Is the recession over in Florida?

Housing market prospers, unemployment dwindles

MIAMI - South Florida business owner Henry Serrano may as well be printing money because Vista Color, the business his father founded in 1968, is rebounding from the recent recession -- big time.

"When I started with my family, there were three of us and we sold $80,000 a year," Serrano said. "This year, we are on target for $15 million in sales."

According to the University of Florida, the recession officially began December of 2007. This month, consumer confidence in our state is the highest it's been since the start of the downturn.

Thanks to new products, updated technology and a stronger economy, Serrano agrees.

"Our company has seen a 25 percent increase in sales from last year to this year," he said. "We are starting to see practically a new customer opening up a new account weekly. Our accountant is busier, our vendors are busier and it just goes down the whole supply chain."

Vista Color's business has rebounded so well they are moving into a new warehouse in Doral that is a third larger than their old facility.

"We had seen a couple buildings back in 2010 and the price from then to now is about a 40 percent increase," said Levine Realty Broker Alan Magluta.

Magluta. who brokered the Vista Color deal, says both residential and commercial real estate is on the rise. In fact, the recently released Case-Shiller Index of Real Estate Values shows South Florida property values have been on the rise for 15 months. That is the longest

streak since the real estate crash in 2006.

"A lot of companies that suffered during the recession have retooled and they are starting to grow, so there is a lot of demand for new buildings," Magluta said.


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