Home values jump in Pierce County

Home values jump in Pierce County

Homeowners are seeing “dramatically” higher numbers in the latest assessed values for residential property throughout Pierce County.

Overall, home values went up 16 percent this year, compared to 9 percent in 2020. The jump is due to a red-hot real estate market, said Assessor-Treasurer Mike Longeran, whose office mailed notices in late June to taxpayers.

The values “continue to increase dramatically countywide” by around “$60,000 each in the past year,” said Lonergan, who cautioned homeowners not to jump to the conclusion that an increase in value will result in a tax increase.

“It’s a math equation, and when values are rising, the legal limits on each taxing district tend to bring their tax rates down,” he said. Property tax bills issued in 2022 will be the new 2021 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of school districts, cities, and fire districts where homes are located, plus the statewide school levy “that everyone pays. A lot depends on public votes in local districts, such as levy lid lifts and bond issues,” he added.

Any property owner who believes their property is overvalued may appeal to the Pierce County Board of Equalization. The no-cost appeal must be filed no later than Aug. 24. More information is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/atr.

While home values countywide are up sharply countywide, the increase varies from community to community based on actual sales of similar properties. As an example, Lonergan said the 17.7 percent increase in Tacoma is slightly above the county average, bringing the typical Tacoma residence to $415,000, an increase of $62,000; Steilacoom’s increase is the lowest at 11.3 percent, or $51,000, for an average 2021 value of $498,000.

Most commercial property showed either slight or no value increase during the past year, due largely to COVID-19 limitations on retail, hospitality and office activity, Lonergan said. However, apartment buildings and warehouses experienced double-digit percentage increases in response to demand for affordable housing and online ordering and distribution.

From above or on the ground, home values in Pierce County can be seen the same way: Red hot.