‘Real Estate Is On Fire’: South Florida Property Valuations Soar — But So Could Taxes

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Propelled by scorching demand, rising prices and a torrent of new construction, South Florida’s property values have escalated steeply, providing a boon to owners of homes and commercial and industrial real estate — but also raising the prospect of big tax hikes and a deeper housing affordability crunch.

Preliminary estimates of taxable property values just released by Miami-Dade and Broward counties show valuations for all types of property rose more than 10% overall in both counties as of the end of 2021 compared to the previous year. That’s faster than values had risen in many years.

In Miami-Dade, property values increased at an overall annual rate not seen in 15 years. Countywide, the taxable value of properties rose by $34 billion to a total of $372 billion, or a whopping 10.2% jump, between 2020 and 2021. New construction accounted for $5.292 billion of that increase.

Pedro J. Garcia, the Miami-Dade property appraiser, said in a statement the county last saw an overall double-digit increase in values in 2007. The 2021 growth rate nearly triples the level of increase recorded in 2020, when South Florida’s taxable property values rose significantly in spite of widespread economic impact from the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The biggest increase by far came in the small city of Sweetwater. Largely due to an annexation in late 2021, the city’s property values rose a head-spinning 56.3%. It also has seen a boom in high-rise residential construction catering to Florida International University, which sits across Southwest Eighth Street in west Miami-Dade.

Unusually, every single municipality and taxing district in Miami-Dade, as well as unincorporated areas, saw a substantial increase in taxable property values. That includes some, like the area covered by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, a special tax district stretching from Brickell to Edgewater, that had seen a slight decline in values the previous year.