X

Property values soar 32% in Snohomish County due to hot housing market

Assessed values are up all across the county since last year. The impact on tax bills won’t be known for a few months.

EVERETT — Snohomish County property owners may be in for a shock this week.

Home values in Snohomish County are up 32% on average, according to a Jan. 1 revaluation from the county assessor’s office.

Property values in all 15 of the county’s school districts have increased, ranging from 20% in Lakewood to a whopping 44% in Index. Meanwhile, commercial property values have climbed 14%.

Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle said she has never seen increases this high in her 33 years with the assessor’s office.

The increases reflect surging home prices across the region. Values rose by 11% in last year’s assessment, fueled by a shortage of homes and strong buyer demand in 2020. The 2021 market brought out a frenzy, with bidding wars leading to offers tens of thousands of dollars over asking price in some cases.

“Inventory is way way down, and people want to come and live in Snohomish County,” Hjelle said.

The median home price grew by 27% from January 2021 to 2022, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

New assessments will be mailed to property owners Friday. Assessed values will determine next year’s property taxes.

Hjelle said taxes don’t necessarily increase because of higher assessed values. Taxing districts’ budgets and recent voter-approved measures determine how much tax is collected.

“I’m trying to reassure people they are not going to see a 30 to 40% increase in their taxes because the value has increased that much,” she said.

In 2021, there was an 11% increase in home values on average and a 7% increase in taxes, or an extra $331, according to the assessor’s office.

Property taxes may go up if a home increases in value at a faster rate than another property within a taxing district.

“Some of that tax load might be shifted to your property,” Hjelle said.

Taxes may also shift from commercial to residential properties, where values have increased at a much higher rate.

Hjelle said higher property values increase home equity, which can help you borrow money.

It’s bad news for housing affordability.

For example, values of mobile homes — typically a less expensive type of housing — have shot up. Hjelle said the assessor’s office has “seen extreme sale price increases for mobile homes in parks, particularly older mobile homes that have been remodeled.”

“Sale prices of these units are beginning to rival stick-built homes,” she said.

Hjelle said demand for recreational land and vacation homes has driven up property values in Index, with a population of 155.

The assessor’s office calculates a home’s value using market sales. It estimates how much you could have sold your property for on Jan. 1, 2022.

Hjelle encourages property owners to verify the accuracy of the assessments. They can check sales in their area by looking at an online interactive map at snohomishcountywa.gov/5414/Interactive-Map-SCOPI. They can also check market sales data on websites such as Redfin and Zillow.

“I want the public to have confidence that we are representing what the market is showing what you could sell your property for,” Hjelle said.

Those with questions should call the assessor’s residential appraisal department at 425-388-6555 or commercial department at 425-388-3390. Property owners can appeal their assessed values.

The assessor’s office will know the final tax rate at the end of the year, after taxing districts set their budgets and ballot measures are passed. Tax bills are sent out in February.

There are tax exemptions available for low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities. Those who own their own residence and were 61 or older by Dec. 31, 2022, or are retired because of a disability, may qualify for an exemption. The 2022 household income limit is $55,743 to qualify for a property tax reduction in 2023.

Jacqueline Allison: 425-339-3434; jacqueline.allison@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jacq_allison.

Correction: An earlier version of this story featured incorrect dollar amounts in a table graphic listing property values by school district.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Construction continues at the site of the Lake Stevens Costco now slated to open Dec. 2. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
Lake Stevens’ new Costco opening delayed till after Thanksgiving

The new warehouse opening was pushed back to Dec. 2. Meanwhile, it’s still under construction.

x
Pedestrian hit, hospitalized after crash on Highway 99 in Edmonds

The person was crossing the highway near 238th Street SW. The driver stayed and cooperated with officers, per Edmonds PD.

Cars drive along 76th Avenue West in front of Edmonds-Woodway High School on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds eyes speed cameras near three schools

Roads near Edmonds-Woodway High, Chase Lake Elementary and Westgate Elementary could get automated enforcement.

Shoppers walk in and out of Macy’s at Alderwood Mall were Black Friday deals are being advertised on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Go ahead, hit snooze: Most Black Friday deals are online

Braving the stores on Black Friday is still a thing, but more retailers are closed on Thanksgiving.

Beating the heat in their lawn chairs at Lake Roesiger County Park in July 2018, when a hot streak began, were Sonny Taulbee (left) his wife, Carissa and daughter, Ashlyn, 14.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lake Roesiger property owners to pay fee to clean invasive plants

Snohomish County Council voted 4-1 on a new service charge, dividing the cost among 463 shoreline properties.

Bird scooters lined up along the intersection of Colby Avenue and Hewitt Avenue in downtown Everett on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Bird scooters removed from Everett bridge overhang

A prankster, or pranksters, lugged the electrified rides to an area not meant for the public on the Grand Avenue Park Bridge.

Luke Sayler and Claire Murphy stress out while watching the World Cup at the Irishmen Pub as the U.S. nearly gives up a last-minute goal during their 0-0 draw with England on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett fans cheer U.S. in tight World Cup match against England

Fans gathered at the Irishmen pub to watch the U.S. take on England in a World Cup match. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Vehicles are parked in front boutique-style businesses on the brick road portion of 270th Street on Friday, July 22, 2022, in Historic West Downtown in Stanwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Stanwood voters embrace sales tax to pay for street work

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed a measure to keep the two-tenths of a percent sales tax for maintaining streets, sidewalks and more.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
On site once planned for city hall, Lake Stevens OK’s commercial rezone

The city hopes the Chapel Hill property will be developed to will bring jobs. Locals say they’d be better served with a public park.

Most Read