Summit County reappraisal sees 4.26 percent drop in Twinsburg property values

by Conner Howard | Reporter Published:

Akron -- A majority of communities in Summit County are experiencing declining property values in the wake of the latest sextennial reappraisal of home values by the Summit County Fiscal Office, with only Hudson and Twinsburg Township showing increases.

The roughly 6,085 owner-occupied households in the city of Twinsburg are expected to see a drop of about 4.26 percent when the appraisals arrive in late August.

Records released by Summit County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise show that average real estate value in the county is expected to drop by 2.3 percent overall as a result of the reappraisal, which is done every six years and updated every three.

Scalise said a major factor for the decline in Twinsburg and other areas of the county is the decline in value of condominiums, many of which are sold in large proportions in Twinsburg.

"In Twinsburg, what we have is an average decline in value of 4.26 percent and when I look at the breakdown, that is primarily due to a majority of condos in the area," Scalise said. "It's pretty much the same as we saw in 2011 in the triennial update; that condos are losing value faster than single-family homes."

Planning and Community Development Director Larry Finch said the city's average value drop can be attributed to the lingering effects of the housing market crash of the early 2000's, which can still be felt by homeowners today.

"The values generally reflect the housing bubble burst and the ramifications of that," Finch said. "I think it's a little late in the game that [the County] finally got around to doing the revisions and showing the impacts of the down market. It's just reflecting what we've known for some time, that housing prices in all of Northeast Ohio declines because of the housing bubble."

In the wake of the reappraisal, Twinsburg homeowners have little recourse but to be patient and hope the market recovers and boosts their resell value, according to Finch.

"It depends on when you bought your home and how long you're willing to wait before you try to sell," Finch said. "If you can wait, I'm sure the market will recover eventually to the point where you'll get everything back."

Reminderville is projected to decline by 3.32 percent and Twinsburg Township will see an increase of about .54 percent -- one of only two communities in the county to see an increase (Hudson, a 2.36 percent hike).

Township manager Rob Kagler said reasons for the township's increase are unclear (there are about 1,103 households, not including 120 units in Akron-Metro Housing Authority, in the township), but the recent reappraisal marks a stability, as the township lost average property value in previous county reappraisals.

"What is good for Twinsburg Township is that the decrease that occurred over the past two successive appraisals appears to have stabilized," Kagler said. "The .54 percent is not a dramatic increase, even Hudson's increase wasn't a dramatic increase, but at least it's not a decrease. We see it as good news for the township, but as far as what led to it and why it is what it is, that would probably require a lot more study and information from the county."

Although the village of Reminderville saw minor value growth in the Aurora Shores subdivision, the village saw an overall drop in the reappraisal, according to Scalise.

"We had an area [in Reminderville] that increased and that area was the Aurora Shores but we did have ranges of losses and decline in value as well due to condo sales," Scalise said. "So, there's a wide range there within Reminderville."

Twinsburg is experiencing the second largest decline in property values in the county, with Sagamore Hills seeing the largest drop at 4.62 percent. Other decreases range in value from a 1.08 percent drop in Green to a 3.99 percent drop in Coventry.

The sextennial reappraisal and the three-year update help ensure the accurate taxation of real property, according to Scalise.

Scalise added that home sales in the county have been "stagnating" in the last six years. Between 2008 and 2010, 10,228 property sales were recorded, with 10,800 sales recorded between 2011 and 2013.

Individual homeowners will receive specific valuations of their homes in late August. Scalise said road shows -- information sessions set up in area municipal facilities where homeowners can appeal their valuations -- are also planned beginning in September.

"My employees will go out into the community and taxpayers can physically come in and whether they think their [home] value is too high or too low, bring in documentation and show it to my staff," Scalise said. "We can come out and do a field check on the property. If you had a garage and it was torn down and we still have it listed as having a garage, that kind of thing.

"Also, if you still don't agree with your value, you can file with my Board of Revision for an appeal," Scalise added. "The filing period is between Jan. 1, 2015 and March 31, 2015. One of the things to note is if someone has had a recent appraisal done independently, to bring that documentation with them."

Email: choward@recordpub.com

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