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Porter County Administration Center stock

The Porter County Administration Center in downtown Valparaiso. 

VALPARAISO — The assessed value of homes in Porter County jumped about 5 percent, on average, in the past year, according to Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder.

“It’s a healthy increase. I think it’s the largest increase since I’ve been in office,” Snyder said. This is his eighth year.

The increase doesn’t necessarily mean the homeowner’s tax bill will go up. Assessed value is just one factor in that equation, he said.

“The others are kind of out of my hand and out of my control,” Snyder said.

Each year, counties are required to do a market-based study of property values based on sales of comparable homes.

“It’s supply and demand, right? There is a very limited supply and very high demand,” Snyder said.

The real estate market is hot right now, said Peter Novak, CEO of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors. That’s true nationally, not just in Porter County.

“What we’re seeing is prices rising, multiple offers, not only homes selling for asking prices but in some cases selling for more because of competition,” he said.

It’s been a seller’s market for about the past five years, he said.

“The builders will tell you they cannot build fast enough,” Novak said. “They have a labor supply issue, believe it or not.”

Consequently, homes are in short supply, which drives up assessed values on homes.

In some cases, the assessed value of homes grew by leaps and bounds in the past year.

The Fentree condos in Center Township saw the largest increase, at 31.69 percent.

“When you have the real big ones like that, it’s kind of an outlier,” Snyder said.

Other neighborhoods with significant jumps include unincorporated Center Township’s Glenwood, 19.14 percent; Valparaiso’s Shamrock subdivision, 17.18 percent; Blalock Orchard Addition, 16.54 percent; Fairfield Greens, 16.42 percent; and Beulah Heights, 14.73 percent.

Assessed values in Center Township’s Blackhawk Beach, Burlington, Edgewater and Hillcrest neighborhoods all rose 12.10 percent.

“Some of that can be that we were low to begin with on the assessments, and we’re just starting to catch up,” Snyder said.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.