Under Proposition 8 San Francisco Displays A Mixed Bag Of Property Values
If homeowners could look at one thing during the real estate crash to gleam some positive aspect it would be that the property taxes shot down (due to reassessments under Proposition 8). Now that prices (in some areas) in San Francisco and some Bay Area cities have crept upward, so too will the property taxes.
A recent report showed the number of underwater homes in the nine Bay Area counties slowly sinking as values rise.
Throughout most of the housing crash, San Francisco saw relatively modest price drops compared with the rest of California. Remarkably, SF marked the only county in California that never saw its overall tax roll shrink during the downturn. For the 2012-13 tax year, the assessed values in San Francisco grew 4.17 percent, or $6 billion. Much of that gain in revenue can be attributed to the increase in new commercial buildings in the South Beach, SoMa and China Basin neighborhoods.
On the residential side, various parts have the city have received more property tax reductions. Bayview and the Excelsior have continued to struggle but ironically the new condo laden neighborhoods of Mission Bay, South Beach and South of Market received a bulk of the Prop. 8 reductions.
For those not familiar with Proposition 8, voters passed the law in 1978, which lets assessments temporarily drop to match lower property values. In San Francisco, 15,811 properties got such reductions this year, averaging $175,980 in reduced value per home.
On the other end of the City, posh neighborhoods such as Pacific Heights, Noe Valley and Russian Hill saw assessed values rising.
Across the Bay, Alameda and Contra Costa counties – two of the hardest-hit areas in the region – saw significant changes in negative equity, which slid from 33.8 percent of mortgaged homes in Alameda to 30.9, and from 42.8 percent in Contra Costa to 40.1.
Unlike San Francisco, Alameda values remain down 37 percent from peak, Contra Costa nearly 51 percent and Solano County almost 60 percent.
Negative Equity Slowly Sinks In Some Areas
The percentage of underwater homes, with mortgages larger than the value, decreased in every Bay Area county between the first and second quarters of this year.
|County||Second quarter||First quarter|
Where home prices are rising
These neighborhoods saw the biggest increase in total assessments, which look at the values of all properties as of Jan. 1.
|Financial District South||373,349,727||4.08|
|South of Market||261,243,035||3.98|
Source: San Francisco Assessor’s Office