Santa Clara and San Mateo counties' property values reached record highs this year, according to assessment rolls for 2023-2024 released by the assessor's offices of both counties.
Santa Clara County's assessment roll grew by $41 billion, reaching a record $661.2 billion, while San Mateo County’s tax roll increased $19.8 billion to a record high of $307.8 billion. These values represent 6.65% and 6.87% increases, respectively, compared to last year.
The annual assessment roll provide a snapshot of property values as of Jan. 1 of this year. The rolls include the total value of all taxable real estate and business property in a county. Both counties attributed this year’s increase to continued recovery from the pandemic.
Santa Clara County Assessment Roll
According to Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone's office, the biggest reason for the increase were changes in property ownership, which accounted for $21.5 billion in added value. New construction was the second biggest factor, adding $6.8 billion to the assessment roll. Several large-scale construction projects contributed to the increase, including the Winchester Apartments in San Jose, which added $236.5 million to the roll. Google's Caribbean campus in Sunnyvale added $223.1 million, which raised the city's assessment roll 8.59% to $67.58 billion, making Sunnyvale the city with the largest property value increase.
Second to Sunnyvale is Monte Sereno, up 8.25% to $3.04 billion, followed by Mountain View, 7.87% to $44.28 billion. Los Gatos is up 7.72% to $18.05 billion; Santa Clara, 7.28% to $61.07 billion; San Jose, 6.52% to $246.18 billion; Morgan Hill, 6.34% to $13.14 billion; Palo Alto, 6.22% to $49.49 billion; Los Altos, 6.10% to $21.62 billion; Campbell, 5.78% to $13.91 billion; Los Altos Hills, 5.76% to $10.51 billion; Gilroy, 5.75% to $11.57 billion; Saratoga, 5.24% to $19.87 billion; Milpitas, 4.74% to $25.27 billion; and Cupertino, 4.57% to $32.30 billion. The assessment roll for the county's unincorporated area increased nearly 6.7% to $23.3 billion.
The assessment of business property (machinery, equipment, computers, fixtures) recorded an unprecedented increase of 9.6%. According to the report, Santa Clara County historically has the second-largest business property values in California.
“While residential property values have stabilized recently, high mortgage interest rates and inflation have reduced consumer buying power. With residential sales volume down 20% and office vacancy increasing due in part to remote work, the volatile and unpredictable nature of Santa Clara County real estate causes us to question the future of property values,” Stone said in a statement.
San Mateo County Assessment Roll
San Mateo County's assessment roll reached a historical high for the 13th consecutive year, according to County Assessor Mark Church. The county's combined annual assessment rolls represent a $166.8 billion increase compared to 13 years ago.
The secured portion of the roll, which includes real property (land and structures), increased in value by 6.53%. The unsecured portion, which includes business assets, such as office furniture, machinery, equipment, boats and airplanes and other business property in leased locations leased locations throughout San Mateo County, increased in value by 15.74%.
Total assessed values increased in all 20 cities and unincorporated areas of the county, with unincorporated areas seeing a growth rate of 7.23%.
San Mateo County cities with the greatest growth in assessed value are Brisbane, up 17.34% to $3.75 billion; South San Francisco, 11.44% to $30.81 billion; Atherton, 8.15% to $15.38 billion; San Bruno, 7.84% to $10.69 billion and Burlingame, 7.58% to $16.36 billion.
The assessors of both counties reviewed properties affected by declining values in 2022. Santa Clara County made proactive reductions of 19,000 properties. San Mateo County reviewed over 10,000 properties that could have been affected by declining values.
Church's office indicated the decline experienced by many properties purchased at the peak of the market and high mortgage rates for those with adjustable rates could result in a higher rate of foreclosures next year, but noted currently, the total number of default notices is still relatively small compared to the high in 2009 when 5,058 were recorded.
"Although mortgage interest rates increased rapidly in 2022, recorded foreclosures are still historically low, indicating financial resilience of local residential real estate equity, continued high employment levels, and the strength of the local economy," said Church in a statement.
Jim Hamilton, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, which represents nearly 5,000 Realtors and affiliate members on the Peninsula and in the south bay, maintains a similar positive outlook. He noted many of the cities in both counties with the top assessment value are in the association's service area.
"Higher mortgage rates and inflation are concerning, but don't signal a crisis for our region. Silicon Valley's economy remains strong and its many assets, including weather, top education institutions, and its diverse culture continue to attract families to the area," Hamilton said. "Since home prices here are much higher than the national average, they typically rise faster in good times and dip more when the economy is down, but the housing market is resilient. We've seen prices generally decline, but they are rising again."
Hamilton said he is concerned about the region's lack of housing.
"Realtors have time and again raised our concern about the region's severe housing shortage to our legislators. As long as this remains a problem, properties here will continue to increase in value, but this may again lead to home prices rising to unsustainable levels."
Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR) is a professional trade organization representing 5,000 Realtors and affiliate members engaged in the real estate business on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. SILVAR promotes the highest ethical standards of real estate practice, serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners, and represents the interests of property owners in Silicon Valley.
The term Realtor is a registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
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