Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

Hernando builders optimistic about turnaround as revived Parade of Homes begins

SPRING HILL — One could call the revived sponsorship by the Hernando Builders Association of the 2014 Parade of Homes of the Nature Coast a sign of faith that the county's building industry finally is climbing out of its long slumber.

Last year saw 239 permits issued for single-family home construction, a marked increase from the 160 issued in 2012, and the most issued in any single year since 2008, when home sales and prices everywhere in Florida began slumping and consumer confidence was plummeting. So dismal was the housing picture that the Hernando builders chose to simply skip their spring home showcase in 2010, opting to combine efforts with the Citrus County Builders Association the next four years.

That said, organizers of this year's effort are putting their best face on a situation that many say is still uncertain.

"The new housing market is getting stronger, but it still has plenty of ups and down," said Brenda McDaniel, executive officer of the Hernando Builders Association. "Builders are still very optimistic about their ability to sell and about what's on the market."

Essential to encouraging buying interest is getting people to walk through a model and take note of aesthetics and features such as energy-efficient kitchens and innovative floor plans. That's what events like parades of homes are designed to do. Then the trick is to turn lookers into buyers.

The two-week showcase, which kicked off Saturday and runs through April 13, has been heavily promoted by both the Hernando and Citrus home builders associations. Models are in Hernando Oaks, Southern Pines Condos, Sand Ridge, at the corner of Mariner and Elgin boulevards, along Spring Hill Drive and on U.S. 19 near River Country Estates in Hernando County. In Citrus County, there are models in Sugarmill Woods, Black Diamond Ranch, Pine Ridge and Homosassa.

Included in the showcase are three virtual entries, a feature that has grown increasingly popular in recent years with smaller builders who do not maintain active model homes.

Being that it is Hernando's first Parade of Homes since 2009, McDaniel is predicting a good turnout.

"I feel like people are ready to move on," she said. "If they've been thinking about building a home, they've decided that rates probably aren't going to get any better anytime soon, and property values are no longer falling like they were. It's a good time to build."

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Model homes for the 2014 Parade of Homes of the Nature Coast, sponsored by the Hernando Builders Association, are in Hernando Oaks, Southern Pines Condos, Sand Ridge, at the corner of Mariner and Elgin boulevards, along Spring Hill Drive and on U.S. 19 near River Country Estates in Hernando County. In Citrus County, there are models in Sugarmill Woods, Black Diamond Ranch, Pine Ridge and Homosassa. The locations were incorrect in a story published in Sunday's Hernando Times. The parade runs through April 13. Models are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 8 hours ago
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18