Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I trade you anecdotes

So with the news obsessing on the one property they found where a parking space on Mount Washington seems to be overassessed.  It is now international news even, but do check out the first comment in that link via London's Daily Mail.

Was it really an incorrect value though? Probably, since that seems to be slightly more than a parking space in Manhattan a few years ago, but how incorrect?  It still is the neighborhood (or part of a neighborhood) with the most valuable real estate in the region. Reasonable to think it has a pretty high value per square foot of land.   Is prime Mt. Washington real estate approaching Manhattan prices yet?  Is a better view than most in Manhattan is it not?   Can we at least agree the space is worth more than the $5,000 it is currently assessed at? Would be worth more than that in a lot less pricey a neighborhood than that, wouldn't it?

Remember in the first reassessment 2001, there was initially a dog house that wound up being assessed a bit improperly?  I will bet the assessment just completed will eventually be measured to be more accurate than the first Sabre Systems assessment even.  I bet when we really get a look at this all, the condo parking space that was overassesed was an anomaly.. certainly an outlier.. maybe even the single most extreme outlier in the entire assessment when it comes to the %  increase in assessed value.  Would be the very definition of anecdote if that was true, n'est-ce pas?
A bigger issue....  I personally believe we have a lot of properties in the county that have economic values which are literally negative or zero at best.  The property assessment system does not really deal with that situation very well so it never gets recorded that way.  I was always pretty sure that the models being run produce negative values when first run.  They likely get adjusted to at least zero or more likely some minimal land value before being finalized.  I think I have proof of that. They did miss at least one property in the adjustment.  While I am quite sure that number will be corrected, I do wonder what would happen if it remained the offical assessed value.  Would the owner have to send an invoice TO the county in order to get a check sent to them? Probably wouldn't work.

I do wonder what is up Downtown real estate speaking of anecdotes.   I have no idea what the market for penthouse condos is in Pittsburgh these days, or what it ever was for that matter.  There is at least one case where either the owner is really happy at their lowered assessment, or really mad that the condo they paid $2+mil for a few years ago is now worth well under $1mil.  A moment of Yunzer cognitive dissonance for me to believe we have 7 figure condo prices anywhere for that matter.   That and the poor Granite building seems to have most of the value in each of its units written off almost entirely. Not questioning whether that is a fair valuation, but still.


Anonymous Alex B. said...

I did not see anywhere the assessed value of the other parking lots under the condo. Were they also high?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

I'd love to see someone try to calculate some sort of error rate for the assessment, maybe at different stages (including before and after informal appeals). The mass media is currently giving a lot of people the impression that error rate is incredibly high, but I wonder if that is really true.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

That will be done. At this point Wettick knows more about how assessment works than anyone in the county. Both by the county and others once the data is release I am sure there will be COD's and PRD's calculated for evaluation of the assessment. Those are the standard metrics by which assessments are evaluated. Maybe I will explain those and get into it here at some point.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:47:00 PM  

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