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Weber County home valuations jump 19.7% as market surge continues

By Tim Vandenack - | Sep 14, 2021
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A "for sale" sign is displayed outside an Ogden home on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. The median assessed valuation of Weber County homes for 2021 increased to $365,000, up nearly 20% from last year, according to the Weber County Assessor's Office.
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A "for sale" sign is displayed outside an Ogden home on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. The median assessed valuation of Weber County homes for 2021 increased to $365,000, up nearly 20% from last year, according to the Weber County Assessor's Office.

OGDEN — Home prices are going up, up and up in Weber County.

That’s been the well-publicized trend along the Wasatch Front, and figures from the Weber County Assessor’s Office and a local real estate agent show that Weber County is no exception.

The median assessed valuation of a Weber County home for 2021 totaled $365,000, up 19.7% from $305,000 in 2020, according to John Ulibarri, the Weber County assessor. The percentage increase in home valuations has jumped “in the double digits” for the last three years, he said, and the rise for 2021 is “greater than the year before.”

Demand for housing outpaces supply, accounting for the change, Ulibarri said. He also cited relatively low interest rates for home loans, making financing cheaper for homebuyers.

Property owners got notices of their new assessed valuations, meant to reflect market values, in late July and the deadline to appeal for those who think theirs are too high is looming — Wednesday. Valuations are used in figuring the property taxes owners of houses and other real estate must pay. The higher the valuation, all other things being equal, the bigger the property tax bill.

The most common means of challenging a valuation is comparing a home’s value to what similar homes fetched when sold, Ulibarri said. A valuation that exceeds actual sale prices for comparable homes can help make the case for trimming the estimated value. More information on the appeal process is available at webercountyutah.gov/Clerk_Auditor/appeal.php.

Even so, Jeremy Peterson, an Ogden real estate agent, said the valuations determined by the County Assessor’s Office have typically trailed actual housing values since sales from a prior year are used in formulating the figures. “My experience has been the county has typically lagged behind a little bit the actual prices,” he said.

Accordingly, Peterson says those thinking about challenging their property’s valuation may have an uphill road to climb. Clients he’s helped with challenges over the past four or five years have all lost their bids to get their valuations reduced, and he suspects the trend to continue.

“I’d say your time is better spent doing something else,” he said. Valuations from the county, he suspects, are “actually a little behind the curve,” that is, trailing prices homes would likely get on the open market.

Ulibarri said that as of Monday morning, 345 appeals on valuations had been filed with his office compared to 468 last year, which was “a historical low.”

Peterson doesn’t expect home prices to go down. The job market is strong, he noted, and loans for homebuyers of late are generally sound. “We haven’t experienced anything like this in recent memory,” Peterson said.

Figures he’s compiled underscore the hot market for home sellers. The median value of homes sold in August in Weber County totaled $380,000, up from $300,000 in August 2020, $265,000 in August 2019 and $238,450 in August 2018.

Measured another way, by the median sales price of homes per square foot, the figures also show a booming market. In August 2021, the median price per square foot of a home was $197.62, up from $155.81 in August 2020, $132.66 in August 2019 and $123.55 in August 2018.

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