Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2006

De Soto home valuation increases moderate

February 23, 2006

The annual mailing of notices of valuation to Johnson County property owners shouldn't cause as much anxiety in De Soto this year as the steady increase in home values abated somewhat in the last 12 months.

The average appraised value of a single-family home in De Soto increased 6.16 percent in 2005, according to Johnson County Appraiser Paul Welcome's annual report. The average change in value for all properties in De Soto was 6.85 percent.

Using much the same language he has used in recent years, Welcome wrote that a positive business environment, good infrastructure, excellent education opportunities, safe neighborhoods and efficient local governments helped boost the housing market by making Johnson County an attractive place to live.

Overall in the county, Welcome found county housing values increased a moderate 1 to 7 percent with an average increase of 4.9 percent. De Soto and other less urban communities generally exceeded that percentage with those in the county's northwest and "upscale" neighborhoods of Shawnee and Olathe.

Still the De Soto increase -- which includes both existing housing stock and the 34 new homes built in the city in 2005 -- is down significantly from the 11.1 percent increase noted in Welcome's 2005 report. More significantly, the report shows 62 percent of those homes in the city built before 2004 had no change in value and another 30 percent increased in value from 1 to 5 percent.

Unlike past years, there were no double-digit increases in home valuations in any of the county's cities. Edgerton (8.02 percent) and Spring Hill (8.29 percent) were the highest, principally because of new housing stock. Mission Woods checked in with the lowest average increase in single-family home values with a 2.54 percent, although the average home valuation was $449,000.

The average sale price of a single-family home in De Soto for 2005 was $206,215, a 7.05 percent increase from 2004. In Johnson County overall, the average sale price was $257,000.

Last year, the city of De Soto's assessed valuation from commercial property increased from $4.9 million to $9.7 million. Most of the increase was attributed to the end of an abatement on Huhtamaki Americas Inc.

De Soto USD 232 budget director Ken Larsen said he would be brief on the new numbers next week and had yet to see their implication on the school district.

Notices of valuation will be mailed Feb. 28. Johnson County property owners will have until March 31 to file an appeal.

Information on the valuation appeal process can be found at the appraiser's office Web page at or through the video Homeowner's Guide to Understanding the Appeals Process that is available at De Soto City Hall and the library. Residents can also call the appraiser's office at (913) 829-9500 with questions.

Homeowners can also find the sales information that was used to determine their valuation at the appraiser's office Web site.

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