Pre-pandemic Economy Stronger Than Expected

Home sales and new home construction were on a roll prior to the coronavirus. One month into the pandemic, many indicators remain strong.

PALM COAST, FL – April 3, 2020 – Flagler County’s pre-pandemic economy was stronger than expected. One month into the pandemic, many indicators are still showing strength. It helps that the real estate and construction industries were deemed critical.

In spite of the pandemic, March Flagler County single-family MLS home sales exceeded March 2019 by 7.35%. (Additional March sales are likely to be reported over the next several days.)

  • March 2020 homes sold – 219 vs 204 in March 2019, up 7.35%
  • March 2020 median price – $243,000, vs $225,950, up 7.55%
  • March was the fourth consecutive month in which home sales grew year-over-year.
  • First-quarter home sales totaled 589, an increase of 12.62% over the comparable period one year ago. The median price grew by 2.13% over the same period.
  • There are currently 829 homes listed through MLS and 391 pending sales.
  • 12 Condo and 75 home sales closed within the past week
  • 3 Condos and 49 homes went pending within the past week

Also, on the bright side, new home construction is on a roll.

  • 123 single-family residential permits were issued, up 38.2% from last year March
  • 102 single-family Palm Coast permit applications were submitted during March
  • 15 duplex permits were issued in March, up 375% from March 2019
  • Year to date, 344 single-family countywide permits were issued, up 32.8% from the same period one year ago
  • Year to date, 44 duplex permits have been issued, up 275% year-over-year
  • The dollar amount of first-quarter single-family homes sold in the county is nearly $166M, up 17.4%

Real estate closed sales numbers lag the reality of the market by 45-60 days. Contracts closing today are likely to have been struck two months ago. Selling activity has slowed. The Parade of Homes has been deferred to a later date. A slowdown in closings can be expected in the next few months following a drawdown in pending sales.

The underlying strength of the local market, however, is far different than that prior to the housing bubble bursting 15 years ago. The US Census Bureau recently released its estimate of population growth between July 1, 2018, and July 1, 2019. Flagler County’s population is estimated to have grown by 2,996 residents and now totals 115,081 individuals. It’s likely that the growth between July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020, will exceed 3,000 individuals. They will all need to find a place to live.

In the meantime, remember that many of your favorite restaurants are providing carryout or delivery service. Help them to survive this crisis by supporting them as often as possible. They need your support now more than ever.

3 replies
  1. Jeff Sawyer
    Jeff Sawyer says:

    Pendings From When?

    Hi Toby, you are always a wealth of information; Thank you for all you do for the real estate industry. I would like to bring up a point of view. I heard you discuss Pending sales on the radio, stating there is a two-month supply, which may be accurate, but the time-frame they went into pending might give a different perspective. Your statement made it feel that “we still have a fast pace market” like we had before the virus hit. I have a feeling that the vast majority of those properties that went into pending were (pre) COVID-19 awareness, which would not be a fair representation of how the real estate market is currently behaving.

    Since awareness of the virus, including quarantines in effect for New York travelers coming into the State of Florida, and now a statewide shut-in may “mislead active sellers” (listings) that all is normal or even busy. I have more listings than the average bear, and I have seen a dramatic decline in showings over the last couple of weeks in contrast to before. With that said, I still have placed some properties into pending, but defiantly not at the same pace as before all the shutdowns and shutins. Thank you for an open ear. Please be safe.

  2. Katrina Friel
    Katrina Friel says:


    Excellent news, Toby. I have been considering the state of our local economy during our current situation and am so happy to have seen your article. I would love to hear more stories that might provide a little hope that we will survive this. It is essential that those who can continue to support the businesses that are still providing services as well. Your insight is invaluable.

  3. America
    America says:

    Quality of life

    So at least 30 to 40 houses have gone up in the “L” section closest to US 1 in Matanzas. So did the town lax on the commercial vehicles being parked in driveways? That area is looking like a commercial parking lot. Just take the money and turn a blind eye? It looks like crap here now. So much for a “ green” town. It’s a matter of time for the residents who left the big city to live a small town to leave this growing , crowded sardine can. Every house on my street has two or three families living in it. So done.

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