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Tarrant property appraisals expected to increase

Tarrant Appraisal District officials expect property appraisals to go up on this year’s bills.
Tarrant Appraisal District officials expect property appraisals to go up on this year’s bills. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Tarrant Appraisal District Chief Appraiser Jeff Law is not prepared to say exactly how much yet, but he said that he anticipates another boost in property tax appraisals notices in 2017.

Citing a report by the MetroTex Association of Realtors in Dallas that puts North Texas housing inventory at less than two months, Law said the “low supply and high demand” will raise valuations in Tarrant County. The increase probably won’t be as high as last year’s 12 percent, he said, but appraisals are still headed up.

“I have a crystal ball, but it is cloudy,” said Law during a break in the Tarrant Appraisal District Board of Directors meeting on Friday, where he declined to publicly predict how big the average increase may be. But he said that there clearly “is not enough supply to meet demand.”

Law said the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M has reported that 6.5 months of inventory usually represents a market where supply and demand for homes is balanced.

Law also forecast that up to 6,000 homes will be added to the tax rolls this year.

The MetroTex report, issued earlier this month, said that in December 8,365 homes were sold, a 3 percent rise from the year before, and that they were on the market an average of 47 days. The median sales price for homes was $232,000, a 10 percent increase from December 2015. It said there were 16,401 active home listings last month, a 1 percent drop.

“In December, we really didn’t see enough (new listings) to replace the homes we sold,” said James Martin, president of MetroTex, in the report. “It’s almost hard to imagine what will happen to price levels if we continue to see inventory levels fall at this rate.”

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

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