The county’s property assessments hit a historic high of $164.9 billion in a year that also saw the number of foreclosures slashed in half and more properties retaining and restoring previously declined value.
The 2014-15 property assessment roll certified Friday is $164.9 billion, an $8.8 billion — or 5.61 percent — increase over last year’s $156 billion roll. Last year also had an $8.8 billion increase which was itself a 3.33 percent jump over the previous year.
Approximately 30,000 property owners will receive their assessed value notices in the next few days.
The three-year run of historic highs and the roll’s fourth consecutive increase reflects “the vibrant economic conditions of our county,” said Assessor Mark Church in his announcement of the roll value.
The property assessment roll is the value of all properties as of Jan. 1 of each year, summarizing the additions, removals and declines in value from the previous year. The roll has both a secured and unsecured section. The secured represents nearly 95.7 percent of the roll with commercial and real estate property and this year showed a 5.82 percent increase.
All of San Mateo County’s cities and unincorporated areas saw increases although not all were equally improved. San Bruno had an 8 percent change on one end of the spectrum while South San Francisco posted a 4.43 percent hike on the other.
The roll is actually $1.9 billion less than previously estimated because the inflation factor was .454 percent which is only the seventh time since Proposition 13 passed that it fell less than 2 percent. Most property owners will see their assessments increase only slightly over last year due to the factor, Church said.
The unsecured roll includes business and personal property including air transportation property at San Francisco International Airport. That portion of the roll had a 2 percent, or nearly $171 million, increase in value from last year.
All of this spells good news for the county and its special districts, cities and school districts who share 1 percent of the roll’s $1.65 billion value. The county’s share will be roughly 22 percent or $363 million.
Church chalked up the growth to the area’s strong real estate markets.
“The number of sales remains high and new construction has more than doubled from two years ago, restoring most of the value to the roll that was lost during the Great Recession,” Church said in a prepared statement.
The county’s median home price in May 2014 was $1.13 million which represents an 18.9 percent increase over the previous year, according to the California Association of Realtors.
The secured roll was also bolstered by a continuing trend of properties previously reassessed lower being fully or at least partially restored. In fiscal year 2014-15, 41 percent of residential properties were fully restored and 50 percent received some value. The number of residential properties in the county’s decline in value program has also plummeted from a high of 34,7000 in fiscal year 2011-12 to the current 14,700. Brisbane and Colma are the two cities with the greatest percentage of participant properties.
Commercially, 382 properties are in the program.
Foreclosures are also on the decline. In 2013, the number dropped 57 percent from the 3,008 of 2012. The number of notice of defaults also dropped 59 percent.
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