Apr 15, 2022 - Real Estate

North Texas property taxes dropped in 2021, even as real estate prices soared

Data: ATTOM; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

The average tax on a single-family home in Dallas decreased 12.2% last year. That's despite the homebuying frenzy that drove up housing prices 16%, according to a new report from ATTOM.

The big picture: Total property taxes collected in 2021 rose only 1.6% nationwide — well down from the 5.4% increase from 2019 to 2020, and the second-smallest rise over the past five years, per Jennifer A. Kingson, author of Axios What's Next.

Zoom out: Property taxes rose steeply in cities like Nashville (27%), Milwaukee (18.6%), Baltimore (12.3%), Grand Rapids, Mich. (12.3%) and Louisville, Ky. (11%).

  • Other markets with the largest decreases in average property taxes included Pittsburgh (-35.1%), New Orleans (-20.2%), Houston (-18.7%) and Austin (-7.7%).

Why it matters: The results suggest that local tax authorities weren't keeping up with skyrocketing home price valuations — a trend that could change this year, leaving many homeowners with sticker shock when they get their new bills.

By the numbers: The aggregate amount of property taxes levied on the nation's 87 million single-family homes rose to $328 billion in 2021, up 1.6% from the $323 billion in 2020, according to ATTOM.

  • The average tax on a single-family home was $3,785 in 2021, up 1.8% from $3,719 in 2020.
  • The latest figures resulted in a nationwide effective tax rate of 0.9%, down from 1.1% in 2020. (The effective tax rate is the average annual property tax expressed as a percentage of the average estimated market value of homes in each geographic area.)

What they're saying: "In 2021, effective rates declined even as total taxes rose because home values went up far faster than taxes around the country," ATTOM explained. "Median values spiked by more than 10% in most of the U.S., as a glut of homebuyers kept chasing a tight supply of homes, pushing the nation’s decade-long market boom onward."

What's next: Rising mortgage rates and the waning of the pandemic could change the dynamics of the housing market, curtailing demand for new homes.

See how North Texas compares to the rest of the country.

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