Fueled by strong demand, soaring home prices and less vacant land for new residential subdivisions to meet population growth, property values across Central Florida are estimated to rise to record levels from last year.
In Seminole, Property Appraiser David Johnson said taxable values for real estate and personal property in his county will jump by 12% to a record high of $44.7 billion over the past year, showing that the real estate market for residential, commercial and industrial properties “is very strong.”
Seminole also saw nearly $1 billion in new construction added to the tax roll over the year.
“Those are big numbers,” Johnson said. “There is a high demand for properties and relatively low supply. So prices are rising. It’s a supply-and-demand issue. And we’re seeing that across a broad spectrum of the properties, and residential is a big chunk of that.”
Property appraisers across the region, including Johnson’s office, this week released preliminary estimates of taxable property values as local governments begin to assemble their budgets for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.
Orange County saw its values spike by an estimated 18% to $268.5 billion over the past year.
And the county’s molten-hot residential market also hit a new high, reaching nearly $124 billion in appraised value, shattering the previous high of $106.5 billion, set a year ago, Property Appraiser Amy Mercado said.
“Demand is so high, and there’s no inventory,” Mercado said. “So I’m not seeing it slowing down yet.”
Orange County recorded $5.2 billion in new construction.
Mercado said authorities should take into consideration the increased values when determining millage. “What that means ultimately is up to them and their budgetary needs,” she said. “Generally speaking, the excess is put into reserve for such times as the recent pandemic.“
In Osceola County, property values are estimated to rise by nearly 15% to $39 billion, according to Property Appraiser Katrina Scarborough. The county had nearly $2 billion in new construction.
In Lake County, estimated values climbed by nearly 12% to $29.5 billion. The county also saw nearly $940 million in new construction.
The soaring values can be a mixed blessing for residents.
It means that longtime homeowners will see the values of their homes rise, but not have to pay much more in property taxes. Florida’s Save Our Homes cap keeps the annual increase of assessed value to 3% for houses with a homestead exemption. That’s to prevent longtime homeowners from being taxed out of their homes.
But it also means that new homeowners — or those who just purchased and moved into a new home — will likely see big tax increases in the coming year, thereby exacerbating the region’s affordable-housing problem.
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“We often hear that from folks who just bought a new home,” Johnson said. “That’s a big deal, for sure.”
Johnson said home affordability is “a three-legged stool” consisting of mortgage payment, taxes and insurance.
“When one of those things goes up, then affordability becomes a problem for certain folks,” he said.
Still, the values released on June 1 are only estimates and can change. The official certification date when property appraisers have to provide their numbers to the state’s Department of Revenue for the 2022 tax assessment roll is July 1. Homeowners will receive their property tax valuations in August.
Taxing authorities, including school districts, county commissions and city councils have until Sept. 30 to enact their 2022-23 budgets.
The cities with the largest increases in estimated values in Orange County are Oakland, which saw a 38.7% increase, and Apopka, 25%. In Seminole, Casselberry had a 16% jump; in Lake, Mascotte saw a nearly 28% rise; and in Osceola County, St. Cloud had an 18% jump.