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Beach House Bust: Ocean City Property Values Take A Dive

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Eighty-six percent of the real estate in Ocean City, Md. belongs to out-of-towners, but recent assessments show the value of your typical beach house has tanked by as much as nine percent.

The State Department of Assessments says property values declined for 82 percent of the more than 10,000 homes and condominiums analyzed in Worcester County over a three-year real estate assessment cycle.

These numbers aren't just problematic for property owners though, as local governments across the Eastern Shore struggle to adjust to revenue shortfalls. Property tax revenues make up over 60 percent of the entire budget in places like Ocean City.

In Worcester County, for example, the total combined assessable base for residential and commercial properties comes in at around $2.5 billion, which is $200 million less than the last assessment.

Properties all over the shore, including Somerset, Wicomico, Talbot, and Queen Anne counties all declined in value, while in comparison assessments across the bridge actually saw substantial increases, including double digit spikes in property value in Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties.

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