Average-value home in Taylor County expected to gain 12 to 15 percent this year

By Sidney Levesque /
March 21, 2006

Taylor County property values could jump as much as 12 to 15 percent this year, according to the county's chief appraiser.  Higher prices for homes, low interest rates and demand for some commercial property are likely driving the increase, said Richard Petree, chief appraiser for the Taylor County Central Appraisal District.  ''Overall, lots of positive things are going on,'' Petree said.  

He will know more about this year's property values after examining sales figures from the end of this month. Certified property values will be released May 1.  Last year, the average-value home in Taylor County was $78,087, a 4.6 percent increase over 2004. This year, Petree expects the average-value home to be between $88,000 and $90,000.  ''We've just been real surprised we haven't seen a leveling out,'' Petree said of values.  Of course, higher property values means property owners will pay more in taxes.  

Tax increases on homesteads are capped at 10 percent, Petree said. A homestead is a person's primary residence.  Tax increases on rental property, second homes and businesses, however, are not capped, Petree said.  Businesses hurt this fall by high gas prices might appreciate the improved economy reflected by higher property values, but not the additional taxes, said Bob Hammond, executive director of the Abilene Association of Independent Business Owners.  ''The entire business industry doesn't recover at the same speed,'' he said.  Petree said business property values have increased because of a big demand for nicer apartment complexes and some commercial office buildings. He said rents are rising and occupancies are improving for both apartments and office space, particularly around the Mall of Abilene and along Southwest Drive. Both are in southern Abilene.  February home sales totaled 152, up 17 percent compared to the same time last year, when 130 homes sold, according to the Abilene Board of Realtors. The average sales price during that time period increased 18 percent to $107,204.  Petree said people may be trying to take advantage of low interest rates while they are still available. He said property values increased in almost every subdivision, but more rapidly in the Wylie school district in south Abilene, where the average-value home is $119,000.

Taylor County property values

Year;  Average-value home; Percent change

2003;  $72,568;  +6.1%

2004;  $74,653;  +2.9%

2005;  $78,087;  +4.6%

2006*;  $88,000-$90,000;  +12.7-15.3%


Source: Taylor County Central Appraisal District

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