Why did the value of my property go up this year?

Massachusetts law and Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) regulations require that property be assessed at 100% of full and fair market value each year.

This is unlike other states that require a revaluation once every so many years.  In those states, your value remains constant until that revaluation year.  For example, my son who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina just received a 40% increase in his home’s value after four years with no value increases.

In Massachusetts, your value can change every year, depending on market conditions.  The DOR approves each municipality’s values each year and – once every five years – does a full “recertification” of each municipality’s assessed values and how they are calculated.  This tends to prevent the very large increases you see in states that revalue every three to five years.

By “market conditions,” we mean the prices properties are selling for within Holliston.  For the current Fiscal Year 2024, the Assessors’ Office studied sales that took place in calendar year 2022.  Under DOR regulations, our studies always lag 12 to 18 months behind the current calendar year.

This lag time means that when the real estate market goes up – as it has been doing for the past four to five years – your assessed value will go up for at least another year after that market growth begins to flatten out or drop.  Similarly, when the real estate market goes down – as it did in the early 2000s’ “Great Recession” – assessed values did not fall until at least a year after real estate values began to decrease.

Even if you did nothing to improve your property, your assessed value can increase if the local market is increasing.  In our 2022 analysis period, the median price of homes sold in Holliston was above the state average, but below the Middlesex County average. (Median price means 50% of sales were above the sale price, and 50% were below it.)

The value of an “average” single-family home in Holliston rose by 7% this fiscal year. (“Average” means dividing the total value of all single-family homes by the total number of single-family homes.)

Kevin Rudden

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