As part of the reappraisal process the Appraisal District analyzes all sales that occur within a specific data gathering period. The typical period is from July 1 of the prior year to January 1 of the valuation year. Depending on sales volume this period may go back to January 1 of the prior year. During the time frame, market conditions are reviewed and analyzed. For example, increasing demand for single family residences may cause the sales prices to increase over time.
The Appraisal District is required to study these market changes and to adjust older sales to account for market changes. Each sale is adjusted based on how the market changed between the actual sale date and the appraisal date. These time adjustments can be positive (improving market conditions) or negative (deteriorating market conditions). The process is referred to as time trending, and the resulting time adjusted sales prices represent what each property would have sold for if it had sold on the appraisal date.
The appraisal date as set by the Property Tax Code is January 1, of each year.
The Property Tax Code also states that property shall be valued at its market value as of this date. (Section 23.01(a)). Market value is defined as a price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions. (Property Tax Code Section 1.04(7).
To arrive at the trending factors, Bastrop Central Appraisal District reviewed the Median Sale Price throughout the prior year, leading up to the valuation date of January 1. The Median Sale Price of properties sold in Bastrop County as published by the Austin Board of Realtors, the Median Sale Price of properties sold in Bastrop County of sales known to the appraisal district and we also reviewed paired sales, properties that sold twice within the year in which no improvements were made between the sales dates.
Keep in mind, the valuation date is January 1 and the appraisal district is required to value at market value as of this date. News articles throughout the area reported on the growing real estate market in Bastrop County. Documents on the median sale price and the year over year increase was evident of an active real estate market. These conditions are to be considered, “prevailing market conditions”, when valuing property as of January 1.