10 min read

Wake County Property Tax Assessment Insights

By Stephen Wicks

city skyline of raleigh north carolina that is subject to wake county property tax

Wake County, North Carolina (the second largest county in North Carolina and home to Raleigh, the state’s second largest city) just released 2020 values. Because we have property tax assessment data for Wake County stretching back to the last revaluation year of 2016, we’ve examined Wake County property tax assessments in 2020 to provide a little more insight to commercial property owners with property in Wake County.

 

Use the data below to better understand your property value increases and how they compare to averages for similar property types.

Using Big Data As A Starting POint for Evaluating Assessments

We looked at different types of commercial properties to see how the average parcel value changed from both last year to this year (2019 to 2020) and from the last revaluation year to this year (2016 to 2020).

 

One important note when computing our average value increases: we only used parcels that were consistent from year-to-year in our comparisons.  We did not include parcels that were new in 2020 (and not active in prior years) or parcels that were active in 2016/2019 but no longer active in 2020.  That way our average percent increase is a true per-parcel average and not a per-category average.

Retail

When it comes to retail businesses, we noticed a shift for Wake County property tax. With the rise of e-commerce, the economics of retail changed significantly since Wake County’s last revaluation. Below are the per parcel value changes for common retail property types:

 

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Department Store

-0.4%

-0.4%

Discount Store

63.6%

67.5%

Junior Anchor

13.3%

16.2%

Junior Department Store

26.5%

32.6%

Pharmacy/Drug Store

16.1%

16.3%

Supermarket

19.8%

26.4%

Single Tenant Retail

25.8%

21.8%

Multi-Tenant Retail

27.1%

22.9%

Mini-Storage

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Mini-Warehouse

12.5%

16.5%

Restaurants

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Fast Food

30.8%

30.8%

Non-Fast Food

23.7%

23.7%

 

To get a better indicator of the appropriateness of any value increase you are seeing, you could further segment the data for more of an apples-to-apples comparison with your property (e.g. quick-casual, chain, local, etc.).

Convenience Stores, Gas Stations, and Mini-Lubes

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Food Marts (convenience stores, gas stations, etc.)

16.5%

9.9%

Mini-Lubes

-3.6%

-7.6%

 

As the mini-lube data shows, values don’t always increase. But even if your value is unchanged from year-to-year, it is still important to compare to other similar values.

Medical Facilities

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Medical Offices

7.8%

5.4%

Veterinary Clinics

27.8%

27.6%

 

The difference between medical offices and veterinary clinics (which some assessors lump together) demonstrates the importance of looking at granular data to see trends that are relevant to your properties. For even better analysis, you could break down medical offices by type (e.g. dentist, doctor, clinic, etc.).

HOtel and Motels

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Chain Hotels/Motels

58.1%

62.5%

Independent Hotels/Motels

27.8%

35.7%

Extended Stay Motels

69.0%

69.0%

Luxury Hotels

46.9%

46.1%

 

The vast differences in average value increase by type show the importance of choosing the correct category for comparison. At the low end, independent hotels and motels increased 28% from 2019 to 2020, while extended stay motels increased 69%.

Senior Care

Type

Change
2019 to 2020

Change
2016 to 2020

Nursing Homes

42.6%

50.6%

Retirement Homes

40.1%

42.4%

 

As an interesting comparison point, garden apartments increased an average of 45.8% per parcel from 2019 to 2020, which is similar to the increases seen in eldercare facilities.

Conclusions

When new values are released, it’s important to dive deeper into the data to see how properties like yours are impacted. While a high-level look at Wake County shows that home values increased by 20% on average and commercial properties increased by 33% on average, we’ve seen that some property types saw as much as 69% increases over 2019 and others, like department stores, showed a small decrease in value.

 

The analysis we performed is a good first pass to help identify potential assessments to dispute, but there’s definitely more you can do to see if your assessments are in line with others, like identifying peer companies and competitors and even comparing values per square foot. If you are interested, we offer full assessment rolls by county that are standardized across jurisdictions and available in an easy to analyze spreadsheet. You can request those datasets here.

 

As more 2020 values are released, we’ll continue to offer analysis for large counties, and we’re working on an analysis of Harris County, TX now. To get these updates straight to your inbox as we post them, sign up for our Property Tax Assessment Insights.

 

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Tags: Assessment Insights, Tax Calendar Insights

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