Pierce County

Market is still hot and Pierce property values continue to climb

Pierce County property values jump again; Wilkeson and South Prairie among most affordable places

As usual, Plateau communities showed some interesting changes when all the yearly facts and figures were compiled by the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office.

It’s an exercise that is played out every year at this time, when Mike Lonergan and his staff release the latest assessed values for residential and commercial properties throughout the county.

Individual property owners should have already received their postcards in the mail.

It’s no surprise that values are trending upward, keeping with recent developments in a still-blazing real estate market.

“Home values in all parts of our county continue to increase dramatically, typically by around $60,000 each in the past year,” Lonergan said. “Overall, residential properties went up 16 percent this year, compared to 9 percent in 2020.”

Here are some tidbits found in the overall report, which looked at Pierce County’s 23 incorporated cities and towns, along with five identifiable-but-unincorporated areas (Gig Harbor Peninsula, Key Peninsula, Parkland, South Hill and Spanaway).

• South Prairie, the small community of about 440, is the least expensive place to live in Pierce County – for the second year in a row. The average assessed value of property came in at $269,866. Despite the low values, however, property assessments climbed by more than 18 percent in the last 12 months, placing South Prairie No. 6 on the list of 28.

• Not far away, and not far behind, is Wilkeson. The historic community is the third lowest this year when it comes to property assessments with an average value of $284,529. But values jumped by more than 22 percent during the past 12 months, making Wilkeson No. 2 on the list (Pacific’s assessments climbed the most at more than 24 percent).

• The final community on the road to Mount Rainier – for those traveling state Route 165, at least – is Carbonado. During the past year, property values went up almost 15 percent and now sit at $336,690. A year ago, that final number was $293,372. In all three categories (present average assessments, last year’s numbers and the rate of increase) Carbonado sits in the lower half.

• This year, the average assessed property value in Buckley is $410,727, a bump of 15.4 percent from the 2020 average of $355,408. Among the 28 cities, towns and geographic areas considered by the assessor-treasurer’s office, Buckley’s rate of increase came in 18th.

Property values are crucial not only from a market perspective but also when owners pay their tax bill. The final dollars-and-cents tally incorporates the assessed value and the individual tax rates charged by any number of taxing districts.

While it’s easy to assume tax bills will climb along with assessed values, Lonergan cautioned homeowners not to jump to that conclusion. “It’s a math equation,” he said, “and when values are rising, the legal limits on each taxing district tend to bring their tax rates down.”

The county’s elected assessor-treasurer explained things this way.

“Your property tax in 2022 will be the new 2021 value multiplied by the combined tax rates of your school district, city, fire district and so forth, added to the statewide school levy that everyone pays. A lot depends on public votes in local districts, such as levy lid lifts and bond issues.”

Most commercial properties, Lonergan said, showed either slight or no value increase during the past year, due largely to COVID-19 limitations on retail, hospitality and office activity. However, apartment buildings and warehouses both had double-digit percentage increases, in response to demand for affordable housing and online ordering/distribution.

Any property owner who believes the office of the assessor-treasurer has over-valued their property may appeal to the Pierce County Board of Equalization at no cost. The appeal must be filed no later than Aug. 24 and must provide evidence that comparable properties have sold recently at a lower amount.

More information is available at www.piercecountywa.gov/atr.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Oct. 28 — Nov. 13

Unwanted customers, hits-and-runs and a stolen handgun.

Photos by Ray Miller-Still 
Last year’s inaugural Hometown Holiday event was a huge success, as thousands of people drove through the Enumclaw Expo Center’s grounds to enjoy a mix of static, lit-up displays and live performances.
Hometown Holiday ‘parade-in-place’ returns to Enumclaw

The parade-in-reverse runs Dec. 10 through the 12th.

Santa's route through Enumclaw
Santa plans his routes through Enumclaw, Buckley

Between Dec. 5 and 18th, check out when Santa will be arriving in your neighborhood this year.

file photo
Department of Health announces QR code verification program to prove vaccination status

WA Verify is intended to make vaccine verification simpler and more efficient.

Mid-afternoon traffic on northbound Interstate 5 on Nov. 22 near Everett. Dan Bates/The Herald
Thanksgiving traffic forecast is heavier than pre-pandemic

Drivers and ferry riders could be in for long waits, depending on when they go.

Patti Cole-Trindall
King County Executive appoints Patti Cole-Tindall as interim sheriff

Cole-Tindall has a background in the sheriff’s office and county government.

Comparison map between current district map and proposed draft. (Screenshot from King County’s website)
King County proposes redistricting map, asks for feedback from public

Public invited to comment at November 30 public hearing.

Lilli, 6 and Charlie, 10 play on the new playground at Foothills Elementary.
Farewell, “Cafeterianasium”

Foothills Elementary and Glacier Middle School projects cap years of work across White River schools

Photo by Alex Bruell 
Dolls, birdhouses, and holiday swags were among the many goods sold to raise money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
Buckley Ida Marge Holiday Bazaar raises nearly $7,000 for children’s hospital

Holiday market fundraiser smashed records for the fundraiser

Most Read