Before the pandemic, Volusia County’s economy was OK, not growing a lot, but still moving forward.

Well, except for the booming housing market.

Realtors sold 875 single-family houses in the Volusia/Flagler area in February, up 11.2% from February 2019. The median price, were half sold for more and half less, was $229,050, up 5.2%. Realtors sold 1,669 condos, up 16.4%, with a media price of $226,000, up 4.1%, in the two-county area.

Builders in the Volusia/Flagler area obtained permits for 314 new housing units (272 single-family) in February, compared to 162 (146 single-family) in February 2019. There were 30 townhouse units, up from 16 last year and 12 apartment units, up from none. That was with about 65% of the two-county area reporting to the Census Bureau.

All of that contributed to a growth in jobs, too, with the state labor agency estimating construction jobs in the two-county area were up in February by 500 from last year to 14,600.

The area needed those jobs, too, because overall job growth was just 1,800 jobs in February, or up .9% from last year. The manufacturing, wholesale trade and information sectors were all down. The other bright spot was business and professional services, up 500 from last year. What was really great is that sector wasn’t growing in 2019.

Of course, the Covid-19 crisis is going to put a huge whammy on the economy in March with everything slowing down. Everyone must abide by the CDC guidance through April, though, so maybe the economy can recover over the summer.

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Port Orange Chick-fil-A fans are getting a reprieve. The Atlanta chicken chain now plans to close the Dunlawton Avenue location on May 2. The remodeling is still expected to take about two months.

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Avalon Park Daytona Beach is starting the permitting process for the huge development along the south side of State Road 40, west of Tymber Creek Road. The rezoning and comprehensive plan amendment requests to the city indicate the plan is for 10,000 homes and 1 million square feet of commercial space.

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Work is starting on Speedway Karting, an indoor go-kart place at Volusia Square at 2455 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach.

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On a final note, construction expected to start on Fysh Bar & Grill at Riverwalk in Port Orange by late April. Completion expected in November.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 23 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsmediagroup.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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