Santa Clara County’s total property valuation roll for 2021 was $ 576.9 billion, according to the appraiser’s office. That was 4.6% more than the total assessment roll for 2020. But the increase was smaller than in recent years, according to the analysis of county reports by this news organization.
The assessment roll in 2020 was approximately $ 551.5 billion, or 6.9% more than the previous year. And the 2019 total was about 6.8% higher than the valuation roll value of $ 483 billion in 2018, figures provided by the County Assessor’s Office show.
Despite the slower growth of the total assessment roll, the end results were better than the bleak outlook county officials feared in mid-2020, when coronavirus-related business closures were in full swing.
“Around the same time last year, the nation appeared to be on the brink of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” assessor Larry Stone said.
Instead of a collapse in real estate activity, investors have continued to gobble up commercial properties, house prices continue to rise, and development activity persists.
“It’s crazy to see everything going on,” said David Ginsborg, deputy county assessor. “Properties are being bought and house prices are going up. “
One major project that has dramatically increased property values is Google’s Bay View campus in Mountain View, according to the appraiser.
“The pace of new construction has been delayed somewhat, due to uncertainty over economic and business prospects during Covid,” the county assessor’s office said. “One notable exception was the construction of the new Google Bay View campus, which accounted for $ 720 million of the county’s $ 6.69 billion in new construction. “
Despite the uncertainties, the office real estate industry held up.
“The Silicon Valley office market has grown relatively strong,” said the Assessor’s Office. “Major acquisitions of office and commercial buildings contributed to the overall growth in property assessments compared to the previous year.
Homeowners were able to benefit from a provision in property tax laws that prevented their valuation from increasing. Proposal 13 normally limits contribution increases to 2% per year.
But the prop. 13 also requires that valuations may only increase by the lesser of 2% or the annual increase in the California Consumer Price Index. For the current fiscal year, the California price index rose only 1%, which capped the increase.
“Homeowners are the primary beneficiaries of the booming residential market, benefiting from the astonishing appreciation in the market value of their homes as their valuation has only increased by 1%,” Stone said.
Still, some real estate sectors have struggled due to the effects of the coronavirus on the economy.
“Many industries such as hospitality, non-grocery retail, restaurants and entertainment have all suffered financially,” the assessor’s office said.