Archive for Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No major declines in Douglas County home values in 2010

47 percent will see an increase

February 16, 2011


Home values in Douglas County largely have weathered another year without major declines, according to new numbers from the county appraiser’s office.

Douglas County Appraiser Steve Miles will start mailing change of value notices — the statement that shows how much a home’s value has changed from Jan. 1, 2010 to Jan. 1, 2011 — on Feb. 28.

Odds are about 50-50 that a homeowner’s property will have increased slightly in value — at least according to the folks who figure such things for property tax purposes.

“It was a complicated year,” Miles said of pegging the value of Douglas County real estate.

He said a federal tax credit for homebuyers early in the year spurred a lot of activity, but then sales slowed significantly before showing some signs of a rebound in December.

“At one point, we though it was great and that values were really starting to come back,” Miles said. “Then it was like somebody pulled the rug out.”

In the end, Miles said that about 53 percent of all residential property in Douglas County will either see their values hold steady or decline. The remaining 47 percent will see an increase in values, although increases likely will be 3 percent or less.

The values are important because they are used in determining property tax bills for all property in the county.

Here’s a closer look at what homeowners should expect when the statements start arriving around March 1:

• Number of homes declining in value by more than 4 percent: 898 or 3 percent of the county’s total homes.

• Decline of 2 percent to 4 percent: 2,004 or 6.9 percent.

• Decline of less than 2 percent: 6,161 or 21.2 percent.

• No change in value: 6,575 or 22.6 percent.

• Increase of 1 percent or less: 5,431 or 18.7 percent.

• 1.01 percent to 3 percent increase: 4,739 or 16.3 percent.

• 3.01 percent to 5 percent increase: 1,814 or 6.2 percent.

• 5.01 percent or greater increase: 1,368 or 4.7 percent.

Miles said homes in the mid-price ranges — $180,000 to $250,000 — probably were the most likely to see increasing values. Higher-end homes, those $400,000 and above were the most likely to see declining values.

Bob Kocour, president of the Lawrence Board of Realtors and an agent with Stephens Real Estate, largely agreed with Miles’ assessment of the market.

“I think the market is starting to stabilize a little bit,” Kocour said. “Houses are starting to sell again, but it is dependent upon their condition or price. Those homes that need some work or aren’t in the best location are going to be on the market longer. Buyers are being picky right now.”

Property owners will have until March 30 to file an appeal if they believe the county appraiser has erred.


501gdm2 7 years, 1 month ago

You are joking aren't you try and sell a home today for the same price they were bringing 3 years!!!! The Appraiser needs to get out of the court house and see what's going on.

ResQd 7 years, 1 month ago

My appraisal from a KC firm last fall came in 30k under what the city believes it's worth. Can the City of Lawrence please buy my house?

HRCJJ 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, just try selling your house for that. Give me a break.

KU_cynic 7 years, 1 month ago

The town's major employer -- KU -- is shrinking and pay levels are stagnant. Other major employers are also holding steady at best (e.g., LMH, USD 497), and many small businesses are downsizing. Population and income per capita are likely to be stagnant for several years, yet there is still a relatively large inventory of vacant housing stock and a recently increased number of multi-family rental units on the market.

Home prices will -- at best -- just move horizontally over the next few years and may decrease.

As a homeowner with positive equity I can deal with this (thank goodness I didn't move to Phoenix four years ago!).

But, every governmental entity dependent on property tax revenue needs to be very realistic as to likely property tax revenues over the next several years. City Commission, County Commission, and USD 497 Board prepare accordingly and be good stewards of what you're likely to get.

JustAsking 7 years, 1 month ago

Please note: Real estate appraisal is done by the county not the cities.

jmadison 7 years, 1 month ago

Home foreclosures were at high levels last year. Everyone knows that you can sell a foreclosed home at high levels, right? Property taxes are like an unending mortgage with the interest rate going up every year and no hope of ever paying the loan off.

pizzapete 7 years, 1 month ago

That makes some sense to me, my house went from about 97,000 fifteen years ago to about 165,000 today. I'd be happy if I could sell it for $125,000. Lawrence is in denial about property values. Houses are just not selling like they were three or four years ago. And don't get me started on the over-inflated prices of our lovely Downtown.

bballwizard 7 years, 1 month ago

Serioulsy, who is the appraiser? He needs to get a reality check

Godot 7 years, 1 month ago

All those first time homebuyers who were suckered into becoming homeowners with the $8000 tax credit paid more than the tax appraisal for their so-called bargain homes. The winners were the real estate brokers who were able to pocket that $8000 credit in commissions, and the mortgage brokers who were able to sell loans to people who will not be able to afford their homes within a year, and who will not be able to sell them because they will soon be under water.'

The losers are the first time home buyers, and the taxpayers, whose property values have been falsely inflated, and who will have to pay off the bad mortgages guaranteed by Timothy Geithner on our behalf.

Thank you (not) Obama for your ill-conceived stimulus and your bankster-friendly assault on our economy to falsely inflate property values. AKA, kicking the can down the road.

I call on every single Douglas County property owner to contest your property value based not on sales, but on the number of properties that are on the market, for the number of days, that have not sold, at their sale price.

Tony Kisner 7 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Miles knows where his paycheck comes from.

pace 7 years, 1 month ago

the tax man said, The realty market down? are you crazy? It is the same as ever, Please pay as you exit through the gift shop.

greywolf85203 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah right wait till they close some schools then what will property value do?

Richard Heckler 7 years, 1 month ago

There are 9 million homes or more on the market. 10,000 or more of those homes are in the KCMO metro. This is a buyers market economy.

Also basing economies on housing starts is not paying attention. How can this measurement still apply after the Bush/Cheney home loan fraudulent activity? More homes are still being vacated. No one has any idea when this will stop.

County appraisals do not represent real market value. Keeping values up is a tax increase.

Keep a close eye on the current school board spending.

Notice during the real estate "boom town economics" years our values were inflated which in reality those feel good numbers were substantial tax increases. Local spending budgets were based on those feel good numbers which in effect could have set this community up for over extending the tax base during hard times such as now. Which is to suggest the city/county cannot afford to allow appraisals to drop no matter the reality.

How can the city afford to annex more area and continue installing new infrastructure? Based on what? Inflated values?

Notice the real estate "boom town economics" took down the economy and 11 million jobs went with it. Shouldn't local boom town economics stop?

There are people walking away from homes they can afford because that investment is losing money in a huge way and cannot be sold for what they owe. There is no light at the end of those tunnels. To believe that cannot happen here is fantasy. To not plan for that fantasy might be reckless.

Greg Thompson 7 years ago

You can research home appreciation or depreciation yourself at Select Lawrence, KS and the years you want to measure appreciation between. You can also define the starting value for the property and compare appreciation to another area of the country. also creates a graph to easily visualize the data.

It shows home values rising in Lawrence about 0.84% in 2010, opposed to Las Vegas, one of the worst markets in the US, where values fell 4.9%.

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