La Cañada's Assessed Valuation Up 9 Percent

La Cañada Flintridge's assessed valuation for 2005 was $4,243,077,387, a nine percent increase from 2004's figure of $3,893,645,316, according to Los Angeles County Assessor Rick Auerbach, who last week released a record 2005 Assessment Roll of $855.8 billion.

Home sales were a dominant factor again in the real estate market and a key reason for the unprecedented $74.8 billion increase over last year's $781 billion gross Roll, Auerbach said.

The net Los Angeles County Roll, after exemptions and excluding utilities assessed by the Board of Equalization, totaled $823.7 billion, compared to the $749 billion net Roll last year, an increase of 10 percent.

"We are a long way from the two-to-three percent value gains of the 1990s," Auerbach stated in his report. "There probably is a gradual slowdown ahead, but all the signs show a seller's market continuing in the near future and no bursting bubble anytime soon."

Changes of ownership requiring a reassessment under Proposition 13, mainly consisting of single-family residences and condominiums, added $54 billion to the Roll - the largest single factor in the increase. Each property that changed ownership resulted in an average increase of $262,000 in assessed value. That compares with an average increase of $174,000 last year.

Another major factor in the Roll increase was the annual Consumer Price Index adjustment required by Proposition 13 or properties which did not change ownership. This year, the CPI increase was two percent. The adjustment added $14 billion to the Roll compared to $11.7 billion in 2004.

The third largest factor was new construction which increased the Roll by $5.6 billion, compared to $5.5 billion last year and includes homes, apartment buildings and commercial structures.

This is the sixth Assessment Roll produced under the direction of Auerbach, who has twice been elected Assessor in a 35-year career, which included serving as an appraiser, manager and assistant assessor. He will also become president of the California Assessors' Association in January.

- Leticia Cheng

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