Real estate values move in the right direction

Not long ago, a higher property valuation notice from Thurston County might have upset many residents. No more. The assessment notices mailed last week heralding a rise in property values are being received as welcome news.

After morbidly watching their property values decline steadily since 2008, most property owners are seeing an increase for the first time in about five years. This year’s 4 percent to 5 percent rise, doesn’t make up for the 10 percent loss during the Great Recession, but the upward change signals hope for continued improvement.

The rise in assessed valuations reflects recent real estate market activity, including more sales of residential and commercial property as well as higher selling prices.

Because the housing and commercial real estate markets have a major influence on business activity, consumer spending and employment, improvement in this sector signals general economic recovery. And that’s good news for everyone.