Riverside County Assessor Releases 2009-2010 Value Reports

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The Riverside County Assessor-Clerk-Recorders Office has just released a series of reports providing us more information than we could possibly want to know about the state of housing in Riverside County as shown by assessed property values.

If you’re curious about 2009-2010 Assessed Values by City, for example, you’ll find that the local roll shows Murrieta with an assessed value of $10,112,353,803. After backing out exemptions, we’re left with a net taxable value of $9,886,016,688 or a drop of 15.43% from last years $11,689,213,209. That’s a drop in taxable value of nearly $2 Billion dollars!. Temecula dropped 11.6% and Lake Elsinore lost 17.7%.

You might be interested in the Assessed Value by Base Year or the expanded version showing Historical Assessed Value Data. Here the information shows a county-wide reduction of 10.5% from 2008-2009’s record $242,980,389,491 to the current $217,439,570,318. This chart also shows the growth curve which saw property values explode by more than 130% between 2001 and 2007. We sometimes hear this market compared to the downturn we saw in the mid-90’s but this chart clearly shows that in 1994 county values plummeted by .04% and another .71% in 1996. Maybe we really are in uncharted territory.

As Assessor-Clerk-Recorder Larry Ward outlined to our Brokers last month, his office has adjusted values according to Prop 8 on nearly 450,000 properties county-wide, many back to their 2001 levels. His report on Prop 8 Totals by Tax Rate Area shows that adjustments were made to 16,110 properties in Temecula reducing their value by $2,473,228,545. Murrieta saw a drop of $2,902,221,990 on 19,113 properties and Lake Elsinore lost $1,301,701,549 on 8,958 properties. Even our newest cities saw their projected revenue stream drop – $602,365,820 for 4,786 properties in Wildomar and Menifee lost $2,141,053,496 on 17,187 adjustments.

You might not like the numbers but it appears that Larry Ward is doing his job. He has taken a very proactive role in pursuing Prop 8 which, though many homeowners feel is not enough, appears to have been very fairly applied. With a keen appreciation for the impact this will have on our cities revenue stream, he has provided comprehensive and detailed data to allow our cities to address the situation before the actual impact is fully realized during the next tax year.

If current forecasts hold true, Southern California may be through the worst of the crisis and next years reports may be somewhat more positive. In remarks to us last week at our Government Affairs Institute, National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun opined that California appears to have turned the corner. Citing strong sales, reduced inventories and stabilizing median price levels, Dr. Yun cautiously forecast that some areas, especially in Southern California, could see 4% to 5% appreciation in housing values in 2010.

While that may be somewhat rosy given the ramp-up in foreclosure and unemployment activity in the area, local median prices have indeed been stable for several months. Our July inventory dropped to it’s lowest period in years showing existing home inventories ranging from 1.8 to 2.2 months – an unhealthily low level. While more than 17,000 Riverside County homes entered the foreclosure process in the past 120 days, over 7,000 sold. Many properties received multiple multiple offers (20 to 30 is not uncommon, some as many as 60 – 90 with up to 1/3 of those being cash offers). Even if the fabled ‘shadow inventory’ was all released tomorrow, it could handily be absorbed in short order given current sales trends.

Anyway, there’s a lot of data available on the county website. How to avoid fraud, foreclosure information and referral resources and much more. There’s also a raft of current statewide sales data and forecasts available at the California Association of Realtors website and for the latest LOCAL updates and charts, always check the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors website and blog.

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