North Fort Myers property valuations up 2.15 percent
Although it wasn’t quite as dramatic as Cape Coral’s more than 7 percent increase, the 2.15 increase in overall property valuation that North Fort Myers is more than had been expected initially.
According to local Realtors, that increase in tax roll valuation is another sign the real estate market is improving, with greater property values and shrinking inventory.
In other words, as one Realtor said, it’s good for the market and for the overall economy.
Al Giacalone, North Fort Myers “mayor” and Realtor at Sun Country Realty and Homes, said the increased valuation is good news but for taxpayers, though it can be a double-edged sword.
“Your taxes will go up if you plan on living here. If you plan on selling your home it’s a good thing. It just coincides with the market,” Giacalone said. “Property values are going up.”
Giacalone produced the numbers to prove it. In May 2012, the average price of a home was about $141,000. One year later, it was $176,000, a nearly 25 percent increase.
This suggests a market trending upwards, Giacalone said, as it has in all Lee County over the past two years. There have been hiccups, however, especially in the summer, in regards to sales.
“We’re not in season. July, August and September we see a dip in sales, then in October, November and December they go back up,” Giacalone said.
Pending inventory is also creeping downward. There were 2,746 single-family homes available in April, a number that dipped to 2,662 in May, the most recent available figures.
“Less inventory on the market generally tends to drive prices up,” Giacalone said. “It’s good news unless you’re going to live in your home the next 20 years and you don’t care if the market goes up because you don’t want your taxes to go up.”
Since North Fort Myers numbers are computed within a fire district, the taxing structure is somewhat different than for cities like Cape Coral and Fort Myers, according to Ken Wilkinson, Lee County property appraiser.
“The millage homestead does not apply because when they did the enabling act, or the legislature creates independent fire districts, the homestead doesn’t apply to fire millage. They get all the money,” Wilkinson said.
Simply put, a $100,000 home is taxed at that amount for district purposes, not $75,000 as it would with homesteading.