Archive for Thursday, March 5, 2009

De Soto, JoCo’s valuations dip in last year

March 5, 2009

In the executive summary of his annual report, Johnson County Appraiser Paul Welcome channels the ‘Now for something completely different” opening of the old Monty Python “Flying Circus” TV show.

“This 2009 valuation year is unprecedented for our county as we see a totally different residential market than what Johnson County has become accustomed,” Welcome writes. “For the first time in recent history, we are experiencing a negative valuation cycle for many areas of the county . . . “

The collapse of the housing market, subsequent financial crisis, foreclosures and recession contributed to an overall assessed valuation dip of 1.15 percent in Johnson County from a year before, Welcome’s office found.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said the city’s valuation was similar. The city’s assessed valuation is 1.37 percent.

Guilfoyle said he was prepared for worse after Welcome gave a presentation to local government officials in January.

“The preliminary numbers shared in January showed it going down 3 to 4 percent,” Guilfoyle said.

De Soto benefited from a 4.76 percent increase in commercial assessed valuation, which offset a 4 percent decrease in residential, Guilfoyle said.

The mean value of De Soto single-family homes declined from $201,579 in 2008 to $194,881 in 2009, according to the report. Of the city’s 1,554 homes tracked in last year’s report, 52 increased in value, 62 remained unchanged and the remainder declined in value.

The appraiser’s office report documents the construction slowdown.

For example, new construction only added 1.34 percent to the county’s appraised valuation in the past year, the lowest percentage the past 13 years tracked by the report.

But the appraiser provided evidence the county wasn’t alone. Douglas County reported a 2 to 4 percent decline in residential properties with 94 percent of them declining, Shawnee County estate values were flat with the exception of agricultural, and Wyandotte County saw residential values decrease from 3 to 11 percent.

And those declines pale in comparison to the 20 to 40 percent declines in home values seen on the coasts.

Still, the reports indicates the effects of the housing financial crisis is being felt in the county. Welcome reports there were 1,724 foreclosures in 2008, a 34 percent increase from the 1,284 in 2007.

Guilfoyle said the uncertainty of the housing market has the appraiser’s office anticipating a large number of appeals this year.

With the posting of the annual notifications to appraised values Saturday to county property owners will have until March 30 to appeal valuations.

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