February was the busiest month for new single-family building permits in almost a decade. According to the Northeast Florida Builders Association, a total of 751 permits were issued for new homes last month. That’s the busiest February, usually one of the slower months, since 2006 and the busiest month at all since May 2007.
Clay, Duval and St. Johns counties all saw significant increases over February 2015. Only Nassau trailed the year-ago figures. The 114 permits issued in Clay County last month was a particularly significant increase over previous months and years. The number there had fallen as low as eight permits issued during the depths of the housing collapse in February 2009. Holly Parrish, Clay County director of economic and development services, said much of building is going into the Oakleaf and Branan Field Road areas in the north-central part of the county. “There’s communities going in all along the west side of Branan Field,” she said. But there’s possibly hundreds more going in further south, in the Lake Asbury area, she said. Two large developments there are currently in the permitting stages.