Williamson County Home Appraisals See Decline Amid Market Changes

This year’s release of appraisal valuations from the Williamson Central Appraisal District revealed a noticeable decrease in the overall average appraisal values for residential properties compared to recent years.

An Overview of the Decline

“Values have definitely come down,” said Chief Appraiser Alvin Lankford during an update to commissioners on June 4. “Mainly, [it’s] because the increase in interest rates slowed the market down, but also because builders aren’t constructing as many homes as prior years.”

The median value of residential homes in Williamson County for 2024 is $412,310, a slight drop from $414,869 in 2023, and a significant 12.9% decrease from $473,325 in 2022. Similarly, in Travis County, the median market value for residential properties in 2024 is $551,419, reflecting a 12.8% decline since 2022, according to a news release from the Travis Central Appraisal District.

Impact on Property Taxes

Market values themselves do not directly result in changes to property tax bills. Instead, these values determine a property owner’s portion of the total tax levy. The total tax amount is based on the budgets set by local governments, including cities, counties, and school districts.

Homeowners have the opportunity to challenge their appraisal valuations annually by filing a protest with their county’s appraisal district, with the deadline being May 15. This year, a total of 186,206 individual protests were filed in Travis County, and over 82,300 were filed in Williamson County. Each appraisal district reviews filings and evidence submitted, typically issuing a settlement. If a settlement is not accepted, a formal hearing will be scheduled.

Expected Annual Increase in Property Tax Value

While sales and property values have stabilized since 2022, residents can expect to see an annual increase of 10% to their property’s tax value. Lankford explained that this increase will continue until the market value and the taxable value align, as required by state tax code. As of 2024, the total market value for Williamson County is roughly $171 billion, while the total taxable value is set at approximately $133 billion.

Future Market Trends

Clare Knapp, a local housing economist with the Austin Board of Realtors, predicts that interest rates will remain flat for the rest of the year. “I don’t think that we’re going to see any significant movements in rates, especially over this year or even moving into 2025,” Knapp said. “If you’re a first-time buyer waiting on the sidelines now, well, you’re missing out on building wealth, too.”

Conclusion

The decline in appraisal values in Williamson County reflects broader market changes influenced by higher interest rates and reduced construction activity. While this offers a temporary reprieve for property tax assessments, homeowners should be prepared for ongoing adjustments until market and taxable values align. With interest rates expected to remain steady, now might be a strategic time for first-time buyers to enter the market and start building equity.

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