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Property Values Stabilize in Riverside County, Assessor Says

Southwest Riverside County’s numbers appear strong compared to the rest of the county, while Murrieta's saw a .28 decrease.

For the first time in three years, property values in Riverside County are relatively stable compared to the previous year, the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder announced today.

Overall, the value of assessed property in Riverside County declined by less than 1 percent for fiscal year 2012-13, a $299 million reduction in the countywide assessment roll. The roll for the fiscal year that begins July 1 closed with a total taxable value of $204.8 billion, relatively unchanged from $205.1 billion a year ago.

The cities of Hemet, Canyon Lake and Temecula were the only cities in southwest Riverside County to see increases; the cities of Murrieta and Menifee both saw decreases below 1 percent.

In Murrieta, net taxable property values decreased by .28 percent for fiscal year 2012-13, an improvement compared to the previous year

The unincorporated area within Temecula’s sphere of influence was the only local Southwest Riverside County unincorporated area that saw an increase in value. The unincorporated area of Murrieta saw a decrease of 1.21 percent.

While southwest Riverside County’s numbers appear strong compared to the rest of the county, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and surrounding unincorporated area still show a lag. (See attached charts.)

Overall, the housing market’s modest rebound over the last six months helped stabilize property values, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Larry Ward said. Other stabilizing factors include the decline in foreclosure-related activity –- which has helped to substantiate property values –- as well as slightly increased values for commercial properties, specifically apartments and mega-warehouses, Ward said.   

No community had a change in value greater than 5 percent. The cities with the largest percentage increase are Eastvale at 3.29 percent and Indian Wells at 2.93 percent. Cities with the largest percentage decreases are Coachella and Desert Hot Springs, with decreases of 4.92 percent and 4.80 percent, respectively. 

Under state law, temporary assessment reductions may be made based on a property’s value on Jan. 1 of each year. 

Ward said his office continues to review individual properties for potential reductions in value, which can affect property taxes. The review is a critical process in completing the assessment roll.

Beginning July 15, Riverside County at Riversideacr.com.  Properties can be searched by address or parcel number. Value-notice letters will not be mailed this year but owners without access to the Internet can call the Assessor’s office at 951-955-6200 to obtain the information.

Property owners who disagree with their property’s assessed value can file a free decline-in-value application online. Applications are due by Sept. 4 and are available at Riversideacr.com.

Property owners disputing the value set by the Assessor’s office can file an appeal with the Riverside County Clerk of the Board between July 2 and Nov. 30. An application for changed assessment (appeal) is available on the Clerk of the Board’s website at Rivcocob.com.

For more information, visit Riversideacr.com or call 951-955-6200 or toll free 800-746-1544.

Michelle Deskin July 03, 2012 at 07:50 PM
People are letting their yards go, their houses get no repairs done & the commercial area's are not keeping up with upkeep. Of course the government is going to say that pretty much all is well because they don't want to loose any more money & have us say our houses are NOT worth the money they SAY they are! We ARE in a recession whether they like to say it or not & it's gonna get worse before it gets better! I believe aerospace is going to be laying off anouther 20,000 people in southern California within the next month or two, again! Who's going to be buying houses when people are still losing jobs left & right? Who???
Michael Crawford July 04, 2012 at 01:58 PM
The main reason for increases in property values in the area is the extreme shortage of inventory to sell. We are now getting multiple offers on most listings which is starting a bidding war. We need more inventory to sell.
Bill Burchard July 04, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I agree, Michael. In early February, there were 462 single family homes for sale in Murrieta. (http://actvra.in/sHh) As of yesterday, there were only 230 homes for sale. (http://actvra.in/Dqb) Inventory has dried up. I suspect that low home prices combined with record low mortgage interest rates has had an impact.
Chris July 14, 2012 at 09:49 PM
@Bill -- I am not a real estate person, but does limited inventory typically contribute to rises in property values, and if so, is this a healthy thing for the real estate market?
Bill Burchard July 15, 2012 at 02:58 PM
@Chris: When limited inventory is due to increased demand, then, yes, it typically contributes to increases in home prices. That’s what I’m seeing in real estate markets in many areas, including Murrieta. I track what Murrieta home prices and inventory are doing and post the data every week. If you take a look at my most recent post (http://actvra.in/DKT), in the “Inventory Past 12 Months” chart you’ll see that single family home inventory began its recent decline in February 2012. Then if you look at the “Median Home Prices Past 24 Months” chart, you’ll notice that home prices started rising in March 2012. The two appear correlated. Is this a healthy thing? I think so. I believe it shows that people are gaining confidence in our economy and think that now is the time to buy (while home prices and mortgage rates are still low). And according to this February 2012 post, “Housing led America out of the 2001 recession, as well as the recessions of 1973-74, 1981 and 1991,” (http://seekingalpha.com/article/383781-is-housing-ready-to-lead-the-u-s-economic-recovery). So if the housing recovery is finally underway, then it likely bodes well for our economy.
Bill Burchard July 16, 2012 at 03:41 PM
@Chris: You may find this recently posted article informative: "Is the Housing Crisis Over?" http://bit.ly/MzdhWt The article notes that: "According to many real estate indices, home prices are up, sales of existing and new homes are picking up year-over-year, and inventories of for-sale homes have fallen dramatically. "The decrease in for-sale inventory is the key and will likely help maintain the rise in home prices, Mark Fleming, CoreLogic chief economist, told The Wall Street Journal."
Chris July 17, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Thanks for the info Bill!
Cowboy Keith Jenkins July 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM
My name is Cowboy Keith and I work for a tax appeal company. We help homeowners and commercial owners appeal their taxes. Although we are seeing price recoveries in most sectors there are still many areas that are being overassessed... SEVERELY. You have to remember the county Assessor is doing the best they can with a limited technology and antiquated technology. Temporary reductions (prop 8's) have to be filed EACH AND EVERY year. Just because you win one year doesn't automatically adjust your value for the next. Of the So cal Counties we are still seeing huge reductions in property values for San Bern and Riverside Counties. Although the market is turning, for those that haven't had a professional look at their assessment, may want to do so. In the words of Learned Hand (1872-1961), Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals... "Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands." Cowboy Keith

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