Assessment Update: House Values Near Pre-Recession Highs

The total value of taxable real estate in Loudoun County grew by 6.6 percent to $77.7 billion during the past year, according to an update prepared by Commissioner of the Revenue Robert S. Wertz Jr.

The average assessed value of the single-family detached home has nearly reached its 2006 pre-recession peak again. In 2006, after several years of meteoric growth, the average value of a house was $526,100. Average values are still recovering from the recession, and this year reached $520,234.

“Given the low inventories that we see in the residential market these days, this might be the year when those values exceed pre-recession numbers,” Wertz said.

Assessments notices are being mailed to property owners  this week and also can be viewed online at loudoun.gov/parceldatabase. The assessed value in conjunction with the tax rate to be set by the Board of Supervisors in April provides the basis for real estate tax bills that will be due on June 5 and Dec. 5.

According to Wertz’s report, presented to county superivsors on Tuesday, the typical existing single family townhome saw the largest average year-over-year increase in value, at 3.8 percent, excluding the impact of new construction and new lots.

Overall, new construction during 2017 was valued at $1.9 billion.

The only negative number in the report: Agricultural lots between 20 and 100 acres, which dropped 0.8 percent in value.

Agricultural lots rebounded from 2017, curtailing a steep dive last year. Agricultural lots of 100 acres or more had seen a 16.4 percent drop in value in 2017, but posted a 3.3 percent gain in tax year 2018—a nearly 20-point swing. Lots of 20 to 100 acres had dropped 5.9 percent last year before losing less than one percent this year.

Those same lots also saw some the biggest growth in new construction by percentage. The smaller lots saw $9.8 million in new construction, up 44 percent from last year; larger lots saw $704 million in new construction, doubling last year.

The most new construction by dollar figure by far, however, was in single family-detatched dwellings, with $637.4 million, up 24 percent from the previous year. That was nearly double the value of new townhouse construction, at $384.1 million.

Residential lots account for 66.9 percent of the real estate value in Loudoun is in residential lots, followed by 17.9 percent in commercial and industrial lots. Multifamily lots make up 3.2 percent of value. Agricultural lots 20 acres and up comprise only 1.7 percent of real estate value in the county.

Eight percent of the value of real estate in Loudoun is tax-exempt, approximately $6.9 billion in value.

The total value of taxable commercial property in the county rose 6 percent, to $15.5 billion.

By district, the largest total percentage change in value was in Broad Run, at 9.5 percent. Excluding new construction, the highest value growth was in Leesburg, at 4.9 percent.

The slowest total growth in value was in the Catoctin District, at 4.2 percent. Not accounting for new construction, the slowest growth was in the Blue Ridge District, which saw a 1.6 percent increase in values.

The sprawling Blue Ridge District, which encompasses nearly half of the county’s land area, also contains the most real estate value, north of $16 billion. It accounts for nearly a fifth of real estate value among the county’s eight election districts.

But it is closely followed by the Broad Run District, which hovers around $15 billion. At the heart of Data Center Alley, Broad Run is also the only district with a larger commercial real estate tax base than residential, with $8.2 billion of commercial value and $6.3 billion of residential. Much of Loudoun’s data center alley lies in the Broad Run district, along with One Loudoun and Loudoun Station.

Data centers tacked on $793 million in value, now surpassing $3 billion. They are also the biggest source of tax revenue in the Metrorail Service District. That special tax district grew $242 million to $4.138 billion in value. At the current tax rate, that will generate $8.2 million to help pay for Metro.

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

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