It won't be underlined on your property tax bill next month, but 1985 has become a benchmark in the sale of single-family homes in Los Angeles County.
Assessor Alexander H. Pope, with the completion of the 1985 assessment roll, notes that, "Since the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978, over half (52.1%) of the 1,640,512 single-family residences have . . . been transferred and therefore reappraised. . . ."
Consequently, there are 785,178 dwellings--less than half of the county total--still pegged at 1975 values and representing only 27% of today's single-family home values.
The transfers and reappraisals were part of transactions recorded between 1978 and 1985, constituting 73% of the county's total tax roll.
In the last fiscal year, a record number--139,400--of single-family home transfers occurred and increased the residential roll values to $115.7 billion or 47.2% of the total assessment of $259 billion in assessed values throughout the county.
The increase over fiscal 1984 was $21.1 billion (9%). The net roll value, exclusive of exemptions, is now $245.2 billion or $21.4 billion (9.6%) over last year's roll.
The roll also shows a 33.9% increase in reappraisable changes in ownership, from 132,000 transfers over a year's time, to the current 177,000, adding $10.3 billion (48.8%) to the roll.
Commercial and industry properties accounted for $96.8 billion or 39.5% of the roll while residential-income property (apartments) was valued at $32.7 billion or 13.3%; those percentages were just about the same as in the 1983-84 roll.
Pope's report singles out six cities with the highest percentage increases in assessment values.
They are Walnut, up 25.2%, because of major residential projects and changes in ownership; Palmdale, up 24.7%, new residential and commercial construction and above-normal changes of ownership; Agoura Hills, up 17.4%, development of several new housing tracts; Bell Gardens, up 16.1%, development of the Bicycle Card Club casino, new construction and transfers.
Also, Norwalk, 15%, above-normal condominium development and Century Freeway residential displacement and replacement, and Lancaster, up 14.1%, new residential and commercial construction and above-average changes of ownership.
Meanwhile, declining oil values and the subsequent impact upon oil refineries led to decreases in total appraised values in such cities as Carson, Santa Fe Springs and Signal Hill, while El Segundo and Torrance experienced smaller-than-average increases in their valuations.
The boosts in valuation in Palmdale and Lancaster--perennial hopefuls for a thriving Antelope Valley--may finally create the real estate hot spot that so many have waited for--for so long. This surge could represent the dropping of the other shoe.