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Cass property value drops by 3.3 percent

WALKER — Cass County’s property value dropped 3.3 percent in the 2012 assessment that will be used to compute property taxes in 2013, Assessor Mark Peterson informed the county board Tuesday.

The new valuation is $6,397,700,000, down from $6,579,700,000 in 2011. The county’s value peaked in 2008 at $7,084,000,000.

There were 109 new home starts in the county in the last year, compared with 128 the year before.

The highest valued subdivision in the county is the city of Lake Shore at $515,385,300, followed by the city of East Gull Lake, $460,919,700; Shingobee Township (by Walker), $414,955,600; Woodrow Township (between Hackensack and Longville), $384,267,700; Crooked Lake Township (by Outing), $285,401,800; Fairview Township (southern Cass), $277,571,200; Sylvan Township (by Pillager), $257,867,200; Hiram (by Hackensack), $251,401,500; and Wabedo (by Longville), $236,996,900.

The two lowest valued jurisdictions are the city of Boy River, $1,000,700, and city of Bena, $1,944,200.

First quarter foreclosures have leveled off this year. In 2010, 45 properties went into foreclosure, compared with 28 last year and 29 this year. The number of homesteaded properties foreclosed also has leveled off at 11 or 12, compared with 18 in 2010.

Residential cabin foreclosures are up slightly over 2011, 18 this year, compared with 15 in 2011, but both years are below the 25 cabins going into foreclosure in 2010.

Significantly fewer foreclosures are on lakes. Those peaked at 20 in 2010 and dropped to 14 in 2011 and to 8 this year.

There was one commercial foreclosure in 2010 and one in 2011, but none this year.

Throughout the recession, more lower-valued properties have been going into foreclosure than high value ones. The first quarter this year, only one foreclosure was valued at more than $400,000, and 23 of the 29 were valued under 200,000.

Peterson reported arms-length property sales (those not involving foreclosure or sales at a discounted rate to relatives) are running ahead of the number sold the first quarter of 2011, with 100 sold this year and 84 sold last year through March.

The number of properties sold each full year in Cass County peaked the middle of the last decade at over 1,500 per year, then dropped to 1,250 in 2006 and have been running between 570 and 650 each of the last four years.