Property values ​​stabilize in Collier in a ‘softening market’

After huge spikes in 2022 and 2023, real estate values ​​in Collier County have stabilized — at least overall.

The preliminary tax roll for 2024 shows that nationwide they fell 1.2% to $216.9 billion, compared to $219.6 billion last year.

It would be the first time in more than ten years that the province as a whole has seen a decline.

However, the likelihood of a 1% to 2% increase is higher once all the data is collected, said Jennifer Blaje Plock, director of tax roll compliance/data management at the Collier County Property Appraiser’s office.

The front roll is just that – and the last roll will look different. Especially this year in Collier County, with the later arrival of sales data from the Florida Department of Revenue, Plock said.

Counties with larger swings in values ​​receive their information first, and that’s not where Collier is this year, she explained.

In the province, property values ​​rose 41.2% in 2022, following a buying frenzy, and then another 18.5% in 2023, following Hurricane Ian. Now it’s a different story.

Ian caused some heavy damage, especially near the coastline, in September 2022 as it swept past – before making landfall in neighboring Lee County as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane. That led to some significant land-only sales ‘ which drove up the value in the aftermath of the storm, along with other factors that contributed to last year’s spike.

“We saw a lot of demos,” Plock said.

Now, the county’s property values ​​are rising “at a declining rate,” she said.

She added: “It behaves more like a real market.”

Matthew Simmons, managing partner of Maxwell, Hendry & Simmons, a commercial and residential appraisal and consulting firm based in Fort Myers, agreed.

“Most residential and commercial submarkets are flat,” he said.

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Even at nearly $217 billion, the total value of all properties in Collier is still 4.6% higher than in Lee, Simmons points out.

Despite the changing market, Collier saw an increase in rateable values ​​between 2023 and 2024.

“Taxable values ​​often still rise in flat or declining markets because they are just lagging behind values ​​and often still catching up when the market shifts,” said Simmons. “One of the benefits of this, from a tax jurisdiction perspective, is that it reduces volatility in municipal budgets.”

From a property owner’s perspective, however, it is “absolutely annoying” when property values ​​decline but the taxable value still increases, he said.

In a more stable market, assessed values ​​may begin to overtake market values, through the annual tax increases allowed under state law, after any exemptions, Plock said.

Local governments, including the county, cities and school district, will use the preliminary tax data as a starting point as they plan their budgets for next year.

The estimated value of a property takes into account any limits or maximums on taxes. From there, the taxable value is determined by subtracting any exemptions, and that is used as the basis for property taxes.

Taxable values ​​continued to rise across the country

Nationwide, taxable values ​​rose by more than 9% to more than $150 billion. That included $2.89 billion in new construction, which was down about 1% in value from 2023, after two years of significant growth.

Taxable values ​​increased in each of the cities and for each fire district. In part, this reflects the loss of tax caps after properties change hands, Simmons said.

“For properties that have been owned for a very long time, the 3% homestead and 10% non-homestead limit adds up significantly over time and results in a rateable value well below fair value,” he said .

The city of Naples saw the largest increase in taxable value this year: 10.4%.

“It’s part of that reconquest,” Plock said. “Catching up.”

With taxable values ​​rising, she emphasized that the county and cities can generate more money at the same millage or property tax rate, or choose to lower their tax rates, with the decisions to be made by their elected leaders in the coming months.

She doesn’t expect taxable values ​​to change as much as market values ​​in the final roll.

Here is a preliminary overview of market value changes in the three cities, which are likely to improve:

  • In Naples they rose 0.39% to $54.1 billion.
  • On Marco Island, they fell 4.67% to $22.6 billion.
  • In Everglades City, they rose 2.21% to $184.1 million.

Outside of the cities, unincorporated area values ​​are estimated at more than $140 billion, which would be down 1.23% from last year, but this too is likely to change for the better with the completion of the docket, Plock said .

New construction added more than $701.5 million in market value in Naples, nearly $252.6 million in Marco and about $1.2 million in Everglades City.

Outside of cities, the province has gained $2.19 billion in value from new construction, down nearly 14% from 2023.

The final docket will be filed with the Florida Department of Revenue on July 1.

The department must approve the role before it is certified. Annual property tax returns are mailed by November 1st each year.