|Assessments for townhouses, like this community in Annandale, rose more than single-family houses.|
Only three other “zip code areas” have average assessments that have increased more: Centreville (8.39 percent), Chantilly (8.34 percent), and Reston (8.26 percent). The lowest increases are in Clifton (3.3 percent). The average increase in assessments is 8.19 percent in Falls Church and 6.12 percent in Alexandria.
Approximately 88 percent of residential properties countywide increased in assessed values over the past year. Condominiums and townhouses, which are plentiful in Annandale, had the greatest increase in assessed value.
“During the national recession, foreclosure activity particularly impacted the townhouse and condo market, decreasing the value of property. Real estate sales in the past year were particularly good for those market segments, and 2013 showed a continuing rebound in value. Our assessments are simply reflecting this trend,” explained Tim Shirocky, director of the Real Estate Division in the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration.
The countywide average of the assessed value of all homes is $497,962, an increase of 6.54 percent over 2013. Countywide averages are $598,711 (up 5.82 percent) for single-family detached homes, $370,849 (up 8.39 percent) for townhouse/duplex properties, and $247,943 (up 10.51 percent) for condos.
Real estate assessment notices were mailed to property owners on Feb. 25 and are also available online.
The assessed value of real estate provides the basis for the fiscal year 2014 real estate tax rate, which will be set by the Board of Supervisors before May 1. The proposed budget submitted to the BoS Feb. 25 by County Executive Edward Long would maintain the 2014 tax rate at the 2013 level, which was $1.085 per $100 of assessed value.
Assessments on residential properties are based on several factors, including sales in the neighborhood; economic factors; whether the property has been improved; and the characteristics of the property, such as its size, age, and amenities.
Commercial properties show an overall equalization decrease of 0.10 percent. That decline is primarily the result of a decrease of 2.93 percent in office elevator properties and a 2.41 percent decrease for other office properties due to lower rents and higher vacancy, partially offset by value increases in multifamily apartments of 3.59 percent.
Property owners can file assessment appeals through the Department of Tax Administration or the Board of Equalization.