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DEMAND IS HIGH — Homes are under construction in Victoria Oaks off of Taylor Road in DeLand. The building of homes isn’t keeping pace with demand, which is driving up the price of existing homes. Volusia County property values will likely set another record for 2022, according to the property appraiser.

Barring a major disaster, national emergency or severe economic downturn, Volusia County’s property values will likely set new records in 2022. 

The trend of steady growth in the values of homes, businesses and land that began in 2016 will probably continue, according to county Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett.

“The real fact is that Volusia County is a great place to live. People are discovering it, and they’re buying homes and starting businesses here,” Bartlett told The Beacon. “We’re looking at another 5 to 8 percent increase over last year.”

In 2021, the county hit a new record high with a total just value of all real property at $68 billion, and that was 7.5 percent higher than in 2020. 

The total taxable value likewise set a record at $42.7 billion, or 7.4 percent higher than the $39.8 billion of 2020.

Bartlett cautioned, however, that the growth in values could be slowed by U.S. central bankers’ decisions on interest rates.

“The thing that could change that is the interest rates charged by the Federal Reserve,” he said. “Right now we have a product in Volusia County that people want to buy, and money is cheap. If the money is not as cheap as it is now, the prices will level off.”

As we enter 2022, Bartlett noted, the growth in the county, and therefore the coming growth in the tax rolls, is not confined to a few select areas.

“Daytona, with Margaritaville, is really hot. DeLand is getting hot right now,” he observed. “Everything is up in the county.”

Volusia now finds itself with the three essentials — location, location, location — for a booming real estate market.

“It’s hard to find a county that is on the water and has the intersection of two interstate highways,” Bartlett said.

He referred to simple economics.

“Supply and demand control price, and there is a lot of demand for homes in Volusia County,” Bartlett said. “That drives prices.”

For now, Volusia County is a paradise beckoning those from elsewhere wanting to settle here, and the county, as well as Florida as a whole, has a greater influx than exodus.

“The biggest factor is how nice it is to live in Volusia County. Look outside today,” Bartlett said, pointing outside to sunshine and temperatures approaching 80, in contrast to the winter in other parts of the country.

West Volusia Realtor Bee Powell is in the thick of the buying frenzy, despite a shortage of homes to sell.

“It is hot. It has slowed down some since spring,” she said. “We still have a shortage. It’s going to stay hot.”

Powell said the average length of time for a home to be “on the market” — between its being listed for sale and the owner’s landing a contract — is now five days. Because homes cannot be built quickly enough to meet the demand, sellers are often getting extra, she said.

“We still see overbidding,” Powell said. “One home we listed at $500,000, and my buyer made an offer of $525,000, and we were outbid.”

Such stories are becoming common, as ready customers seek to get their share of the Sunshine State.

“It just shows the strength of the market,” Powell said.

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