King County Assessor: Residential values rise, while values of large office buildings fall in a mixed real estate market

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Assessor John Wilson
The King County Assessor’s office has begun the annual process of mailing property valuation notices to taxpayers. Notices will be arriving soon. 

 Preliminary indications show most residential areas will increase a little over 10% on average. Commercial properties are more mixed depending on property type.

“After dramatic fluctuations in the residential market during the COVID years, values have returned to a steady level of increase,” said King County Assessor John Wilson. 
“The volatility now is in the commercial sector and among condominiums.”

Each year, County Assessors set values on every commercial and residential property value in the state. 

These values – set effective as of January 1 by state law – are then applied to the next year’s tax bill. Property values are being set as of January 1, 2024, for taxes due in 2025.

Data indicates that most residential market areas will see value increases this year. Those increases will range from the single digits in Seattle, to roughly 20% in some east King County areas. In 2022, some Eastside communities saw values soar 50% in year over year.

Residential condominiums saw fewer sales in 2023 and all across King County will experience a value decline, mostly in the single digits. Downtown Seattle condominiums will experience the largest drop in value.

Most commercial values will remain flat, with some exceptions. Industrial properties will see increases of up to 10% and larger offices will decrease between 30% and 35%, as long-term leases have expired, renewals are for shorter-terms and for far less space, and the vacancy rate increased. 

Eastside offices will see an average decrease of 30%, though the I-90 area will experience a 35% drop. 

Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, and Lake Union will experience 35% to 40% drops in value.

“Finally, it is always important to remember that voter approved special levies usually have more impact on property tax increases than do increases in home values,” added Wilson.

Each year as required by law, County Assessors appraise every commercial and residential parcel across the state of Washington. These values – set effective as of January 1 of the assessment year – are what is being used to calculate property taxes due next year, in this case, 2025. 

Notices of the new valuations will be arriving in King County neighborhoods on a rolling basis for the next several months and will reflect the value of properties as of January 1, 2024.

By state law, King County adjusts property values annually to reflect market sales. All 720,000-plus King County residential and commercial property owners receive an annual value update. 

Because of that volume, the Department of Assessments (DOA) releases value notices in stages, starting in the spring, continuing through the summer and generally wrapping up around Labor Day.

Receipt of the value notice triggers a 60-day window during which time a property owner can appeal their new value, but not specifically the taxes. It’s important to note that increased values don’t directly relate to potential tax increases. 

Property tax collection amounts are set yearly by taxing districts around the county; not the King County Department of Assessments.

To learn more about how property values and taxes are determined, the appeal process, the senior exemption or to use the taxpayer transparency tool, please visit here.


Anonymous,  July 4, 2024 at 6:40 PM  

If office space is turned into lower priced housing, wouldn't that help with the homelessness problem? We don't need more super nice (and expensive) new housing - just a starter space for those who want to move up as they get steadier employment.

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