Report Shows: Higher Property Values, Increased Transactions and Leveling of Foreclosures

RIS Media

26 December 2013

Thomson Reuters and the National Association of Counties (NACo) recently released the results of their Annual Local Property Markets Survey.

The survey results indicate a strengthening recovery for local property markets. Key findings include:

• 72 percent of U.S. counties surveyed reported an increase in assessed property values.

• 64 percent of counties reported an increase in the volume of records processed in the last year, a good indicator of the overall economic activity for local property markets.

• 29 percent of counties reported an increase in foreclosures, versus 23 percent reporting a decrease.

The survey also examined staffing levels for county tax, assessor, and recording offices — 13 percent reported staff reductions compared with 45 percent in 2012. Seven percent reported increasing staff.

Counties reported that information management systems are expected to increase staff and operational efficiency, improve data accuracy, and enhance the reliability and security of information. County governments identified mobile, cloud-based, and online services as leading technologies that they are now evaluating.

“The technology trends identified in this year’s survey are congruent with what we are hearing from our customers across the country,” says Tom Walsh, managing director of the government division within the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters provides land, property, and tax automation technology to 1,600 government jurisdictions around the world and is used in 16 percent of all U.S. counties

“The gains from integrating tax, assessment, valuation, and recording systems are driving improved information accuracy and reliability, and continue to support operational efficiencies for governments, especially when such information is made fully searchable across government and by the public,” Walsh says.

Tax departments, assessor’s offices, and recording offices from 712 county governments, representing 23 percent of all U.S. counties, participated in this year’s survey. This is the second year Thomson Reuters and NACo have jointly conducted this survey.