Latest Zillow real estate data indicates that Suffolk County property taxes may still have a long way to go up.
While there have been many debates over the trajectory of the US real estate market over the last year, some areas still appear poised for price appreciation. When property values go up, so do tax assessments, and property tax bills.
According to the NAHB, Wells Fargo, and real estate professionals, the sentiment is overwhelmingly positive that good things are ahead for most of the American real estate market. Buyers and lenders are both bullish. More buying activity is expected over the next six months, and beyond.
As always real estate is local. Every local market is at a slightly different phase in the real estate cycle. Analysts believe that places like Miami may already be suffering from over-building and will soon be suffering from over-supply. Zillow’s latest forecast predicts that once sizzling San Francisco, California is already peaking, and reports rents falling, with house prices to follow later this year.
Suffolk County real estate appears to be in a much different position. This may be partially due to the dynamics of the Hamptons, but also because of the long and slow backlog of foreclosures. While some US housing markets are already seeing property prices matching or topping previous highs, Zillow reports that the average Suffolk County home value in early 2017 was just $371,200. That’s down substantially from the March 2007 high of $438,000. Local home prices have risen 7.3% over the last year, and are projected to rise at least another 3.5% over the next 12 months.
Even if tax rates do not go up, and if locals are able to keep key deductions like mortgage interest, and state and local property taxes on their federal returns, assessments will rise. Over the next several years that could mean substantially higher bills on the eastern end of Long Island.
This makes it even more critical for local homeowners to take advantage of the appeal and grievance process to reduce their property taxes, and keep them fair. It will be much easier going forward with a lower baseline assessment and bill, rather than attempting to roll back years of faulty increases and to receive a rebate for over-payments.