.
With closings up and starts down coming out of 2014 and into 2015, indications in Jacksonville pointed to a worsening market. While the annual starts rate for single-family homes was down year over year in February 2015 by just 1.1%, year-over-year monthly figures paint a different picture, showing a 49% drop over the previous year. A month prior, January posted a 25.7% year-over-year decrease. These changes coincide with an 18.2% drop in under-construction housing figures, year over year in February, and follow a decrease of 11.3% year over year in single-family starts in the fourth quarter of 2014. Nevertheless, Metrostudy predictions call for a slow pickup in the construction market in the near term. And year-to-date single-family permits that are up by 5% year over year in March seemingly back that notion.