March 28, 2008

Property values -- the have's and the have not's

Our headline on RacinePost said it all:
Racine property value growth
lags Kenosha's and state's
That was based on a short Business Journal story summarizing a report by the Milwaukee Public Policy Forum analyzing the growth in value of residential and commercial property.

The full report -- which you really should read in its entirety -- began like this:
Property values in southeastern Wisconsin counties grew 6% last year, a relatively healthy rate but the slowest since at least 2004, and for some counties, the past decade. Also, proximity to northern Illinois looks to be a key factor in fueling strong growth.

The slowdown in property value growth is not unexpected given the national downturn in property values and the explosive growth rates of recent years. Of significance, however, is that the region grew slower than the state of Wisconsin for the first year since 2002. Overall growth in Wisconsin was 6.2%, compared to the region’s 6%. From 2005‐2006, the region grew by 10.7%, while the state grew by 9.6%.
Rather than summarize the whole thing, I'll just present a few Racine County statistics that caught my eye.

Southeastern Wisconsin consists of 147 municipalities, of which 61 are towns, 57 are villages, and 29 are cities. Guess which one has the least amount of property per capita? No, it wasn't the City of Racine (Gotcha?); we came in next-to-last, 146th, with $50,640 in taxable property per person, down slightly from 2006 when we were 145th with $48,864. Most startling was the disparity between the have's and the have not's. The amount of property per capita in the No. 1 municipality -- the Village of Chenequa in Waukesha County -- is $971,508... 19 times more than Racine. Here's a table showing the richest and poorest among southeastern Wisconsin's communities.

Click on chart to enlarge

Four counties had a per capita property value of over $100,000: Walworth, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington. Racine County overall has a per capita property value of $80,260, with the wealthiest communities being the Villages of North Bay ($164,265) and Wind Point ($160,910)and the Town of Yorkville ($144,500), while the poorest behind Racine's $50,640 is the Town of Union Grove ($70,439). A spreadsheet showing every community's per capita value and ranking for this year and last year can be found HERE.

There was at least one bit of good news: Racine County showed its first increase in manufacturing property value since 2003, growing 2.6%, following three years of decreases. From 2005 to 2006, it decreased 1.3%.

A spreadsheet comparing each community's total equalized assessed valuation, with breakdowns of residential, commercial and manufacturing real estate for the year 2007 can be found HERE.


  1. Wow this is a shocker! This armpit city.

  2. It isn't as bad as I thought it would be!