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Residential market values drop slightly in Kandiyohi County

Norway Lake is one of two lakes in Kandiyohi County that saw a decrease in front-foot property values this year. Overall the market value for seasonal property in the county increased by 2 percent. Residential property saw a decrease of about 2 percent. (Tribune photo by Carolyn Lange)

WILLMAR -- The market value of residential property in Kandiyohi County dropped nearly 2 percent this year.

That's not nearly as big a drop as "the average person was thinking," said Kandiyohi County Commissioner Dennis Peterson.

Citing anecdotal information from homeowners who told him they sold homes for $100,000 less than the asking price, Peterson said some expected the overall market value to be lower this year.

Assessor Tim Falkum said because this region "didn't have the big huge increase" in residential values and sale prices, there would not be a big decrease either.

The 2 percent decrease in the market value is comparable to surrounding counties, Falkum said. "Everybody's leveled out or slowed down."

The 2010 values, which will apply to the 2011 property taxes, were based on real estate sales that occurred between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009.

Falkum told the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners during its recent meeting that there were 312 residential sales during the target period that was used in calculating the new market value.

"We're looking at the history with sales," he said during the board meeting last week.

The 2 percent decrease is the average change in the market from last year to this year, said Falkum. Some properties will increase or decrease greater than the average.

Based on 27 sales of agricultural land, that sector saw a decrease of less than 1 percent for overall ag and tillable land.

There were 18 sales of commercial/industrial properties, which is three times more than average for Kandiyohi County, according to Falkum. Market values in that sector had a "slight increase due to some areas where we were low," he said.

Seasonal properties saw an average increase of 2 percent in the market value.

Lakeshore property on two lakes -- Swan Lake, located in Dovre Township, and Norway Lake -- saw a decrease in the front-foot value.

The front-foot value on Norway Lake dropped $200.

Last year a group of Norway Lake residents complained about the high values, saying the poor water quality of the weed-infested lake should have made property worth less than other lakes with good water quality, like Lake Florida.

Falkum said market values are based on sales and that the seven land sales on Norway Lake indicated the value needed to be decreased.

The shoreland front-foot values of several other lakes increased, including Diamond, Lake Florida, Henderson, Big Kandiyohi, Long Lake in Roseville Township and Swenson Lake in Arctander Township. Because building rates may have been adjusted downward, Falkum said an increase in the front-footage value doesn't necessarily mean an increase in the overall market value.

Property owners can appeal their values during the county Board of Equalization meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. on June 14. Property owners must first appear before their local board of appeals in the township or city.

Some of those local boards have already met. Unlike the last couple years when there were numerous appeals, Falkum said there have been few appeals so far this year.


Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750