Property values in Skagit County continued to climb in 2019, though not by as much as they did in 2018, according to the Skagit County Assessor’s office.
Assessed property values rose by about 8.6% in 2019, down from a 10.9% increase the previous year, Assessor Dave Thomas said.
Single-family residential homes saw a 10.3% increase, multi-family buildings and apartments a 6.7% increase, commercial and industrial property a 3.6% increase, and agricultural, natural resource and other property uses a 7.5% increase, according to data provided to the Skagit Valley Herald.
Thomas said each year, the assessor calculates property values through a ratio of a property’s assessed value to recent home sales in the area. He said the slower rise in property values could indicate a softening of the real estate market.
Thomas said this year, properties in the Sedro-Woolley School District had physical inspections, which tend to show larger increases in assessed value due to improvements that have been made since the last inspection, among other factors.
Physical inspections are required every six years.
All Sedro-Woolley School District neighborhoods saw a value increase, and the average increase was 10.8%. The largest increase was 20.3% in the area of the city of Sedro Woolley south of Highway 20.
“I think the real estate market is paying more for houses in that area than it was in the past,” Thomas said. “Kind of like Anacortes has an Old Town section that has shown an increase, it’s showing up in Sedro-Woolley because that’s where a majority of historic homes are.”
The next largest increases in the Sedro-Woolley School District were in the Lake Cavanaugh area (13.1%), the Lyman-Hamilton area (12.4%), and the area south of the Skagit River from Clear Lake to the east boundary of the school district (11.5%).
Values for apartments in the Sedro-Woolley School District increased by 23.5%, 13.5% for condos and 11.2% for 2- 4-unit multifamily properties. Values for commercial and industrial property fell by 0.4%.
“(The increase in apartment values) is because rents are going up, and there’s a lot of demand for housing, and in the rental market, there’s not a lot of availability,” Thomas said.
Concrete will undergo physical inspections next year.
Letters announcing changes in value for 2019 were sent to property owners in mid-October. The assessed values for 2019 determine 2020 property taxes.
Property owners can appeal the valuation of their property through Friday. Thomas said the assessor’s office receives about 350 appeals a year.