With property values up and just over a week remaining for most homeowners to file their protests over their properties’ assessed values, the Denton Central Appraisal District is projecting an increase in this year’s protest total.
Denton CAD Chief Appraiser Hope McClure said in an email that the district is estimating 110,000 protests will be filed by June 14, the deadline for county residents whose notices were dated May 14. The majority of county homeowners fall under that deadline, although any appraisal notices mailed past that date carry a protest deadline of 30 days.
This year’s projection is slightly higher than last year’s total number of protests, which came in at about 103,000, according to McClure. She attributed that to an increase in the number of properties, although property values themselves are also up across the county.
According to the most recent quarterly economic report from North Texas Real Estate Information Services, the median sale price for homes sold in Denton County has increased 11% from the previous year. In some Denton County ZIP codes, that median sale price is up over 20% in areas with particularly high demand for housing and less supply. The NTREIS report compares properties sold in 2021’s first quarter to 2020’s.
“In the last year, the market for residential real estate has seen a significant increase in median sales price at the regional and local levels,” McClure wrote in her email. “This is largely driven by the significant increase in buyer demand for housing, and the limited supply of homes available for sale in the DFW Metroplex.”
The appraisal district assesses properties at their market value as of Jan. 1 each year, a process that includes analyzing the prices of those that have been sold. The most recent NTREIS report, which was released in April for the first quarter of 2021, finds that in Denton County, compared to the past year, the median home sale price ($350,100) was up 11.7%. The average sale price ($423,258) was up 18.2% from the first quarter of 2020.
Last year’s protest process was hindered significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the appraisal district taking months longer than in a typical year to work through the protests. At an August Denton County Commissioners Court meeting, county Tax Assessor Michelle French revealed estimates were being used for the county’s appraisal roll due to the number of outstanding protests remaining.
The delay was an added complication to the county’s budgeting process, specifically for calculating the tax rate. For this year, French said she has no foresight on the protest situation.
McClure was asked directly if she expects this year’s protests to be worked through faster.
“We have a very strong and committed team of professionals here at DCAD that are focused on resolving protests as quickly as possible,” McClure stated.