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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Property values throughout New Hanover County are heading down. The areas seeing the largest drops since the last revaluation in 2007 are the beach towns.

Property values have taken a turn for the worse in New Hanover County since the latest recession.

“There are some areas, a few pockets, that are actually seeing an increase, but for the most part they are staying the same or dropping,” New Hanover County Tax Administrator Roger Kelley said.

Kelley says the property values in New Hanover County have dropped fairly significantly since 2007.

The fire district property is down eight percent. Carolina Beach has dropped 46 percent. Kure Beach is down 40 percent. Wrightsville Beach has declined 18 percent The City of Wilmington has lost 13 percent of its value.

The county overall is facing a 14 percent drop.

Another issue in New Hanover County is foreclosures. There have been 3,000 in the county in the last eight months.

“A lot of people have lost their properties to foreclosures because they purchased at the peak, in that 2006-2007 time frame and now they are saying they are upside down and the problem has really gotten bad for a lot of people,” Kelley said.

Kelley also say that decreases in property value have hit Carolina and Kure Beach the hardest. Property here has dipped in value 40-50 percent since last valuations in 2007.

“If I were to have to sell, then I don’t know what would happen,” Carolina Beach resident Teressa Sandeford said. “I definitely would lose and probably have to sell and still owe money, that’s messed up.”

Property owners are still paying taxes based on the value assigned to that property back in 2007. That has a lot of people where values have dropped looking forward to the next valuation in January.

“Every property owner in the county is hoping and praying that this turns around, but I haven’t seen any indicators that say that’s going to be anytime in the near future,” Kelley said.

Kelley say the 3,000 thousand foreclosures in New Hanover County in the last eight months put the county in the top five in the state in that category.

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