Property values increase in Riverside County

POSTED: 05:24 PM PDT Jul 02, 2013    UPDATED: 06:00 PM PDT Jul 02, 2013 
Palm Desert, Calif. -

Assessed property values in Riverside County are going up for the first time in five years.

Median home prices in Riverside County went up by more than 25 percent in 2012.

"As supply decreases, and there are fewer homes, demand increases, price goes up," said Ann Ritchie from the California Desert Association of Realtors. "We've been seeing buyers come back into the market. They feel like the market has bottomed. "

The newly assessed values have resulted in a nearly four percent boost to the county's tax role this year from property taxes.

"It is good news," said Michele Martinez-Barrera from the Riverside County Clerks Office. "It's showing that the market is on the rise."

The value Riverside County assesses to homes increased by eight billion dollars from 2012 to 2013 resulting in more money for local governments; some more than others.

"Assessed property values are up which is good news for residents, and businesses," said Palm Desert City Manager John Wohlmuth. "It's not the greatest news for the city of Palm Desert's budget. We only get about seven percent of the property tax because we were incorporated in 1973. We fall into one of these categories called low property tax cities. Most cities get in the ball park of 25 percent. We get seven percent."

Increased property values means increased property taxes for home owners.

In recent years, about half the properties in Riverside County had their values - and property taxes - reduced to reflect the depressed housing market. Now, the values and the taxes are going up for many.

California's Proposition 13 ensures no home will be taxed at a value greater than it was purchased for, excepting for a two percent annual increase if the home is worth more than the purchase price.