Coming off a 2015-17 review of property values that finally showed gains following the Great Recession, Montgomery County began the next three-year process Thursday, one expected to yield more detailed data including new high-resolution images of each property.
Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith said the 2020 revaluation project — a reappraisal of every property in the county — will be “the most demanding and the most difficult update in recent history.”
“Since the turn of the century, and most notably in the past 10 years, our county has confronted both record highs in property values as well as historic losses,” Keith said.
In 2009, the county’s total property value peaked at more than $28 billion but declined dramatically in the aftermath of the Great Recession, tumbling 12 percent by 2014 for a loss of about $3.5 billion.
But during the valuation update completed last year, the county saw total value rise 4 percent, and residential sales reached their highest level in a decade, Keith said.
Drivers for a subcontractor, iLOOKABOUT, hit the streets Thursday in four vans outfitted with automated, multi-camera setups that also collect geospatial information. The team is expected to cover the 3,600 miles of roadways in Montgomery County much faster than in the past, saving money over past revaluations, Keith said.
While the vans rolling by the county’s 250,000 real estate parcels are of different makes and models, they have decals identifying the vehicle as associated county’s photo and data collection project. Properties in Butler Twp., northeast Dayton, Harrison Twp., Huber Heights and Vandalia will be among the first photographed.
Keith said over the last year the real estate market has continued to improve — but unevenly. More than 20 percent of the neighborhoods in Montgomery County — 210 out of a little more than 1,000 — have had no valid residential sales so far this year, he said.
“These wide variations and dramatic fluctuations in the real estate market will make our goal of being fair and equitable in determining new values extremely difficult,” he said. “It necessitates the use of new techniques and new technology to enhance our efforts.”
The county will also use a new application to collect the data submitted by the contractor, including the images and other information. That will allow the auditor’s office to more easily track progress on the project, officials said.
Montgomery County-based Lexur Appraisal Services is the lead contractor on the reappraisal project. The contract with Lexur costs a little more than $4.2 million, about $1 million less than the last full reappraisal project completed in 2014, according to the county.