Palm Beach real estate values vaulted 46% in 2021, property appraiser’s new estimates show
Following a record-setting year of sales, estimated values in town jumped from $28 billion in 2020 to to $40.77 billion, a new report from the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office shows.
Palm Beach Daily News
Last year’s uber-frenzied real estate market in Palm Beach launched sale prices to record highs, and that hyperactivity is reflected in the breathtaking vault in official estimates of property values on the island just released by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office.
Overall property values in town are up nearly 46% to a record high, based on the latest preliminary estimates prepared for the 2022 tax rolls and submitted to the state by county Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks.
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The “total market value” of Palm Beach real estate is preliminarily estimated at $40.77 billion, compared to the $28 billion estimate Jacks made a year ago. The figures were based on “market conditions” as of Jan. 1 each year, according to a statement accompanying Jacks’ latest report.
The estimated property values released last year reflected a rise of about 13% over the 2020 estimates. And from 2019 to 2020 — before the coronavirus pandemic shifted the real estate market into overdrive — estimated values rose just 2.4%.
The vast majority of properties in Palm Beach are residential rather than categorized for commercial or other uses — and that fact was the major contributing factor in the jump in values.
Total residential sales volume on the island set an all-time record when it hit $4 billion last year, up from $2.4 billion the year before, according to sales analyses prepared by Frisbie Real Estate at the Corcoran Group.
Jacks’ office just estimated the island’s overall residential values — including single-family homes, multi-family buildings, condominiums and co-operative units — at $36.22 billion. A year ago, that figure was $24.63 billion. The residential figures do not include vacant land zoned for residential use.
The town’s developed commercial property, excluding vacant properties, for 2021 was estimated at an overall value of $2.67 billion, compared to $2.05 billion last year.
In making their residential valuations, Jacks’ analysts focus partly on comparing sales within individual neighborhoods and then adjusting values as a result.
“We’re looking at the general overall trend, based on a range of sales,” Jacks has said about the process.
Estimates counted new construction projects in Palm Beach
Jacks’ estimates took into account not only the prices fetched in sales but also the value of new construction projects finished in 2021.
In all, the value of houses and other construction completed in Palm Beach fell slightly, from $328.65 million in 2020 to $319.67 million last year, according to the preliminary estimates.
The overall jump in values on the island reflected a similar rise across the county, where the combined estimated market value of properties jumped by almost $100 billion — from $308.68 billion a year ago to $404.32 billion in the latest report.
“Palm Beach County’s overall market value is a snapshot of the big picture,” Jacks said in a prepared statement. “A strong residential market, as well as a commercial market that has rebounded after the uncertainty of COVID-19, has fueled a jump in value.”
Palm Beach’s escalation in the number of sales and prices last year continued a trend that emerged in May 2020, about six weeks after the Town Council in mid-March issued its first emergency declaration related to the health crisis.
Read what 2020 was like:Palm Beach home sales skyrocket in the first year of the coronavirus
Several factors contributed to the town’s home-sale spurt, including Florida’s favorable tax picture compared to other states.
But the pandemic also brought buyers from densely populated areas to Palm Beach in search of spacious homes suited to outdoor living year-round, according to real estate agents and brokers. The work-from-anywhere mania sparked by the pandemic was an added factor for buyers, who ripped through the island’s available properties, plunging housing inventory to record lows.
Palm Beach’s ‘taxable values’ also on the rise
Jacks’ office submitted its latest overall valuation figures to Florida’s Department of Revenue as well as county taxing authorities on June 28. The figures included preliminary estimates of the town’s “taxable values,” which start with the base market-value figure and then factor in homestead exemptions, other discounts and tax caps.
The taxable-value estimates will be used by the town and a number of other entities — including the county commission and school board — to help figure their budgets and set property tax rates over the next few months.
That process — which includes estimated tax bills mailed to taxpayers by Aug. 4 — is typically finished by the end of September because final tax bills must be mailed to property owners by Nov. 1, according to state law.
“We all see news stories about properties in Palm Beach trading for prices that far outpace previous years. While market values in the Town of Palm Beach have gone up (about 45%) from 2021 to 2022, taxable values have seen an increase of 18.07%,” said Dino Maniotis, the tax roll coordinator in Jacks’ office. “The rise in taxable values was tempered by the 3% value cap on homesteaded properties and the 10% value cap on all other properties.”
The total estimated “taxable value” of the town’s real estate jumped from $21.56 billion a year ago to $25.57 billion this year. By November of last year, Palm Beach’s final taxable value in the 2021 tax rolls had settled at about $21.66 billion.
The Town Council will review for the first time its upcoming budget at a workshop on July 14. The budget and tax rate will then be discussed at a meeting tentatively set for Sept. 14 and another on Sept. 22.
In the estimates released by Jacks’ office last week, estimated taxable values countywide jumped 15.19%, year over year, to $255.33 billion.
Five municipalities in the county saw a higher jump in estimated taxable values than Palm Beach, led by Westlake with a hike of nearly 75%, followed by Manalapan (28.16%), Village of Golf (22.83%), Glenridge (18.38%) and Ocean Ridge (18.26%).