2009 Estimated Property Valuations

Estimated Orange County property valuations for 2009 have now been published and may be accessed here:


My estimated valuation increased by about 33% over my current valuation and by about 62% over the 2004 valuation, yet it still remains slightly less than what I actually paid for my house three years ago.

Update: The county suggests using http://server2.co.orange.nc.us/Addresses/ for faster GIS searching.




I can't load the page! Either the site is swamped or is just malfunctioning like the county GIS system is on most days that I try to use it lately.

It was malfunctioning earlier this morning as well -- I think today was the first day the valuations were published and the site can only handle 1.01 concurrent users ;)

I hate to say this, but I could only get to it using Explorer.

Our new valuation is $9,000 more than the amount we bought our unit for in 2006!  (But $4,000 less than we refinanced for in 2007.)  The valuation was certainly less before, but I don't recall how much.Honestly, I've never heard of the value being above (or even very close to) the market rate at least in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  What the hell?

Ah, now I see where you were getting the previous values from and so I can say that our property is prposed to go up 20% from the current valuation.

Well technically it is supposed to be assessed at market value.  I think we've just benefited from having property values rise more quickly than the assessment periods kept up with.  

Just got my digits and had to share b/c of the shock:  $32K more than what I paid 3 yrs ago, and $13K more than it was appraised at last year! 

As expected it went up but not as much as I thought it might.  The estimated valuation increased by 23% over my current valuation and 36% over the 2004 valuation. Over the first valuation (1994), it's up 91%.

Fred,You and others have referred to valuations of two years ago but the last revaluation was 4 years ago.  What valuation were you referring to?

my data runs 93-96, 97-2000, 01-04 and 05-08. So the number in effect in 04 began in 01, and it changed in 05.  We will get the official 09 number sometie in January.

Realtors are ethically & professionally bound to provide information that could affect a property's value - such as the distinct possibility that an airport could be located next door. Studies have shown that a property devaluation of 25-30% can be expected. There are a lot of properties near potential airport sites that are grossly overvalued in this revaluation. The cost to the county coffers for this airport situation will run into the many, many millions of dollars. The hit to property values is absolutely real in the market-place & county figures need to reflect that. This is a financial disaster, sponsored by UNC and their allies in the legislature. 

could any realtor claim that an airport could be located anywhere in OC, other than the ones currently operating?  A consultant's report, according to one realtor that I asked, does not trigger a disclosure requirement.  The ball's in UNC's court, no pun intended!HWA has never seemed to reduce our property values, even when they authorized the jets - that was a major concern of many.

Assuming an airport reduces nearby property values by 25-30% as Mark (probably correctly) states,  doesn't this assumption also mean that closing HWA will increase property values in that area by 25-30% ? This would mean a net wash for the county, right? 

However,A new airport would be built before HWA closed. Also the threat of several sites (all reducing property values) will apparently continue for a while. Plus HWA is a much smaller, quieter, and less busy airport than the 24/7, 6300 foot runway new proposal.   

This is all hypothetical, but presumably there are more parcels near Horace Williams (and probably therefore more overall taxbase) than near any single proposed airport site in rural OC.  But, it is hard to imagine that any of the scenarios would increase porperty values by anything like the amount that various governments would be spending on building an airport.

is that the real estate market has already been affected by UNC's Talbert & Bright Report which identified many potential airport sites and UNC's stated intent to site an airport.

A study has designated potential airport sites. An airport authority will soon be formed. The citizenry is aware of all this. This translates to real devaluation in the marketplace.

Didn't UNC say that once the authority is up and running, they will do site selection?  This means to me that nothing in the consultants report is binding at this point.  Talk to some realtors and see what they say.

Signs saying "No Airport" dot the landscape. Newspaper articles appear everyday. What's a RE agent to say?

We own 2 properties in the Bingham Township, and the value has not increased a dime.

The situation is clear. A study done just 3 years ago designated some sites as highly probable for an airport. Nothing about the geography and/or the siting criteria has changed since then. The land is just as flat & just as far away from UNC. In the real world, a potential homebuyer will factor in the very real possibility that the peaceful rural home they are looking at could end up next to a runway with jets flying 24/7.

If the study has been taken off the table, it means nothing until another study says UNC will consider a set of particular sites.  If a realtor is telling you that a study that UNC no longer considers operative causes them to have to disclose something, I would try some other realtors.

Earth to Hillsborough: the real estate craze is over.  I think the valuations are way high.  Maybe the county would get the values closer if the county had to buy your home for 95% of their valuation if you disagreed.  Reasonably, if their number is right, they could then resell it for a 5% profit.  I suspect that would focus them a bit more.

If the study is no longer operative, then that is a relief. That would mean that the sites chosen by the study will not host an airport. I think UNC said they would start a new site selection process. Any sixth grader could tell you that a new airport search would use the same very sensible criteria used just three years ago & would reach the same conclusions. Hint: The powers-that-be want their own airport in Orange County & the 2005 Talbert & Bright Report concluded that RDU was the best site for our local air travel needs. Could it be that the major players would like to see a new site search that eliminates the RDU choice? 

What it means is that THOSE sites are not on the table at the present time.  If they appear agin, then that's another story, but you can't say that today, UNC plans to pick one of those sites.What UNC might do was never the point; it's what realtors are obligated to do based on a UNC decision, whenever UNC's advisory board makes it.  As there is no board today, well, I think most people get it.

.....come on now, do you think some new undiscovered site is going to magically appear after a study by the preeminent airport consulting firm on the east cost spent two years (at least) studying the matter? The creation of the legislation and airport authority with its jurisdiction limited to Orange County in an of itself creates the expectation that an airport is planned and UNC will pick one of those sites whatever it is called. The UNC retrenchment amounts to an attempt to play chess while the community organizations are still playing checkers. At the end of the day, the sites will be the same just with new designations.

You still don't get the issue I'm discussing.  Bottom line: there are no sites under active consideration.  When that changes, the realtors will have something to reportto their clients.  It's really just that simple.

don't get the issue I am discussing. Bottom line:  chapelhillnews.com | Thorp: UNC needs airport, 10/15/08 

They cannot erase a recent study that used reasonable criteria. That's a shell game and may seem clever in the ivory tower. But out in the real world, realtors have to divulge the information and homebuyers will react in a predictable manner.

Gerry,  do you know how the software and the company that does the property revaluations  actually uses potential changes, whether an airport, or, in our case, the widening of South Columbia St?  If the software actually takes these changes into account, how does it evaluate their probability?  In our case, unlike the airport issue, the widening of South Columbia has been endorsed by CH town councils and NCDOT in various forms for 30 years, yet I have never heard of any adjustments to valutations, either up or down, for properties adjacent to S. Columbia. 

I have no info to help answer your question

TBlake's point resonates where most others do not, excepting Fred's which are based in reality:  The proliferation of No Airport signs could indeed impact property values for miles around.  I'm most concerned about their potential effect on property owners who might prefer not to get all riled up at this time.  Why spend the rest of the winter in a state of high alert and false alarm?  Really!  Of course that report is "operative."  It's the only one they've got until the next report comes along.  The local papers have nothing else to refer to.  The University might fine-tune their selection criteria in an expensive second pass at a winning play, one which could challenged on ethical grounds, but they already have what they want for now.  This is why some people are furious.  Those with a need to know ought to demand a look at the operative RFP the instant it's posted.  

Which has been the problem all along about the facts of the matter. We are fighting an amorphous (seemingly intentionally so) intent backed up with some real teeth. It is a rear guard action against some pretty powerful interests. What to do?Should we wait and see? If the eminent domain letters go out, it is already too late. Or, should we engage the court of public opinion and empower our bypassed county representatives to make plans and adjustments with the tools left at our disposal?When we took the second course of action, we risked everything that came along with publicity, including reduced property values. That is a fact and it is real, despite Fred's tortured "ask a realtor" logic. The other fact is my yearly property tax bill and the recent reevaluation. Thanks to UNC, the NC Legislature and the fact that they have placed us and the county in an untenable position, my property is worth less on the open market than they are changing me for.Will I dispute my bill? Probably not, because that would deprive the county of funds they are counting on to help address this injustice. Will I make my concerns known to them? Yes.I have pondered a class action suit against the university to recapture the reduced property values and time/energy spent fighting this airport because the absurd and torturous way they have driven this process and bypassed my local elected representatives. I wonder if John Edwards (champion of the little guy) is available? :) 

who put up all those signs for no reason? There sure are a lot of dumb bumpkins out there. How do they come up with these wild delusions out of thin air?

This all gets back to a need to really search out the news when one is thinking of buying property.  Just because real estate agents don't have to disclose what is on a study that UNC says is no longer operative does not mean that buyers should ignore all sources of information out there, including this one. 

Mark, I said nothing about dumb bumpkins with wild delusions.  I didn't even imply such a thing.  That's your language, not mine.  I respect your argument and wish to keep things in perspective, not fan the fires.  Quite the opposite. 

The web server used to provide the 2009 preliminary property valuations experienced unusually high traffic this week.  The web inquiry has been slow, and in some cases unavailable, since the proposed valuations were published on the website.

The offices of the Tax Assessor and Information Technologies have addressed this issue by migrating the 2009 valuation search tool to a faster server.  The updated webpage for searching for proposed new valuations is http://server2.co.orange.nc.us/Addresses/index.asp.

Members of the public can also reach this webpage by clicking on the 2009 Preliminary Property Valuation
 link on the Tax Assessor's website.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Todd Jones
Chief Information Officer
Orange County Information Technology

Todd,Will you be publishing the equalization tax rates so that property owners can compute what their current tax bill would be under the new valuations?

Dan, you mean the Revenue Neutral tax ratehttp://ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_159/gs_159-11.html"(e)       In each year in which a general reappraisal of real property has been conducted, the budget officer shall include in the budget, for comparison purposes, a statement of the revenue‑neutral property tax rate for the budget. The revenue‑neutral property tax rate is the rate that is estimated to produce revenue for the next fiscal year equal to the revenue that would have been produced for the next fiscal year by the current tax rate if no reappraisal had occurred. To calculate the revenue‑neutral tax rate, the budget officer shall first determine a rate that would produce revenues equal to those produced for the current fiscal year and then increase the rate by a growth factor equal to the average annual percentage increase in the tax base due to improvements since the last general reappraisal. This growth factor represents the expected percentage increase in the value of the tax base due to improvements during the next fiscal year. The budget officer shall further adjust the rate to account for any annexation, deannexation, merger, or similar event. "The Equalization Rate has to do with whether assessments are at market value (corrected from earlier post)

If I understand your question correctly, I believe those rates have yet to be set and will be handled by the BOCC as part of the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year budget process.  You may want to contact the Office of the Tax Assessor for more information. Their number is: 245-2100Regards, Todd Jones Chief Information Officer Orange County Information Technology

According to that website my house is assessed at almost 15% above what I paid for it 2.5 years ago.  I hope the assessments are typically above market value because if not then I suspect I'm paying too much since I doubt I could get for it anywhere near 15% above what I paid for it 2.5 years ago. The newly assessed value is 22% above the old assessed value.  If that means I'll pay 22% more in taxes then I'll be paying over $5,600 per year for a 1,050 square food condo.  Oh, and that doesn't count property taxes on my car.  Is this Chapel Hill or Manhattan?

"then I'll be paying over $5,600 per year for a 1,050 square food condo"Actually you'll be paying over $5,600 to have firemen and police on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, curbside trash pick-up and recycling, not to mention the schools, parks and recs, the library, animal control, all the things I'm forgetting since I don't do this professionally. That comes to a under $500 a month for all those services.

LOL...you can present property taxation as a value proposition the minute you allow individuals to turn down your offer.

The newly assessed value is 22% above the old assessed value.  If that means I'll pay 22% more in taxes then I'll be paying over $5,600 per year for a 1,050 square food condo.  Oh, and that doesn't count property taxes on my car.  Is this Chapel Hill or Manhattan?

It only means you will pay 22% more if the county (and town if you live in a municipality) leaves the tax rate the same as it is now. If they use the revenue neutral rate you will pay more than you do now if your property has appreciated more than average, less than you do now if your property has appreciated less than average. To figure out the average increase in thewhole tax base, you need to add in cars, commercial property, utilities, railroads, etc. That figure may or may not already be available.  The last two revaluations in Wake County my county property tax bill dropped.

So either I got a really good deal in Oct 2000 or houses in Chapel Hill have really appreciated. John Rees

John,According to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's website, the average appreciation of a house in NC from 2000 to 2008 was 45%.  That is for the state as a whole.  So it isn't surprising (at least to me) that Chapel Hill would be higher than the statewide average but that difference for your house (53% compared to 45%) doesn't seem too extraordinary.


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