Austin American-Statesman writes, "This year's appraisal notices — an annual spring ritual often accompanied by fear and loathing and, on occasion, a sigh of relief — are on their way to Travis County residential and commercial property owners.

Overall, the median market value of homes in the county declined about 7%, Travis County Chief Appraiser Leana Mann said Thursday. While some homeowners will see their values decline, others will see increases, and some values could be relatively unchanged from last year.

How do appraisal values this year compare with last year's?

The 2024 median market value for a residential property in Travis County is $551,419, down from last year's median of $592,819, the appraisal district said. The market value is the amount for which county appraisers believe a home would have sold as of Jan. 1.

Why are residential market values down?

The Austin-area housing market cooled substantially starting in 2022 and remained sluggish throughout last year with successive spikes in mortgage interest rates.

"The data shows that the residential market is starting to stabilize as housing inventory and mortgage rates affect how much a buyer is willing and able to pay," Mann said.

How are property tax bills calculated?

Changes in market values do not translate directly into changes in property tax bills. Instead, values are used to determine a property owner’s portion of the total tax levy. That levy is determined later in the year when the local taxing entities such as cities, counties and school districts set their budgets.

The appraisal notices currently being mailed out also include taxable values, which are used to calculate a homeowner's property tax bill. 

This year's median taxable value for residential properties is $401,806. That's up 6% from last year's value of $378,765.

What happens if I have a homestead exemption?

Under state law, the taxable value of a property with a homestead exemption can only increase to current market value or 10% over the previous year, whichever is less.

The appraisal district continues to emphasize that a homestead exemption (for owners who live on a property) is the easiest way to lower a property tax bill.

In Travis County, more than 255,000 property owners claim a homestead exemption.

Although property owners with a homestead exemption might see decreases in their market value, their taxable value could still increase, Mann said.


In a hot housing market like what the Austin area has seen for more than a decade, "the 10% exemption cap protects a property owner from rapid increases in value," Mann explained. For 2022, for instance, the median market value for Travis County homes soared 53.6%, to $632,208, over 2021's value of $411,658.

"When the market slows (as it has done since about mid-2022 due to rising mortgage interest rates), the gap between market and taxable values shortens, and the benefits of that cap might not be as noticeable," Mann said. "Still, a homestead exemption saved the average property owner more than $1,800 on their property tax bill in 2023."

Property appraisals typically are a double-edged sword.

When 2022's numbers came out with the 53.6% jump in median market value, Mark Sprague, a longtime housing market analyst with Independence Title in Austin, summed it up this way: "Most homeowners are happy that their net worth and property value has increased — until the tax bill arrives."

When will my appraisal notice be available?

Notices of appraised values were being mailed to 424,064 Travis County property owners starting Friday, and owners can expect to receive them over the next few weeks.

Notices for the 2024 tax year include the market value assigned to a property as of Jan. 1, as well as the taxable value of that property based on its exemptions. Updated values will be posted on the Travis Central Appraisal District website ( in the coming days.

What do these values mean for the housing market at large?

Charles Heimsath, a longtime Austin-based real estate consultant, said this year's 7% decline in the median market value "seems consistent" with home sales data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

Across the five counties that make up the Austin region, the board's 2023 year-end report showed that home sales and the median price of those sales declined in every county except Caldwell, where Lockhart is the county seat.

In the Austin-Round Rock metro area, stretching from Georgetown to San Marcos, sales were down 9.8% last year, with 30,438 homes changing hands. Half of those homes sold more for more than $450,000 and half sold for less, for a 10.2% drop in the median closing price.

Eldon Rude is another industry expert who, like Heimsath, has been tracking the Austin region's real estate market for several decades. Rude said that the 7% overall decline in this year's appraised market value "represents the continuation of the market correction that started in late 2022 and has continued through early 2024."

Although the supply of homes has risen in recent months, "overall listings remain low in many areas, which has resulted in prices stabilizing in spite of rising interest rates in recent months," Rude said.

“In 2023 the Austin-Round Rock MSA housing market continued its move towards a more sustainable pace,” Kent Redding, president of the Austin Board of Realtors, said in releasing the board's year-end report in January. “Housing inventory reached the highest level it's been in more than eight years, and while there was a drop in closed sales and median close price, these were both symptomatic of higher mortgage rates."

While single-family homes saw a decline in market value, commercial values rose.

Overall, the Travis County appraisal roll for residential and commercial properties combined increased 5.8% to $488 billion. That growth was fueled by the commercial sector, which grew 17.4%, led by increased values in the hospitality, industrial and health care industries, Mann said.

How do I protest my appraised value?

Property owners who believe their property’s market value is incorrect may file a protest with the appraisal district.

The deadline to file a protest is May 15 or 30 days after a notice has been mailed, whichever is later.

The appraisal district encourages property owners to file their protests through its online portal. Property owners can upload their evidence, review the appraisal district’s evidence, review settlement offers, and attend their informal meetings and formal hearings through their online account.

Protests and evidence will also be accepted by mail and in person at the appraisal district's office at 850 E. Anderson Lane.

The informal process, which allows property owners to receive a settlement offer from the appraisal district, will begin Tuesday. During that time, property owners will have the opportunity to discuss their property with one of the district's appraisers and potentially resolve their protest.

Property owners who do not accept a settlement offer during the informal process will have a chance to present their case to the Travis Appraisal Review Board, an independent group of citizens authorized to resolve disputes between taxpayers and the appraisal district. Appraisal Review Board hearings are due to begin in June.

The appraisal district will host a webinar on the protest process at 11:30 a.m. May 1. Registration can be done at

More information on the protest process is on the appraisal district's website,"


Source: Austin American-Statesman

Written by: Shonda Novak

Published: April 15, 2024



Posted by Grossman & Jones Group on


Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.