Preliminary valuations of single-family homes by the El Paso Central Appraisal District remained little changed for the second year in a row, but values for apartments jumped 15 percent and commercial property by 7 percent.
Dan Olivas, president of the Greater El Paso Association of Realtors, expressed concern about values in the single-family home market because they’re an important indicator for the city’s economy and more.
“The real estate market in El Paso as a whole is really rather vibrant, but it’s driven by those areas outside the city’s core area,” Olivas said.
The CAD sets valuations for more than 30 taxing jurisdictions in El Paso County and is required to provide local governments with certified appraisal rolls by July 25 so they can use the values to set tax rates.
This was not a reappraisal year for the CAD, meaning only a sample of properties was reappraised. But it did inch up values for 169,840 single-family homes by 1.8 percent to $19 billion. Values in some neighborhoods actually declined.
Of that increase, 1.1 percent came from the construction of 1,892 new houses last year. So the taxable value of El Paso’s pre-existing homes increased by an anemic 0.8 percent with thousands of appeals pending.
Single-family homes account for 54 percent of the city’s $35.1 billion tax roll.
UTEP economist Tom Fullerton was a little surprised by such a small increase in residential valuations.
“The change in taxable values from 2016 to 2017 are lower than what the UTEP econometric forecast anticipated,” he said. “The CAD values also seem somewhat less robust than what the Greater El Paso Association of Realtors’ data indicate. It appears that homeowners have dodged a bullet in terms of taxable values this year.”
Outside the city, preliminary home values shot up 11.3 percent in the Clint Independent School District and by 5.9 percent in the Canutillo school district.
The CAD will conduct a full appraisal of properties next year, and Fullerton said the valuation increases outside El Paso this year could be a harbinger of increases in the city next year.