Housing Inventory at 8,000

Recent reports from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) show about 8,000 unsold homes on the market in the Valley and many in the real estate industry say the backlog will translate into lower sales prices.

That inventory increased from about 1,700 in January. Houses simply are not selling.

The Daily Paper did a business piece which revealed that more than 60% of homes built were “spec homes,” or built without a buyer at the time of construction. That detracts from the mantra so often repeated, “People want to come here and they need a place to live.
More truthful is, “We have lots of places to live, now we need people to move here.”

The bubble actually burst last summer according to bankers we have talked to.

The real problem with the slump in real estate prices–and they will decline–is local property tax assessments will go down.

That may sound like good news to some, but when the values go down, the levy RATE (percentage) will go up to provide services demanded by the newcomers…schools, sewers, police, fire, etc.

When tax notices come out in the next month there will be quite a few increases because the assessments were based on prices over the past year, not just the past few months.

In Ada County the increases are as high as 20% or more in some areas.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. There is some good news here. The developers ,who are ruining the small amount of rural land we have left in our valley, cannot SELL thousands of the cubicles they’ve invested their MONEY in and so they may come out big financial losers.

    Just like BO-DO downtown… walk thru it and count the number of people in each retail store ( on one hand?)The food places always have customers, just like liquor stores. I suggest to those homeowners getting hit with higher assessments that you raise Holy Heck with your local and county govts. Why should homeowners ( familys) have to pay for developer GREED? Laws should be passed limiting the number of new homes so that sewer,water, emergency services,electicity and BUYERS are already in place before new buildings can be put up.

  2. Joe, I would like to know of a development that you in all your wonder think actually did it right. I would like to see what the benchmark is here that you are comparing all the other developments to. I always hear how nice the north end is, when in reality the north end is a bunch of old ugly low income housing right on top of each other with nice big trees.

  3. The taxes you pay in June are the 2nd half of 2006 tax – it won’t change. What’s up in the air is the new assessment, coming soon, which will be reflected in your November bill.

  4. I always find it amusing how upset people get over new developments. After all, where you live was a new development at one time. I guess it’s ok once you have yours to decide when and where others shall be allowed in. When someone moved into Boise 30 years ago did they pay any impact fees? Maybe it’s about time they did…just to be fair.

    I can just imagine a group of Indians watching a settler building his house 100+ years ago complaining about the high cost of the infrastructure required by all this new development.

  5. Old Blue, you are correct about “what comes around, goes around”.

    As for the numbers, the article said ” a closer analysis of MLS data shows that 63 percent of homes for sale are owned by investors, many of whom got into the Boise market to take advantage of skyrocketing prices in 2005 and early 2006.”

    That means they were purchased and are being resold and not built on speculation recently. I know people(Californian’s) that purchased housing sight unseen for investment properties. The valley is in a slump but not from overbuilding in the last six months.

    I know the words good and development don’t go together in most Growthophobes vocabulary. But as Snoop indicated, not everything being built or planned is all bad all the time. Let’s list some “good development” so the Greedy Developers know where to focus their energies and cash.

    I will start first. Bown Crossing, good mix of uses in an overlooked area of town.

  6. There is NO chance that the county will lower our taxes or reduce the “value” of our homes….it simply will not happen.

    Two years ago I personally asked the county to see the actual documents they used to raise my taxes 28%. They refused and I had to file an appeal – then the County Assessor had to admit that they “just used SOME AVERAGES to make the determinations”.

    In others words they just “wing it” when it comes to setting the values – and they admit it and there is NO way that their “averages” will be reduced.

  7. If you think the value at which your property is assessed is too high, then you should appeal it. Be sure to appeal by the fourth Monday in June. First, you will talk with an appraiser in the Ada County assessor’s office. The phone number is 287-7200. If you do not reach an agreement with the appraiser, you can take your appeal to the Board of Equalization, which is just another name for the Board of County Commissioners during the two weeks they are dealing with property value appeals.

    If you are still not satisfied with the value the County has placed on your property, you can then appeal to the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals. Your last avenue of appeal would be to the District Court.

    Before you take any or all of these steps, please keep in mind that the assessor’s role is to determine “fair market value” as of January 1. Fair market value is not only a moving target, but is often difficult to pin down, depending on available comparable sales. A recent appraisal from a certified appraiser would be your best tool to use to get your value reduced. Next best would be recent sales of similar properties in the same area as your property.

    If there are unusual circumstances in your neighborhood that you believe bring down the value of your home, such as a drug house next door, or numerous properties that are not maintained, be sure to point these things out when you appeal.

    If you are in doubt about your property value, you have nothing to lose by calling the assessor’s office and talking with your appraiser about it. S/he should be able to provide comps to support the value s/he has placed on the property, even if it was set using trending. It behooves you to do your homework and have some good comps of your own, as well, before calling.

  8. Keep in mind that the only thing the assessor’s appraisal of your property does is determine the portion of total county tax load that you pay relative to other landowners in the county. Lower valued properties are charged a smaller piece of the total county budget than are higher valued properties.

    If you want to go there, the math is simple.
    Your Tax Bill = (Total County Budget x Your Appraised Value) / Sum of All County Property Values

    If everyone’s assessment goes up ten percent, and the county budget remains unchanged, your tax bill will remain unchanged. Where you get into trouble is if the assessor increases the appraisal of your property more than they do other properties. Then you will be asked/told to pay a higher portion of the county’s total bill. And, you would be justified in appealing your assessment.

    While the appraisal of your property is an important piece of the puzzle, it is often a red herring. The real force behind ever increasing tax bills is ever increasing county spending. When the county’s spending goes up, whether it is because of higher levels of service, growth, malfeasance, incompetent management, or whatever, the increased cost will be charged to tax payers. And, unless you can work a miracle by arranging for your assessment to go down while everyone else’s stays the same or goes up, you will receive a higher tax bill.

    Challenging your appraisal is good for you. Challenging the county’s management and spending decisions is good for everyone.

  9. Sharon – we did appeal…they admitted all the items my previous note and voted to not change a thing. Of the 300 people that appealed (there were about that many in our hearing) only 2 got reduced and that was due to a couple of legal issues.

    If you appeal it is your word against Bob McQuade and his staff of “appraisers” ( I use that word VERY loosly). Your chances are virtually 0% of getting anything changed. They plan it that way.

  10. Max – I’m sorry to hear that. When I was in office, my colleagues and I (or at least two of us at any given time) voted in numerous appeals to reduce assessed values.

    Under the circumstances, I would take your case at least one step further the next time, to the Board of Tax Appeals. But, the argument that the assessor’s trends are not appropriate will not likely be enough. It is necessary for you to provide some good comps in order to support your position with regard to the value of your property. If you do that, you should “win”.

    The solution for commissioners who pay no attention to their constituents is obvious: get new commissioners. That, as always, is up to the voters.

  11. Sharon – to go to the board with “good comps” is wasted effort. I can find lower comps that match but McQuade always looks at the highest comps – guess who wins?

  12. Max – Did you take your appeal beyond the Board of Ada County Commissioners, to the Board of Tax Appeals or the District Court? There is no guarantee that you would get a different result, but if you know you are correct, then why not exhaust all possible avenues of appeal?

  13. I’d like to point out to Max that the Assessor doesn’t raise taxes. Their job is to assess property values in the county. The various taxing districts set they’re levies based their budgets and the total assessed value in their district. It doesn’t matter if the Assessor cuts everyone’s assessed value in half, the taxing districts would just double their levee.

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