A recent report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum finds property values statewide are up 4.5 percent, hitting $549.5 billion this year.
That’s a 6.8 percent improvement from when statewide equalized values hit $514.4 billion in 2008, before falling to $467.5 billion in 2013. Since the recession, the state has had a 17.6 percent increase in overall property value, the report shows.
Property value increases varied across the state. The report shows property values increased less than 2 percent in 18 counties, mostly in the northern part of the state. And the areas with the most new construction growth have seen the highest increase in overall property values.
Twenty-six of the 30 counties with equalized values that increased at least 4 percent are located in western or southern Wisconsin, or near the Fox Valley. Also, values for seven counties in those regions grew more than 20 percent.
Report authors point to several potential factors to explain the differences in property value growth: industry mix and population growth; the presence of large public employers; proximity to major highways; and infrastructure such as high-speed internet.
Population changes may also play a role. Twenty-one of the 23 counties that haven’t surpassed their equalized values from 2008 have had a net population loss.
The report also shows that for the first time since before 2009, more Wisconsin counties than not have growth rates over a benchmark level of 1.25 percent.
That finding updates a report from March in which WPF determined counties with over 1.25 percent annual growth were developing “faster than typical.”
This latest report found 37 counties had growth above that level, compared to 35 that did not. Still, report authors note that new construction is still sluggish compared to pre-recession levels in most of northern Wisconsin.
That impacts funding for local programs, they say, because increases in the local tax levy are largely capped at the rate of new construction.
–By Alex Moe