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New Home Sales Plummet, Retracing December Gain

 
RISMEDIA, February 28, 2011—(MCT)—Sales of new U.S. homes fell in January 2011, almost completely retracing the strong gain seen in December, the Commerce Department recently estimated.

Sales dropped 12.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000. Economists had been expecting a pace of 300,000.

Atlanta Suburban Office Space Faces a Long Recovery

 

Suburban Office Markets Trail Downtown Rivals

By A.D. PRUITT

The commute to recovery looks like it is going to take a longer time for suburban-office-building owners than their counterparts in downtown areas.

Atlanta Residential Values - Today's News

 

Atlanta Residential Values - Yesterday's News

 
Does anyone actually believe that we are out of this mess yet?

Atlanta Business News
4:03 p.m. Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Home prices continue wrong-way trend

Georgia Property Tax Appeal Data

 
Foreclosures Up 11% in Atlanta Metro During 2010

Atlanta Business Chronicle - by By Lisa R. Schoolcraft, Staff Writer

Date: Friday, February 18, 2011, 6:00am EST - Last Modified: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 2:07pm EST

Georgia Property Tax Appeals and Changes to the Law

 
Continuing on with the series of posts about SB 346 and changes to Georgia property tax law, here are a few miscellaneous items.

All assessment notices state-wide will all be on a uniform notice called PT 306 by the Department of Revenue. There will also be a uniform appeal form called PT 311 by the revenuers, but it is not mandatory that you use this appeal format. I have not found any links to these forms available for general consumption so I think they are still being finalized.

It used to be that only the owner on January 1 could appeal for that tax year. Now, whoever is the owner as of the last date to appeal is able to appeal the assessment.

If you are not satisfied with the result of your appeal to the Board of Tax Assessors, you can still appeal to the Board of Equalization, Arbitration, or a new Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer will hear arguments on value and uniformity for non-homestead (not owner-occupied and receiving an exemption) properties with values greater than $1 million.

At any time during the appeal process (prior to circuit court) if you get a written value agreement signed with the assessors it will be subject to 299C of the tax code which means that if you don't sell the property or change it in any way the value will be kept (frozen) for three years.

Happy Hunting

Georgia Tax Appeals

 
Georgia Senate Bill 346 included many changes to the property tax law. Last time I addressed this subject I discussed the changes to the fair market value definition. The change discussed was the inclusion of distressed sales as comparable sales that must be considered.

SB 346 also mandates that a recent sale shall be considered the fair market value: The transaction amount of the most recent arm's length., bona fide sale in any year shall be the maximum allowable fair market value for the next taxable year.

So, if you bought your property in 2010 for $500,000 the maximum fair market value estimate the assessor can put on it for tax year 2011 is $500,000 which is a $200,000 assessment (40%).

The transaction amount can be adjusted for the following reasons:
1. Personal property included in the sale price
2. New improvements after the sale date
3. Additions to existing improvements after the sale date
4. Major remodeling/renovation after the sale
5. Land adjustments due to consolidations, zoning changes, etc.

Nothing in SB 346 says the assessors have to appraise your property for the sale price, just not above the sale price. If the assessors put your 100% market value at the sale price start looking at your neighbor's/competitior's assessments. Did they use the sale of your property to adjust the entire market area, or just your property? Equity is a valid argument when appealing your assessment in Georgia.

Housing Starts Rise but New Permits Fall: Conflicting Data Everywhere

 
Instant View: Housing Starts, Producer Prices Rise
Wed Feb 16, 9:11 am ET

 

South Florida Q4 Office Vacancies Fall

 

South Florida’s office vacancies are still uncomfortably in the double digits, but they ended 2010 headed in the right direction, as leasing rose and corporate downsizing ebbed, according to a new Cushman & Wakefield report.

Georgia Property Tax Appeals

 

Senate Bill 346 had an impact on what the tax assessors must consider when estimating the fair market value of property. It defines an arm’s length, bona fide sale as:

Office Vacancy Drops, but Rents Aren’t Yet Rising, Colliers International Reports

 

According to a new report by Colliers International, the U.S. office market entered the year on a relatively strong note after the fourth quarter, with a sharp drop in vacancy and a healthy increase in occupied space.

2011 Real Estate Investment Outlook

 

The exclusive National Real Estate Investor/Marcus & Millichap Investor Sentiment Index shows that investor sentiment has surged to a record level of 152 - a huge increase over the 119 rating achieved in third quarter. In fact, the most recent index rating tops the previous all-time high of 148 recorded in 2005.

It's the Jobs, Stupid

 

Jobless rate improves in two-thirds of U.S. metros, but not in Atlanta

Atlanta Business Chronicle - by G. Scott Thomas

Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas finished 2010 with lower unemployment rates than the posted a year earlier, but Atlanta was not among them.

CoStar releases most recent commercial sale indices

 

TROUBLED AND TROPHY ASSETS CREATE VOLATILE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE PRICING

CoStar Commercial Repeat-Sale Indices, January 2011 Release
(With Data through November 2010)

Atlanta Trophy Building in Trouble?

 

Report: Atlanta's tallest building faces ‘imminent default'

Georgia Tax Appeals

 
Last year the Georgia Legislature based Senate Bill 346 which was signed by the Governor. This sweeping change to property tax law was in response to what was seen as stonewalling on the part of assessors to address the collapse of the real estate market. Today I would like to address the changes to the Taxpayer's Return of Real Property.

The return of real property for taxation is a somewhat antiquated way of collecting data for real estate assessment purposes. The idea is to force property owners to let the assessor know what property attributes have changed over the course of a calendar year so the assessors can update their records and property values. The assessors can penalize you for not returning improvements to real property in a timely manner. However, during my four years working for the Fulton County Tax Assessors I never heard of anyone being penalized for not returning improvements to real property. The assessor's office is supposed to get copies of all building permits, which prompts them to visit the properties and correct the property description.

The Taxpayer's Return of Real Property form (PT-50R) was also used to generate an assessment notice. If you returned a value that the assessors did not agree with, they had to send you an assessment notice at their value that you could appeal. This was important because the way the Georgia property tax law read, you had to receive a notice before you could appeal in any tax year.  

Apparently, the legislature considered striking the return of real property out of the tax code, but in the end they left it in. They did require, however, that every property owner receive a Georgia notice of assessment every year starting in 2011. That ends the need to file a real property return just so you can initiate an appeal, but leaves in the requirement that you do the assessor's job and tell them about the changes to your property (that they should already know about).

Record CMBS defaults, but look at the bright side...?

 

Commercial Property Recovers in U.S. as `Tsunami of Distress' Fails to Hit

By Brian Louis and David M. Levitt

Homeowners Can't Break Out the Champagne

 

'Shadow' real estate inventory may take 4 years to clear

S&P: Slower liquidation rates to blame

By Inman News, Wednesday, February 2, 2011.

Retail Recovery??

 

Pent-Up Shopping Demand Fuels Surge In Retail Leasing

With Retail Recovery In Motion, Most Metros See Positive Absorption

Commercial Real Estate Podcast

 

Commercial Real Estate: Out of Intensive Care, But Still in Recovery

After spending the better part of two years in ICU, the commercial real estate market finally appears to be on the road to recovery. In his latest podcast, mortgage banker John B. Levy points out that while investment sales doubled from 2009 to 2010 and the future of CMBS looks promising, the healing market is not yet out of the woods.

Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities Delinquency Rate Rises

 

CMBS Delinquencies Hit New High in December

Feb 1, 2011 11:43 AM, By David Bodamer

Construction Spending Slows

 

Construction Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell to Decade Low


Construction spending in the U.S. unexpectedly fell in December to the lowest level in a decade, signaling the industry will continue to lag behind the economic recovery.

The 2.5 percent drop was the biggest since July and brought the value of all projects down to a $787.9 billion annual rate, the lowest since July 2000, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.1 percent gain.

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