Strong home sales over the past year continued to push property values higher in Walker County. Recently mailed assessment notices show another substantial increase in value for many home and land owners.
“There are places where a couple of years ago, we had a house that sold for $200,000. Last year it sold for $300,000. This year it sold for $400,000,” said Terry Gilreath, Chief Appraiser. “So, that sort of thing is common, so we are having to constantly chase those numbers.”
During a recent presentation to the Walker County Board of Commissioners, Gilreath reported property values increased an average of 25% this year. “It’s not stopping, it’s not easing up. The values of course, they keep going up. The sales are ridiculous,” said Gilreath.
The Greater Chattanooga Realtors organization tracks sales in Walker, Catoosa and Dade counties in northwest Georgia, along with Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee. Their data shows the median sales price in this region increased 20.5% in April to $302,500. Just a year ago, the median sales price for the region was $260,000.
The housing inventory in the region also continues to hover at or below a one month supply. Gilreath pointed to demand for the limited supply of homes as the driving force behind the surge in home values. “The same house I was telling you about that sold three times had a $100,000 increase each year. When you have hundreds of them like that, it winds up affecting everybody else.”
The Walker County Assessors Office, which typically processes about 1,500 deeds a year, reviewed nearly 4,000 sales transactions last year. “The values are constantly going up and we don’t see when it’s going to end,” added Gilreath.
While property values are higher, that doesn’t directly translate into an increase in property taxes. Assessment Notices recently mailed to property owners provide a tax “estimate.” The millage rate set by governing authorities, such as the Walker County Board of Commissioners and Walker County Board of Education, determines how much will be owed. Those rates won’t be set until later this summer.
In 2021, the Walker County Board of Commissioners rolled back the county’s millage rate to minimize the impact of the higher appraisal values.