GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The Williamson Central Appraisal District released its appraisal valuation notices last week. The overall average was that homes were appraised roughly 12% less than they were in January 2022.

Alvin Lankford, WCAD chief appraiser, said this is the first overall decline in valuations he’s seen in the county in 23 years, following record valuations last year.

In 2022, residential values had a drastic increase of more than 45%.

“So, in the 23 years I’ve been here, I’ve seen in the last two years a record increase and record decrease,” Lankford said.

Lankford said prices and interest rates started to level out in the middle of 2022, which has carried into 2023.

Brandy Wuensch with the Austin Board of Realtors seconds this finding.

She says the record highs of 2022 were bound to come down, that fall has now carried over into 2023.

“It wasn’t a sustainable market and so we’re starting to see a little bit of prices settle,” Wuensch said.

Just because property or home values are lower does not mean owners will save money when it comes time to pay their property taxes.

Lankford said the assessed value of a home cannot go up by more than 10% per year, but market values do not have that same cap.

Per state law, Lankford says those values must match which happens by adjusting a home or property’s taxes.

Williamson County is expected to announce public hearings for setting local tax rates soon, WCAD said in a press release.

Exemptions do exist to help reduce how much a property’s taxes can change.

Lankford recommends all owners to see which ones they may qualify for by visiting the CAD website.

The deadline to apply for a homestead exemption is fast approaching on April 30.

Lankford said the deadline to protest a property’s value is open until May 15.