Danedri Thompson
There continue to be difficult segments in the residential real estate markets in Johnson County, according to the annual appraiser’s re-evaluation report. County officials mailed notices of appraisal values on March 1, and most home owners will not see an increase in valuation.
Approximately 75 percent of homes in the county are worth the same or less than they were a year ago, according to the report. More than 50 percent of homes lost value, while the assessed values of more than 24 percent of homes in the county remained stagnant.
Gardner was particularly hard hit.
The mean appraised value of a home in Gardner was $158,654 in 2010. In 2011, the mean value dropped by 3.54 percent for a new mean of $153,041.
“I think part of it has to deal with the location,” Paul Welcome, county appraiser said. “It depends on what was bought and sold in the last year or two. Market conditions have changed in that Gardner was hit pretty hard.”
The average sales price in Gardner was $168,298 in 2009, but dropped to $160,617 in 2010 – a decrease of more than 4.5 percent.
The average sales price in Edgerton dropped dramatically – 20.86 percent, but mean home assessed values only decreased by 3.3 percent.
In Spring Hill, the mean value of homes declined by 2.5 percent, but because higher priced homes sold in 2010, the average sale price was up more than 16 percent.
On average, all three communities showed lower home values, according to the report.
In Gardner, the average property value declined by 3.8 percent. In Edgerton, the average home value dropped 3.3 percent; and in Spring Hill, the average home value declined by 2.5 percent.
The news was slightly better for commercial properties countywide.
“Even though it’s slightly positive, overall it was flat,” Welcome said. “There are a few areas that seem to be up. Overall, I don’t think there was anything striking.”
Commercial properties are assessed differently than residential properties. Appraisers  primarily use statistics from current home sales to determine the value of residences. However,
Welcome said the county appraiser’s office utilized income and cost approaches to determine commercial values.
One bright spot for Gardner, which has the largest apartment development in the Kansas City metro area,  and for Johnson County was the growth in the assessed values of multi-family housing.
The assessed valuations are used to determine tax rates for schools, cities and the county. Welcome said he recently met with school and city officials to discuss their valuations. Most, he said, were not surprised to see lower assessed valuations.
“I think most of them thought it would be worse, but it didn’t come out that way,” Welcome said.
Property owners should have received Notices of Value for Johnson County properties during the first few days of March. Owners have until March 31 to protest their 2011 assessed values.
Once a value is appealed on an individual property, the owner will meet with an appraiser to go over the facts the county appraiser’s office used to value the property. The meeting also allows property owners a chance to give the appraisers evidence for a different value. All hearings must be completed by May 15, and appraisers will their decisions to homeowners by May 20.
At that point, if homeowners are still displeased with their property valuation, they can file an appeal with the state’s Court of Tax Appeals.