The value of property in Volusia County is up 8% from last year and now 95% of the all-time high set in 2007 just as the bubble was about to burst.

New construction helped with the increase at about $697 million, up 12.7 percent. But the rest of the $4.4 billion increase was because of a continually improving economy, according to Property Appraiser Larry Bartlett.

“Volusia County has been recognized as the start of the I-4 corridor,” Mr. Bartlett stated in announcing this year’s property values. “Amazon has put a distribution center here because we have the intersection of I-4 and I-95. Our weather and 47 miles of beaches have convinced residential developers to build the Margaritaville and Mosaic residential communities. Additionally, 2200 apartment units have been added to the tax roll over the past four years.”

Unlike 2007, we’re not in a bubble, so you don’t have to worry about the value of your home plummeting to a level where you’re stuck inside a lemon, unable to sell it for the amount you owe.

For many people, the opportunity is there to sell their house or some other property for more than they paid for it, allowing them to move up to a more expensive home or to start or expand a business, or whatever they want to do with their newfound wealth.

Rising values also, hopefully, means tax won’t go up, or at least not much. A key part of the report is that while taxable value went up 8.5%, exemptions only went up 3.4%, leaving a lot more property to share in the tax burden.

Not all cities shared in the abundance of taxable property. In East Volusia, only Daytona Beach and Oak Hill saw large percentage increases. In West Volusia, DeLand, Deltona and Orange City saw sharp jumps in property value. Still, all municipalities saw an increase with only Daytona Beach Shores and Pierson under 5%.

As I mentioned we’re not in a bubble caused by questionable lending practices like we saw in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century. It is all because of an economy that has steadily improved since 2009 and Mr. Bartlett thinks we’ll be back to where we were in 2007 next year.

“We will probably set that new record in 2020,” he stated.

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One industry that isn’t helping property values is the financial industry, which is closing a lot of offices, leaving empty buildings behind. A reader reports the latest is the Wells Fargo office on the beachside in New Smyrna Beach. Chase Bank is offsetting the closures some, actually building new offices with one getting ready to open on West International Speedway Boulevard in Daytona Beach and another under construction on Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach. Eventually they will be replaced apparently, such as the SunTrust building on Dunlawton Avenue in Port Orange where an Arby’s now sits.

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Kind of slow last week with the Memorial Day holiday, but here are a few things. A two-building complex, including a bank with drive-through was proposed for LPGA Boulevard and Grand Preserve Way in Daytona Beach. Remodeling work should be starting on the building at 1748 Dunlawton Ave. in Port Orange for a new Taco Bell. A plan was submitted to St. Johns River Water Management District to tear down and rebuild the Krystal near corner of Mason Avenue and U.S. 1 in Holly Hill. Also, a developer wants to put an Ace Hardware at 1480 N. U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach.

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On a final note, Daytona Beach International Airport saw traffic go down 1% in April from April 2018. During the month, 66,475 passengers flew in or out of the county-operated airport, compared to 67,182 passengers last April. It will interesting to see whether traffic will increase with American Airlines starting its weekend flights to New York. That will be offset with Sunwing’s flights to Toronto ending for the season May 27.

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

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