Fins Up

Latitude Margaritaville offers many amenities like the Paradise Pool.

As we enter 2021 one business sector to watch is the housing market and whether it will stay as hot as it was in 2020.

It was volcanic in November with Realtors in the Volusia/Flagler area reporting sales of 1,130 existing houses, up 26% from November 2019. The median price, with half selling for more and half for less, was at $256,680, up 14.1%. Realtors in the two-county metropolitan statistical area reported sales of 319 existing condos and townhouses in November, up 47% from November 2019. The median price was at $245,900, up 17.1%.

Homebuilding also was rising sharply with builders obtaining permits for 248 single-family houses, 32 townhouses and 39 apartment units in the Volusia/Flagler area in November, compared to 198 single-family houses, 12 townhouses and no apartments in November 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That was with about 75% of the area reporting.

Much of the new home building is driven by Minto Communities’ Latitude Margaritaville. The builder filed 43 notices of commencement of new houses on just one day, Dec. 22, and a total of 82 in December, and 611 in 2020, according to Volusia County Clerk records. Minto wasn’t the most active building in Volusia, though. That would be DR Horton, which filed 824 notices in 2020.

There is no indication of the housing market slowing down in 2021. Retiring baby boomers and low mortgage rates probably will keep it going strong. But what it does continue to amplify, though, is the need for affordable housing.

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The hot housing market is fueling a lot of residential growth, but it also encourages a lot of commercial property investment, which was active in the final days of 2020. Some of the larger commercial real estate deals included Cubesmart of Malvern, Pa., bought Pioneer Trail Self Storage at Pioneer Trail and SR 44 in New Smyrna Beach for $18.57 million and Edgewater Self Storage at 200 N. Ridgewood Ave. for $13.165 million. Pointe Grand Apartment Homes of Winter Park bought the Lake Forest Apartments at 450 Jimmy Ann Drive, Daytona Beach, for $4.25 million. A group of Alabama and Florida investors bought the former bank property at 1650 S. Atlantic Ave., New Smyrna Beach, for $1.25 million.

Circle K Stores Inc. bought a property it is using for a store at 312 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, for $1.25 million. An Ormond Beach developer bought land for the Ormond Grande retail and townhouse project at 1255 N. U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach for $1.05 million. Roberto Martins bought the property he uses for his RCM Fabric Products business at 500 Pullman Road in Parktowne Industrial Park in Edgewater for $1.03 million.

All Aboard Properties bought the former SR Perrott beverage distribution warehouse at 29 N. Perrott Drive, just off Granada Blvd. in Ormond Beach, for $925,000. West Volusia businessmen, under the name DeLand Transmissions & Auto Repair bought the property where Swampland Diesel & Automotive is located at 1605 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, for $900,000.  New Smyrna Beach investor, under the entity Fort Investment Group, bought vacant commercial land at 2310 State Road 44 in New Smyrna Beach for $840,000.

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Commercial construction also will be active in January. Some of the latest projects you’ll see starting are an industrial condo at 834 Bill France Boulevard in Daytona Beach and an Ace Hardware at 1480 N. U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach. Ritchey Automotive plans to demolish the existing building at 998 N. Nova Road in Daytona Beach and build new offices, a showroom and car wash. A Colorado company submitted plans to the St. Johns River Water Management District for a medical building at 1615 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Deltona.

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On a final note, as I cover the gamut of business in Volusia County, Global Custom & Embroidery, a custom clothing shop, is now open at Tanger Factory Outlet Center in Daytona Beach. Signs are going up soon for a new Dunkin Donuts at LPGA and Concierge boulevards in Daytona Beach. The Mama Foo Foo Lounge is going into Halifax Harbor Marina Plaza on Basin Street in Daytona Beach.

Managing Editor Cecil G. Brumley has been tracking business and the economy in Volusia County for more than 23 years. Contact him at cbrumley@hometownnewsmediagroup.com (no hyphens) or follow him on Twitter @cecilbrumley.

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