We are beginning to see the subtle signs of spring’s approach along the Outer Banks. The daffodils are in full bloom and the ospreys have returned to their long vacant nest. Overall, winter has remained mild. We’ve had just a dusting of snow on one occasion and only a couple of days that saw temperatures dip below freezing.
The big news this month concerns the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners who had insurance for 2nd homes and investments homes will no longer be able to enjoy the benefits of subsidized flood insurance. The program is calling for drastic rate increases over the next 4 years of 25% per year for these properties. Unfortunately, this will impact most of our clients in the area. We are enclosing a more detailed article concerning these changes for your review.
If you are a Dare County property owner you have already gotten your new tax assessed values in the mail. Currituck County is also in the process of mailing them out, and many of you may already have them. The average decrease in values is 29%. Dare County has already released the new tax rate of .41 per $100 of assessed values. Currituck Counties’ rate will likely be comparable to Dare’s. The good news is that if your assessed value decreased by 25% or more, there is a very good chance that your taxes are actually going to go down! The tax assessments are not normally an accurate reflection of true market value, but if you don’t feel like your assessed value has been reduced enough you can contest the new value by using the form enclosed with your assessment. If you feel like the value is too low and you’d like to verify how close to true market value the assessment is we will be happy to provide a tax value market analysis for you.
In real estate news we have seen a slight increase in inventory to begin 2013. We do not believe the 15% increase in inventory is anything to worry about, as inventory is normally a bit higher early in the year and thins out as summer approaches. The number of properties placed under contract is holding steady. Residential sales are down by 5% year-to-date, while land sales are up by 116%. Dare County foreclosure fillings are 66% fewer than this time last year. And the number of distressed property sales is stable for both Dare and Currituck Counties for 5 months running. Interest rates have increased about a ¼ point, so this remains an outstanding time to buy Outer Banks real estate.
As always, if you have any real estate related concerns, we’d love to hear from you.