Travis Central Appraisal District spent nearly $100K on market data, records show

Local News

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Travis Central Appraisal District spent nearly $100,000 on home sales and market data since the beginning of 2018, according to records obtained by KXAN.

Homeowners have expressed concerns about rising home values and how much data TCAD has obtained ahead of accessing properties.

“It appears as if they knew that they were getting data they weren’t supposed to be getting so that does cause a pretty big breach of trust,” said homeowner Kevin Wickham.

The Austin Board of Realtors claims the vendor that runs its multiple listing service for buying and selling homes — CoreLogic, LLC — sold data to the appraisal district. 

ABOR says that’s a contract violation, and filed a cease and desist earlier in the month.

KXAN requested all transactions between TCAD and CoreLogic since the beginning of last year.

What was found is that the appraisal district made purchases that include $24,300 in Travis County data, $45,000 in statewide data from 2017, and $25,029 in 2019 Market data.

The findings were shown to Green City Realty owner Chris Beer, who said it was the first time he’d heard of an appraisal district purchasing data like this.

“It’s not like they were trying to hide the fact that they were purchasing the data,” he said.

The data is usually reserved for realtors and companies like Zillow. The state of Texas doesn’t require disclosure of real estate prices.

“Ultimately, these are real sale prices, so of course the appraisal district wants the true values of what properties have sold for,” said Beer.

Appeal hearings for property appraisals begin next week.

As of May 29, there were more than 142,000 protests filed. 

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