Monday, January 19, 2009

Raw land values in Kern sink

From the Californian:

"Raw land that sold for upward of $100,000 an acre during the boom has come
back to earth in hard fashion, results of a county assessment review indicate.
Prime parcels are now worth about $35,000 an acre, with less desirable sites pegged at $20,000, said Tony Ansolabehere, assistant assessor for Kern County.
The numbers come from a recent revaluation of undeveloped land and residential subdivisions held mostly by housing developers.
Only holdings where values had been appealed or where property owners asked the Kern County Assessor-Recorder’s office for a reduction were included in the review, Ansolabehere said.
The process reduced the county’s assessment roll for the current fiscal year by $260
million. This fiscal year started July 1.
Most of the reduction — about $224 million — came from changes to raw land. Some 3,243 acres of such properties were revalued.
The average reduction per acre of raw land was $69,000, Ansolabehere said.
Details on specific projects weren’t immediately available as results still need to be entered into the county’s computer system, he said.
One subdivision included in the review was McAllister Ranch, which on its own totals 2,070 acres. The planned 6,000-home tract in far southwest Bakersfield is currently slated for public auction Aug. 22 after its developer defaulted on a $235 million loan.
The drop came on the heels of reductions for 40,000 Kern homeowners. Next on the
horizon are business and commercial properties.
“This is the first time we’ve ever been through anything like this,” Ansolabehere said of the widespread reductions.
The office expects additional declines next year.
For now, smaller plots are on the menu.
“This week, I’m looking at mobile homes,” Ansolabehere said."

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