Thurston County Residential Values Increase 20 Percent While Commercial Values Plateau

From employees of Nisqually Valley News

According to the Thurston County’s Assessor’s Office, Thurston County’s residential property values ​​rose 20 percent in 2021, despite the impact of COVID-19 on schools, businesses, and jobs.

Commercial real estate grew 1.3 percent, largely due to closures related to COVID-19, according to a press release.

Despite their typically strong market segment, housing prices only recorded a growth rate of around 1 percent, while vacancy, office and medical properties remained relatively unchanged or fell slightly.

During the closings, retail and restaurant operations became fragmented and depreciated in their ability to serve people in Thurston County, while national and franchise businesses grew 5 to 7 percent, the statement said

The increase in value in warehouse and industrial properties, on the other hand, slowed to around 1 percent.

“While commercial real estate struggled, residential values ​​rose significantly,” the press release said. “Since last year it has been a sellers’ market with sales prices that are often above list prices.”

Low inventory levels and the urgency of buyers were cited as key factors behind the increases.

Questions as to whether the landscape affected by COVID-19 is a short-term market deviation or a permanent structural change in the market cannot yet be answered, according to the announcement.

With many employers working from home during the pandemic, public interest in buying desirable suburban locations across the county appears to be growing, the press release said.

Detached single-family homes have hit an average appraisal of $ 373,200, while Redfin has quoted an average sale price of $ 460,000, with an average retail price of $ 400,000.

The Thurston County Assessor’s Office considered all properties in Thurston County in determining the median, including many properties valued that were not considered “ready for sale”. The discrepancy found between the median estimate of the appraiser and the prices listed by the listing services is due to the fact that the services based their data exclusively on sales.

“All sub-markets have grown significantly,” says the press release. “The greatest increase in value was recorded in small apartments and prefabricated houses. The housing market has grown rapidly and broadly, with no particular region being disproportionately affected. “

Because many taxes are determined by property value for use by tax authorities such as school districts, fire department districts, cities, and counties, the valuation process is separate from the group budgeting process, the memo says.

Instead, a property owner’s taxes are determined by taking each tax authority’s budget along with any voter-approved measures and dividing that value into the tax authority’s total taxable value. Through the process, taxes on a particular property are typically only affected by a minor change in the appraised value, according to the notification.

Since the property tax is based on the market value, the contribution rates are the same for all types of property, so that the tax burden of such measures is the same for all property owners.

According to the law, it is the job of the appraiser to determine market values.

“(Thurston County Assessor office staff) has been in this role for years, and we consistently exceed industry best practice standards and are among the top counties in the state for accuracy and equity,” the press release said.