December 2011 Real Estate Foreclosures: 234
Unemployment Rate (%): 10.1
"Guilford County’s last revaluation was in 2004. As required by state law all counties must conduct a countywide revaluation at least once every eight years. Guilford County is at the end of its eight year revaluation cycle and must revalue all real property in 2012. To accomplish a reappraisal of many thousands of properties (Guilford has 207,000 parcels) county appraisers use mass appraisal.
...Market value is defined as “the price estimated in terms of money at which the property would sell between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used” (NCGS 105.283).
...The Guilford County real estate market has changed dramatically since 2004. The 2004 revaluation was conducted during a period of growth and appreciation in the local real estate market. During the years 2004-2007 the Guilford County real estate market grew at a steady rate with annual increases in the average selling prices of homes in each of those years.
Over the last three years there have been temporary fluctuations in the local market but overall there has continued to be a general downward trend. This long term decline has created highly unusual circumstances which are unprecedented in any Guilford County revaluation cycle over the last forty years.
Through the use of various statistical measures, the level of assessment as well as the fairness and equity of assessments can be determined. In order to ensure the accuracy of the study, it is necessary to verify that sales prices utilized meet the definition of market value. Sales are analyzed to determine if they are arms-length transactions between willing and financially able buyers and willing sellers, with neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell.
If a sale fails to meet the definition of market value for any reason, it is not utilized in the study.
...Additional indicators of the economic downturn in the Guilford County real estate market include a large number of forced or distressed sales over the last three years. Short sales are defined as below market sales of real estate that are transacted to avoid a court ordered foreclosure sale. Both foreclosure and short sales have been largely responsible for a 20% decline in the average selling price of existing homes over the last three years.
While foreclosure and forced sales have occurred in all areas of the county, some areas have been more heavily impacted than others. Staff appraisers will consider all sales that have occurred in each appraisal neighborhood over the last several years but a greater weight will be given to comparable sales that have happened without duress.