Houston Home Values In Key Areas On The Rise, But Overall Flat

Harris County property tax appraisals are either in the mail or already in the mailbox for most Houston-area homeowners. While most home values haven't gone up much this year, some have and it's mostly because of the area's robust real estate market. The housing demand in certain parts of the city is driving home prices up.

The area of town and the individual property will determine how much more your property taxes are going up.

Guy Griscom is assistant chief appraiser with the Harris County Appraisal District. He says nearly 70 percent of residents with homes worth more than $500,000 dollars will see an increase of about 10-12 percent.

“Sixty-nine-and-a-half percent of them are increasing in that range, but 26 percent of them are [going to have] no change. They’re gonna be basically the same as they were in 2012. So it’s not every area with that level of value, it’s primarily out west in the energy corridor, and then down around the medical center.”

Some individual properties will go up more, others won’t go up at all. Grissom says increased property taxes include renovations and new construction and not just re-appraisal.

“The area that’s goinna be down is just south of [Hobby Airport]. And then, as you swing around east, all the way to the Ship Channel, properties at $150,000 dollars or less in that region, generally, are gonna see their values go down.”

An increase in property values means more money for the taxing jurisdictions, the city, county and school districts throughout the county. He adds homeowners have until May 31 to file a protest, either in person or online.  

Meanwhile, Houston’s improving economy means realtors like Tim Surratt have been busy:

“And it’s in every segment really. It’s whether it’s commercial, residential, retail, leasing — it really doesn’t matter what it is. When you add 112,000 people to the city in the last 12 months, and you do that consecutively year-after-year, you’ve got to provide housing for them.”

And with some 24,000 realtors helping buy and sell residential property, Danny Frank, chairman of the Houston Association of Realtors says while there may be more buyers than sellers:

“Right now, we’re seeing multiple offers on single family dwellings and on condos all over the place in the Greater Houston market, which bodes well for the entire economic development of what’s going on in Houston. You know, Gov. Perry stated that Texas is the fastest growing state in the country right now. And I think most of those people are probably coming to the Greater Houston area because our job market is better that Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.”