Denton County property values are up $10.3 billion this year, an increase of nearly 18 percent, driven by a surge in residential and commercial growth.
The sharpest rise came in industrial property, which has grown 62 percent since last year to $208.6 million, largely because of a new Target distribution center that opened last year.
And several cities in the county — including Denton, Lewisville, Little Elm and Hickory Creek — saw property values rise more than 20 percent over last year, according to the preliminary tax roll released recently by the Denton Central Appraisal District.
The combined property valuations for Denton County are estimated at nearly $67.9 billion, compared to the certified tax roll last year of $57.6 billion. For the city of Denton, property values this year are estimated at $8.6 billion, compared to $6.9 billion last year.
The preliminary values are likely to be adjusted as property owners challenge their valuations in coming months.
“Really, there is growth countywide,” said County Judge Mary Horn. “Back during my campaign, I took a good close look at the increase in commercial value between 2002 and current numbers, and we were right at a 207 percent increase in commercial value, which is fantastic. It takes the burden off John Q. Citizen homeowner and creates jobs. I am thrilled for that and we hope to see more of it.”
Notices have started to go out to Denton County residents about the new valuations, beginning the process of appeals and adjustments for property owners and setting the stage for budget discussions for city and county officials in coming months.
Larry Parker, board chairman of the Denton Chamber of Commerce, said that as a stakeholder in the city’s central business district, he would like to see growth in both residential and commercial properties as long as it is controlled.
He said officials are now studying future growth and how to handle it.
Rayzor Ranch and mall development is wide open, but Parker said he hopes the business district keeps its unique, independent Denton feel.
“We’re not trying to be the next Frisco or Southlake,” he said.
Feeling the growth
In Denton, the biggest residential growth was in multifamily properties. Single-family home values were up about 10.8 percent, to $4.1 billion, but multifamily property values increased more than 51 percent, to $1.4 billion.
The new values include a considerable amount of new construction, although prices for existing properties have also been rising, officials said.
Commercial property values in Denton increased more than 46 percent, to $2.2 billion, and industrial property grew nearly 30 percent, to $124.9 million. New construction also helped fuel the increased valuation.
In Denton County, the valuation of single-family homes increased 13 percent, to $42.3 billion, and for multifamily properties, about 47 percent, to $5.6 billion. Commercial property values rose nearly 44 percent to $11.2 billion.
In Hickory Creek, which borders Lewisville Lake, three new subdivisions within the town limits and one within the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction added to the growth.
Town Secretary Christy Rogers said Hickory Creek is coming to the point where it will not have any land left to develop.
A significant portion of the new growth is also in the eastern portion of Denton County, including Frisco and Little Elm, where new houses are being built, said Rudy Durham, Denton Central Appraisal District’s chief appraiser.
“The new ones are higher value [on] average than they were in the past,” he said.
Few new homes are now selling for $150,000, meaning that many first-time homebuyers are priced out of the market. The average home value in Frisco is $355,000, Durham said.
That has fueled an increase in rental properties in the county, he said.
“Eight years ago they could have gotten in a house ... and now they can’t,” Durham said.
Some slower growth
Not all portions of the county are seeing rapid growth, however. In the northeastern part of the county, Pilot Point officials are seeing growth, but more slowly than some other cities.
“Last year was the first year we had more than a couple of houses being built in town,” said Scott Ingalls, development services director for Pilot Point. “We had a couple of cabinet shops add new buildings and we have had a couple of other businesses renovate some of their existing buildings, sometimes adding new electrical, sometimes a complete rework.”
Still, property valuations in Pilot Point increased about 20 percent, to $228 million. Ingalls said the city is hoping to get more new growth, but officials realize the city is not yet in the growth corridor that is driving development in other areas.
“We’re kind of off the beaten path,” he said. “We’re on a major highway, yes, but it’s not like [U.S.] Highway 380 or Interstate 35 or anything like that. There is a lot of land still available for development, but not without the addition of the Dallas North Tollway. It will work its way this way, but it will be slow.”
County residents can protest their appraisals with the Denton Central Appraisal District up to 30 days from the date their notice was sent out.
For most people, the deadline would be May 31, Durham said. But since it falls on a Saturday, the deadline has been moved to the following Monday, June 2.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.
DENTON COUNTY TAX ROLL
2013 CERTIFIED TAX ROLL
2014 PRELIMINARY TAX ROLL
SOURCE: Denton Central Appraisal District