About half of Sedgwick County's homeowners will see no change in their property value when notices go out next week, appraiser Mike Borchard told commissioners Wednesday.
About 23 percent of homeowners will see an increase in value — typically about 3 percent — and 25 percent will see a decrease — also typically 3 percent.
Values won't change for 71 percent of commercial properties. Values will go up for about 15 percent of commercial properties and down for about 14 percent. Those changes will be about 5 percent up or down, Borchard said.
The county will mail out 219,538 property value notices next week. Informal hearings for those who disagree with the value of their property begin March 16. The deadline to appeal a valuation is April 1.
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Realtors say the county's numbers reflect what they're seeing.
"There's been very little movement in the prices that homes have been selling for in the last couple of years," said Gary Walker, residential general manager at J.P. Weigand & Sons.
John McKenzie, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate, agreed.
"We've held ourselves pretty flat (on prices)," he said.
Walker said homeowners aren't winning as many appeals as they once did because assessed values are much closer to selling prices.
"The county has been doing a very good job of assessing values based on comparables," he said. "Years ago, all they did was just take a percentage increase based on a price increase from whatever source they were getting it from.
"In recent years, they have done a commendable job of looking at comparable sales in the area."
Property sales for both residential and commercial dropped last year to 9,547, down from 10,508 in 2009 and from 15,767 in 2006, according to the county.
"We're seeing a lack of buyer confidence," McKenzie said.
Two recent snowstorms, $3.15-a-gallon gas and increased grocery prices aren't helping, he said.
New home construction also was down, Borchard told commissioners. There were 893 new homes built last year compared with 1,157 in 2009 and 2,278 in 2006.
The median sale price of a home last year was about $130,000 compared with just less than $125,000 in 2009. While home prices have plummeted nationally the past five years, they've remained fairly steady in the Wichita metropolitan area, Borchard said.
On the commercial side, 408 properties sold last year. That compares with 434 in 2009 and 844 in 2006. The number of building permits for commercial properties fell from 1,838 in 2009 to 1,028 last year.