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Archive for Friday, February 3, 1995

REAL ESTATE VALUES SOAR IN COUNTY

February 3, 1995

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The rate of increase in Lawrence home prices has taken a jump.

A turbocharged Lawrence real estate market has been boosting residential property values 8.5 percent a year, says Douglas County Appraiser Marion Johnson.

In a report he'll deliver to Douglas County commissioners Monday, Johnson says his staff reviewed property sales from 1992 through 1994 to peg the appreciation trend. Johnson said this morning that Lawrence property values had been increasing about 5 percent in the two years before the latest test period.

Johnson will present his report when the commission meets at 9 a.m. Monday in the Douglas County Courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts.

It's too early to tell whether the real estate market will slow from the 8.5 percent pace.

``With the increase in interest rates you would anticipate it, but I have no data to back that up,'' Johnson said.

He noted, however, that real estate listing prices haven't softened thus far in 1995. Appraisals by his staff, which received a score of 98 out of 100 for accuracy from the state Division of Property Valuation in its most recent evaluation, are lower than what sellers apparently think their property is worth.

``People are still asking more than what we're valued at,'' Johnson said.

The county's smaller cities also have seen residential property values increase. Baldwin's annual appreciation rate has been calculated at 11 percent and Eudora's at 5 percent.

Johnson notes that those rates are averages and that not all parcels will experience the same increase in value.

Douglas County property owners will see evidence of appreciation when they receive their 1995 change of valuation notices, which Johnson will mail Feb. 28. Johnson says valuations are up an average of 8.5 percent.

A property's valuation, in conjunction with mill levies set by local governments and school districts, will determine the amount of property tax due beginning each December.

Johnson said the valuation notices would be accompanied by a form that taxpayers could fill out and mail in to appeal a valuation. To increase the efficiency of the appeal process, the appraiser's office will no longer schedule appeal hearings over the phone.

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