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New Home Construction Powers Property Value Growth in Fresno County

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Home construction drove the city of Fowler to 17.5% property value growth for the 2023-24 fiscal year. (GV Wire File)
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For some, increased property values might mean higher taxes. For others, it represents a return on investment.

But one thing is clear: San Joaquin Valley properties are rising in value and with that comes increased funding for public education and other services.

“Property taxes are the glue that allows local government to maintain civilization and keep our American way of life,” Fresno County Assessor/Recorder Paul Dictos said.

Across the Valley, new home construction and rising ag values are increasing the property tax base.

Single Family Homes Drive Rising Fowler Property Values

With 17.5% year-over-year growth, the homes, businesses, and ag properties in Fowler far outpaced the county-wide growth of 7%.

The city of 7,000 people had the fastest-growing property values of Fresno, Tulare, and Stanislaus counties. (Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, and San Joaquin counties have yet to publish their 2023/24 property assessments.)

Fowler Assistant City Manager Thomas Gaffery said new construction in the city has driven property value growth as opposed to mere market-driven growth.

A subdivision by KB Homes recently finished, adding 90 homes, said Gaffery. Woodside Homes is more than halfway through their 100 planned homes. K. Hovnanian Homes has another 140 homes across two phases.

An expansion of Bee Sweet Citrus’ processing facility recently finished as well, Gaffery said.

Fowler also lead the way from Kern to Merced counties in population growth, increasing 3.3% year-over-year, according to the California Department of Finance.

“Fowler is a desirable community in the Valley, I really look at it as a hidden gem,” said City Manager Wilma Tucker, who once held the same position in Fresno. “It is a very close-knit community — great school district, very safe, and I think that kind of shows why we have the influx of residential rooftops and population.”

Fresno County Property Value Increases Nearly All Positive

Fresno County property values increased 7% from the 2022-23 tax year to $109.8 billion. The total value of real estate in California topped $7.8 trillion in 2022. Because of Proposition 13, which keeps taxes on property values pegged at the purchase price, nine out of 10 property owners only get the 2% tax adjustment, according to a press release from Fresno County Recorder/Assessor Paul Dictos.

The assessment covered:

  • 235,707 single-family homes
  • 16,168 commercial and industrial properties
  • 12,971 condominiums
  • 6,561 apartments
  • 7,158 manufactured homes
  • 25,986 ag properties

Mendota was the only city to experience a decline in property values, dropping $1.1 million to $359.4 million.

San Joaquin, Kerman, and Kingsburg followed Fowler with the biggest increases at 12.8%, 11%, and 10.2%, respectively.

Ag land in unincorporated areas increased by 7%. Mobile home values increased by 13.7%.

Modest Growth in Tulare County

Most cities in Tulare County stayed in line with the county’s total growth. The $47 billion assessment represents a 6.7% increase from the previous tax year.

The increase is a result of a steady volume of sale transactions, new construction projects, and continued market value increases in residential and commercial markets, a news release from Tulare County stated.

Visalia property assessment grew 7.6% and Tulare grew 6.9%. Lindsay grew the most at 7.8%.

“It’s worth noting that while home prices have increased significantly since the 2008 recession, most long-term property owners won’t see an equivalent rise in their property assessments thanks to the protections of Proposition 13,” said Tara Freitas, Tulare County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder.

This story was updated to reflect final net percentage changes in property value.

Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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