Appraiser: Williamson County home values soar 10.6 percent

Apr 24, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Home values for 2014 shot up 10.6 percent in Williamson County, reflecting a sizzling residential market where demand continues to outpace supply, chief appraiser Alvin Lankford said Wednesday


The Williamson Central Appraisal District mailed more than 175,500 appraisal notices to property owners in the county, which saw the average market value of homes increase to $214,682 from $194,072, Lankford said. In 2013, market values for homes went up 2 percent on average


Lankford said he wasn’t surprised by the jump in appraised values in Williamson County. A housing market tilted strongly in favor of sellers in Central Texas is driving prices higher, Lankford said. “We’re definitely one of the hottest, if not the hottest, markets in (Central Texas),” Lankford said, noting that some houses are selling the same day they hit the market


Williamson County has been attractive for new homebuilding activity, in part due to its access and desirable school districts, among other factors, said Madison Inselmann, regional director of the Austin market for Metrostudy, which tracks the housing market


Home sales in Central Texas, including Williamson, Travis and Hays counties, jumped 19 percent last year, according to the Texas Association of Realtors


Central Texas home prices rose 9 percent from 2012 to 2013, according to the Austin Board of Realtors, and Williamson County homes followed a similar trend, Lankford said. Some areas saw a higher jump, while others saw a lower increase, he said


“That trend started to reverse course in 2013 with a majority of properties going up in value, and that trend has continued with the increases seen on the appraisal roll for 2014,” he said. “Williamson’s appraised values are a direct reflection of what buyers and sellers are doing in the marketplace.”


For all properties on the 2014 appraisal roll — both commercial and residential — the total market value went up 9.5 percent, to $51.2 billion from $46.7 billion. About 4,100 new homes and 150 new commercial buildings were built last year, Lankford said


The total taxable value for commercial and residential properties rose about 8.5 percent, to $41.5 billion from $38.3 billion in 2013, Lankford said. The increase was led mainly by homes and commercial properties selling for more in 2013 than they were in 2012, as well as new growth, he said


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