Kurt Hildebrand

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February 19, 2013
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Changes in value drive market in 2012

Douglas County saw some movement in its top 10 most valuable properties during 2012.

Assessor Doug Sonnemann said the construction of the new Walmart increased the value of that company's property in Douglas County to $8.8 million. That moved it into the top 10 for the first time.

The purchase of two Lake Tahoe residential properties bumped Bently Family Ltd., up from seventh to sixth.

Sonnemann said the market during the year seemed to be better in the first half than in the second.

"The market is still trying to find its feet," he said.

The number of homes sold the same year as they were built jumped to 28 during the year, up from three in 2011 and five in 2010.

He pointed out that eight new homes built in 2010 sold during 2011, while 11 homes built in 2011 sold during 2012.

The number of foreclosures dropped off in 2012 with 92 trustee sales.

Sonnemann said that the number of sales during the year increased in number and there was more activity in the sale of new housing.

"We're looking a little better in that area," he said.

Douglas County's total assessed value for 2013-14 is expected to drop 4.12 percent to $2.45 billion, lower than the county's valuation was in 2005-06. County property owners lost $1 billion in assessed value in six years due to the recession.

Developable land was looking like a better investment in 2012 with 27 lots sold in Sunridge for $775,000. Carson Valley Inn owner Mike Pegram purchased parcels in two Minden developments and has been able to turn them around, Sonnemann said.

The Stateline casinos took a turn for the better in 2012, with Harrah's showing an increase in value this year.

"In the last 20 years Stateline has always seemed to go down a little bit every year," he said. "This year it's up a little bit."

The other indicator of value is the amount of tax abatement properties have built up due to the recession.

State law placed a cap on the increase in value a property owner may be charged in any given year in response to the huge increases in property value resulting from the housing boom in the early part of this century. But despite the cap, the law requires that property value continue to accrue, so that even with property values dropping, some owners found their property was continuing to gain value on the tax rolls.

Clerk-treasurer Ted Thran said that in some parts of Carson Valley, abatement has reached parity with home values, but that Lake Tahoe property continues to have a considerable difference between total assessed and taxed value.

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The Record Courier Updated Feb 20, 2013 11:36AM Published Feb 19, 2013 03:49PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.