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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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After long decline, Hillsborough, Pinellas property values bouncing back

TAMPA - We’re still long removed from the boom times, but it’s a good bet that your home or property in Hillsborough County rose in value last year after five years of depressing declines. Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez announced Wednesday that his early read of 2012 property sales data shows overall values in the county rose about 3 percent. That is a broad estimate that doesn’t break out differences among residential, commercial and industrial properties. Still, “I think this confirms the economy is indeed rebounding,” Henriquez said in a news release. Henriquez’s office hasn’t finished the tax rolls for this year, but it has seen enough data from property sales that it made an early estimate of an overall 3 percent increase. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Pam DuBov put out a similar projection recently that also estimated a 3 percent increase.
If anything, that was a conservative estimate and the true increase may be higher, DuBov said Wednesday. That will no doubt be good news for government officials, who have had to plan out city and county budgets even as the tax rolls collapsed around them. Though property values for many properties are increasing, those with a homestead exemption aren’t likely to notice much of a bump in their taxes because the Save Our Homes amendment will prevent their home’s taxable value from rising more than 1.7 percent this year. The county’s tax base has fallen every year since 2008, including a 2.2 percent drop in assessed values last year. The biggest drop occurred in 2009, when values plummeted nearly 13 percent. Wednesday’s news confirms what many real estate agents have been seeing in the marketplace. For example, a national report on housing prices, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index, showed housing prices in the Tampa area rose 7.2 percent in December when compared with December 2011. “Residential is definitely coming back quicker,” said Warren Weathers, Hillsborough’s chief deputy property appraiser. “Where it will come back quicker is south Tampa and some of the higher-end areas.” Things are a little more scattershot among other types of property. For example, vacant land for multifamily housing in some areas is up 20 percent, said Bruce Erhardt, a land broker at the Cushman & Wakefield real estate firm. However, the value of office properties is mostly flat, he said.

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