Home assessments are online and up 9%; council members schedule assessment town halls

‘Small piece of good news’ is home values are up 9%

St.+Louis+County+Assessor+takes+questions+from+audience+members+during+a+town+hall+about+2019%27s+property+value+reassessments+at+The+Pavilion+at+Lemay+Thursday%2C+June+20%2C+2019.+Like+2019%2C+2021+saw+an+increase+in+property+values+across+the+county.+

Photo by Erin Achenbach

St. Louis County Assessor takes questions from audience members during a town hall about 2019’s property value reassessments at The Pavilion at Lemay Thursday, June 20, 2019. Like 2019, 2021 saw an increase in property values across the county.

Most St. Louis County homeowners can now look up the 2021 assessor’s preliminary value of their property on the county’s website, County Assessor Jake Zimmerman announced last week.

Homeowners can find the preliminary assessments by going to http://revenue.stlouisco.com/ias/.

“This is early data that taxpayers can review now, while there is still time to correct mistakes,” Zimmerman said in a news release. “That’s why I strongly encourage homeowners to take a quick look and make sure we have the right information about your property.”

Zimmerman’s early overall numbers show that home values have largely remained strong through the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with two years ago, the median increase across the county is about 9 percent. Most homes would sell for a higher price today than in 2019, the assessor’s office said.

Houses are reassessed every two years, in odd-numbered years. Every County Council member will be holding a virtual reassessment town hall with Zimmerman where taxpayers can ask questions. The one for the 6th District of Councilman Ernie Trakas is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. Other town halls take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 8, and the 3rd and 7th districts will hold one at 6 p.m. Monday, April 12. Any county resident can attend any of the town halls.

Said Zimmerman, “As we finally come out of this terrible pandemic, I’m happy to deliver a small piece of good news for County homeowners: the value of your biggest investment remains strong.”

While the real estate market is doing well throughout the county, home values are especially strong in more affordable neighborhoods, fueled by low interest rates and the demand for quality housing. Zimmerman’s data suggests this is a regional phenomenon; he expects similar changes in St. Louis city and St. Charles County. Zillow forecasted an average increase of 8.9 percent for the St. Louis region and a federal index of metro area house prices also rose 8.9 percent last year.

“A strong housing market is good news for homeowners, neighborhoods, and the whole community,” Zimmerman said in a news release.

Zimmerman is implementing a new “early review” pilot project to avoid as many formal appeal hearings as possible.

Due to the pandemic, asssesors can’t do interior inspections or have in-person conferences, Zimmerman said: “So, we’ll try to make lemonade out of lemons. If folks reach out to us to talk about their home value, we’re going to ask for the evidence – like photos and comparable sales – up front. The more information we get early, the more time we’ll have to fix mistakes, make adjustments, and help people avoid the need for traditional appeal hearings. This can be a ‘win-win’ for taxpayers and the County.”