2020-01-14 15_56_09-Book2 - Excel

UPS AND DOWNS — This bar chart shows the ups and downs of property values in Volusia County since 2001. The bars on the left denote the estimated overall total worth of all real property within Volusia County, known as the just value. The just value includes properties that are tax-exempt, including government-owned lands, such as parks and nature preserves, along with such buildings as city halls, courthouses, schools, colleges, hospitals and churches. The taxable value, also known as the tax roll, includes privately owned properties such as homes, for-profit businesses, industrial buildings and utilities. The taxable value usually equals about 60 percent to two-thirds of the just value.

Barring some unforeseen event or economic downturn, the values and prices of homes, buildings and land in Volusia County will probably increase at a healthy clip once again this year.

County Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett predicts the upward trend and its effects on the tax rolls will continue unabated in 2020.

“I see growth between 5 and 6 percent, which means that we are in a position to set a new record with a total just value, breaking the 2007 record of $62.5 billion. I think we will go over that. I think we’re going to set a new record at $62.7 billion or $62.8 billion, something like that,” Bartlett told The Beacon.

Asked where the greatest volume of real estate transactions are taking place, Bartlett replied, “The growth is all over.”

“We have good growth on the east side and on the west side,” he said. “DeBary and Deltona — they have new construction values that are comparable to the east side. Everything is going to be comparable to last year.”

Countywide, Bartlett said, there is approximately $740 million worth of new construction, much of it residential and commercial development that will be added to the tax rolls in future years.

New settlers in Volusia County and those who bought new homes before Jan. 1, Bartlett said, will soon be able to file for their homestead exemptions without having to go to one of his offices.

“Our office is going to have a service where people can file for homestead online at the Property Appraiser’s website,” he said.

March 1 is the deadline for filing for a new homestead exemption for the 2020 tax year.

“Things are happening,” Bartlett said, looking ahead to the balance of the new year and anticipating a new wave of growth in population and development.

“Everybody wants to come here, to start a business or to live here. The weather is good, and taxes are low. You can watch The Weather Channel and see why people want to move here,” he said. “It’s a great time for Volusia County.”

Buyers and sellers of real estate agree, according to figures compiled by the West Volusia Association of Realtors.

During the third quarter of 2019, the most recent period for which such information is available, member brokers and their associates sold 2,336 single-family homes on the county’s west side. The median selling price of such a dwelling for that three-month period was $202,600, or about 6.8 percent higher than the median price during the same quarter of 2018.

For the third quarter in 2018, the median price of a single-family dwelling was $189,740, and the Realtors logged 2,299 sales.

Realtors Association President Bruno Lodwig sees brisk business ahead.

“Around March, we’re going to see a building of the market. Between March and June is the high time of business,” he said.

Families with children moving into the area will likely buy homes in spring or summer, Lodwig added.

“School usually starts the first week of August, and you have to allow 45 days for the financing to be approved,” he said.

Lodwig works for ERA Grizzard Real Estate in DeLand.

Association of Realtors President-elect Pearl Stoescu, of Volusia Realty in DeBary, said the market needs more residential inventory.

“I do see an increase, and there is a shortage of homes versus buyers. They go very fast,” she said.

Stoescu said most of her customers are now people moving to Florida from the North. Last year, she said, she had more “permanent residents moving” to newer or higher-value homes within the Central Florida region.

The average length of time a single-family home in West Volusia stayed on the market in the third quarter before selling was 37 days, according to the Realtors Association.