If one of your New Year's resolutions was to start saving money for a down-payment on a house, you probably should set your savings goal higher.

Through the first 11 months of the year, the median price, where half sold for more and half less, was $224,000 for existing houses sold by Realtors in Volusia and Flagler counties. It was up 6.9% from a year ago.

Sales have slowed down in the second half of 2019, up just .6% in November from a year ago, so that probably helped slow the price increase down some. That's a good thing, because the median price was up 10% in 2018 from 2017.

I'm guessing there isn't much inventory on the lower end, making it more difficult for the Realtors, not to mention first-time homebuyers.

As far as new houses, good luck finding anything affordable. The baby boomer retirees are continuing to drive prices up. I did find one new product going for less than $200,000. The Mirage townhouses D.R. Horton is building in Holly Hill are averaging about $190,000. I wouldn't wait too long, though, since it started marketing them early this year, D.R. Horton has sold 16. If I remember correctly, only 54 were going to be built.

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Commercial real estate suddenly pick up some. A Tempe, Ariz., financial firm has bought a large chunk of land north of Plymouth Avenue, just east of AdventHealth DeLand, for $5.48 million. Forestar USA Real Estate Group has bought part of the Bella Oaks townhouse development off Clyde Morris Boulevard in Port Orange, not already bought by D.R. Horton, for $4.224 million. A California investor has bought Ashland mobile home park at 460 Ridgewood Ave. in Holly Hill for $3.28 million. A St. Petersburg investor bought the Autumn Woods Apartments at 801 Grove St. in Holly Hill for $1.175 million.

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Some other business developments include Silvestri Properties planning a 17-unit, high-end townhouse project in two buildings with two-car garages and a marina on the Halifax River at South Daytona/Port Orange boundary on U.S. 1. A Dollar General is planned on Clyde Morris, just north of Mason Avenue, in Daytona Beach. Henry's Pizza is opening at 336 E. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 22 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsol.com (no hyphen) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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