110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Al Everson
posted Dec 30, 2013 - 12:25:45pm
Thirteen — as in 2013 — was not unlucky for property owners, investors and taxing authorities, as the real-estate market took an upward turn for the first time in six years.
The trend line toward a recovery promises to continue in 2014, barring a sudden jolt in the economy or an international crisis, according to Volusia County Property Appraiser Morgan Gilreath.
"The good news is that the market continues to move forward," Gilreath said. "We're getting higher prices in almost all segments. We're getting more sales everywhere."
Property sales help determine values for surrounding and similar parcels and improvements, and the general rise in prices means a general rise in values and, thus, an expanding tax base.
"The market is moving forward in a positive manner," Gilreath said.
Volusia County's property-tax base now totals almost $24.3 billion, a 3-percent increase over the 2012 tax roll of $23.6 billion. The all-time high for the county's tax base was $40.7 billion in 2006. In other words, the county's tax roll shrank by about 40 percent during the recession that started in 2007.
Are the boom times back?
"I wouldn't call it a boom right now. Given the lack of activity for the past four or five years, it's wait and see," Gilreath said.
There’s a hint that a surge in building might be in the offing.
"Vacant property is rebounding at a more rapid rate," Gilreath said.
He declined to predict a boom in residential or commercial development, however.
"There's still a lot of inventory from the boom and bust," he added, referring to the surplus of foreclosed and unsold homes.
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