Average El Paso home valuation jumps 20%, certified appraisals show

Average home assessments in the county have soared for the second year in a row — rising 19.9% ​​to $189,709 this year, according to certified figures from El Paso’s Central Assessment District.

This year’s increase comes after a 12% jump in home values ​​last year, both fueled by still-booming housing demand that pushed up sales prices, said appraiser David Stone. Deputy Chief of the DAC.

“The market was showing strong increases and sales remained strong,” Stone said.

This prompted the DAC to conduct a mass reassessment this year instead of waiting until 2024. Typically, assessments are done every three years. The last one was made in 2021.

Stone said it’s likely another reassessment will take place next year.

“We record sales figures throughout the year. If higher selling prices relative to appraised values ​​continue to materialize, we will start again next year,” he said. “The only reason we wouldn’t reassess is if selling prices hold steady or start to fall.”

The median selling price of homes in El Paso rose nearly 12.9% to $200,000 in 2021 from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Texas A&M University’s Texas Real Estate Research Center. .

And that trend continues to rise, as the median sale price for homes in El Paso in June was $236,750, according to data from the research center. This is an increase of 18.4% compared to the same month last year.

Protests lower overall rateable value

The county’s total certified property assessment was about $54.5 billion this year, an increase of about 8.7% from the 2021 certified figure.

There are nearly 433,700 properties – about 53% of them residential – on the assessment district rolls.

This year, the DAC received about 42,300 property valuation protests, of which nearly 16,700 resulted in a reduction in the valuation after the hearing process, Stone said. The majority of the protests – around 30,500 – came from residential properties, of which almost 42.5% led to falling valuations.

In total, the protests have lowered the county’s total real estate market value by nearly $1.5 billion, Stone said. About $308.6 million of that amount came from protests against residential properties.

The impact of the protests on the total assessed value of properties this year is harder to measure, he said. Texas law limits the increase in the assessed value of properties with homestead exemptions to 10% per year.

If a property with a Homestead Exemption increased by 20% on initial assessment and this was lowered to 15% after challenge, the assessed value this year would still only increase by 10%. So the owner would see no tax savings as a result of the protest this year, but could do so in subsequent years – if the value of the property does not rise again in future assessments.

A house for sale near Album Park in East El Paso. (Corrie Boudreaux/El Paso Matters)

Detail the valuations

Residential properties in El Paso have historically borne the bulk of the property tax burden, primarily because they represent a larger portion of the tax base.

This year, for example, residential properties accounted for 67.1% of the county’s property tax base. That’s a slight increase from 65.8% in 2021. In other Texas counties, residential properties make up 40% or less of the total assessed property value.

This year’s certified CAD figures show that commercial property values ​​in El Paso increased by 7.4%; while industrial properties decreased by 0.6%.

Stone said it’s harder to assign assessments to commercial properties than to residential properties — and harder to successfully defend their protests. Commercial property is valued by factors such as the selling price of other properties and the cost of building new ones — neither of which must be released under Texas nondisclosure laws, he said. .

“So we don’t have the necessary comparables,” Stone said, adding that many commercial property owners also often have the funds to fight their valuations with experienced legal teams.

People with homestead exemptions will be shielded from the full brunt of the assessment increase due to the 10% annual cap.

However, as many properties exceeded this limit for the second time this year, they face a 10% increase in their assessed value over the next few years.

Stone said those who live in apartments are likely to bear the brunt of increases in residential value, as landlords often pass the costs onto tenants. Apartments and residential properties are not protected by the 10% annual cap on the increase in assessed value.

Assessments for multi-family dwellings – comprising mostly apartment complexes that are not eligible for homeownership exemptions – rose 22.4% from a year ago.

“Vacancies are close to zero, and that’s flowing into supply and demand, driving up rental prices,” Stone said. He added that having full resorts leads to more expenses and higher rental income – both of which factor into the property valuation.

George Reynoso, who has lived in an east-central apartment complex for the past four years, said his rent went up slightly last year.

“We’re expecting the big one,” said Reynoso, 29, a mechanic who shares the apartment with his girlfriend and their 2-year-old daughter. “We just hope anything happens with enough notice that we can choose to stay or find another place to go – maybe even my dad’s house.”

Tax bills loom

With certified values ​​in hand, local taxing entities are finalizing their budgets and proposed tax rates — which will likely result in property tax increases for most El Paso homeowners.

This is despite the fact that these entities seek to enact tax rates pennies lower than in previous years. The lower rates will not offset the assessment increases, causing these entities to collect more tax revenue from property owners, which is considered a tax increase under state law.

Among those entities is the city, which on August 1 lowered its proposed tax rate from the one it had presented to the city council a month earlier. Even with the proposed new rate of 86.24 cents per $100 of assessment – which the city is touting as the largest tax rate reduction in more than 35 years – the average homeowner will see an increase of about $83 in more on the city’s share of the tax bill.

Over the past decade, the city has been at the forefront of rising property tax bills – accounting for half to nearly two-thirds of the total tax increase for average-value homes in depending on the school district where the property is located, according to an analysis by El Paso Matters. .

But the city alone doesn’t account for all of the increase — the county, school districts, community college, and hospital district also collect property taxes. The various entities will adopt their budgets and tax rates over the coming weeks, adding to the total tax bill homeowners will receive in January.

“I’m preparing for any rent increase for me, but I’m glad my dad is getting the senior breaks for his house in the Lower Valley,” Reynoso said. “One more thing to add to all our rising bills.”

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