Property values dropped dramatically in several Kent, Renton and Auburn neighborhoods, according to the King County Assessor’s Office.
Median residential property values fell by 9.5% in Benson Hill/Panther Lake, and by 18.8% on Lea Hill, according to a Sept. 14 news release from the Assessor’s Office, which is wrapping up the annual process of mailing property valuation notices to taxpayers. The office releases values in certain areas as those valuation notices are mailed.
Benson Hill is primarily in Renton. Panther Lake is in Kent. Lea Hill is mainly in Auburn, with a portion of it in Kent.
Property values in 2023 continued to be dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the news release. After reaching all-time highs in the second quarter of 2022 due to a lack of inventory for sale, residential property values corrected downwards throughout King County. This trend was especially pronounced in eastside communities.
“COVID changed our lives, and it continues to impact the real estate market,“ said King County Assessor John Wilson. “In 2020 and 2021, residential prices and values went through the roof because people chose to not put homes on the market, causing a major imbalance between supply and demand. The housing market is still very healthy, but it cooled considerably in 2022, bringing values down a bit.”
It is important to remember that voter-approve levies have more impact on property tax increase than do changes in home values, according to the news release.
The total amount of property tax collected is derived from the budgets passed by state, county and local governments, and by locally approved levies. The value of each property determines proportionally how much each taxpayer will pay of that total amount.
Each year, county assessors set values on every commercial and residential property value in the state. These values – set effective as of Jan. 1 by state law – are then applied to the next year’s tax bill. Property values are being set as of Jan. 1, 2023, for taxes due in 2024.