With recessionary trends continuing in the third quarter of 2011, we are often asked “how is the appraisal business in Charlotte?”

There are several dynamics at play that have contributed to a healthy appraisal environment for the well-prepared, professional appraisal staff.  Note the following:

  • Mecklenburg County reassessed all property in Mecklenburg County with an effective valuation date of January 1, 2011.  Their previous assessment was January 1, 2003.  The run-up in real estate values from 2003 through most of 2008 has been significantly offset, if not completely erased, by the erosion of value for residential and commercial property since January 1, 2009.  The tax assessments, the concerns by property owners about their resulting taxes and the attempts by Mecklenburg County to “get it right” have all contributed to our body of work.
  • After many years, if not decades of talk, the NCDOT began condemnations for widening and improving Independence Boulevard.  T.B. Harris, Jr. & Associates has been involved in numerous takings representing property owners with respect to the NCDOT.  We anticipate more appraisals and consulting work in 2011 and likely continuing into the first half of 2012.
  • The real estate recession and the resulting impact to local and regional banks has been well-documented in the news media.  Banks continue to monitor their loan portfolios “updated appraisals.”  We continue to provide appraisal services for financial institutions and debtors, which often takes the form of routine monitoring of loans, pre-foreclosures, bankruptcy valuations, etc.
  • Our consulting business continues to expand.  We have provided consulting services primarily of commercial real estate to a number of clients for a broad range of subjects.  Often there is a need for a market study relative to current market rental rates, some users are anticipating a move out of the recession in 2012 or 2013 and are seeking a “highest and best use study” of their property.  We are fortunate that many of our clients have questions above and beyond valuation and are seeking our counsel.
  • Expert witness and litigation support continue to be a part of our services.  We spend time with legal counsel, debtors, partnership interests, family members and others, advising on legal strategies relative to valuation and evaluation of real property interests.  We expect our expert witness and litigation support practice to expand throughout 2011 and 2012.

Mr. Harris was also recently asked to join “The Innovators”, a private organization of professionals throughout North Carolina.  This group includes real property professionals including contractors, developers, engineers, and others.