Friday, January 29, 2010

In What Will Become An Annual Occurence for the Next Few Years, Charlottesville Announces Decline in Property Values

The City of Charlottesville announced a  decline in property tax assessments, just hours after Albemarle County shared its pain.  
This is the first decline since the City began keeping detailed records in 1976.

The DP has some details:
“It’s pretty much all dictated by sales,” said [City Assessor Roosevelt] Barbour, adding that the city saw 21 percent fewer sales in 2009 than the year before. “We just interpret the market. We don’t make the market.”

The city government has been keeping track of assessment growth since 1976. Values peaked in 2006, when there was a 15.34 percent average increase among existing residential and commercial properties.

Bernard Wray, Charlottesville’s finance director, said that based on the most recent figures, the city would garner roughly $175,000 less in real-estate taxes than budgeted if the tax rate remains steady. The city had assumed, for budget planning purposes, that overall real-estate assessments would remain flat.

Some numbers via The DP:
  • Of Charlottesville’s 43 neighborhoods
  • 21 saw their residential assessments decline
  • 18 remained flat
  • Largest decrease was in Orangedale, which saw values decline by -26 percent. 
  • Ix/Belmont: -13.8 percent decrease
  • Carlton/Belmont  -11.9 percent decrease
  • Four neighborhoods saw small growth: Greenbrier, Rose Hill, Johnson Village and Little High Street/East Jefferson Street, "despite the suffering residential real-estate market."
  • No commercial properties saw growth in values.
Read The DP story here. 
Albemarle County Assessments declined on average nearly 4%: click here.

Image copyright/courtesy tzpictures at flickr.


Anonymous said...


I just received (well looked on the county site) my new tax assessment. I am do you think the new assessments will impact those properties currently listed? Seems like a prospective buyer will look at data points such as 2010 tax assessment and base any offer with that number in mind. I would, and it would appear we are pretty much at 2004 prices or very close to it based on the new and improved tax assessments...

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

2010 is the year of Seller Pain

The County, unlike the City, has assessment data going back for years. Since information is available to buyers, why would they base an offer on 2010 assessment data? ;0)

If the local Realtors Assn states that prices are back to 2004 levels, why wouldn't buyers base their offers on assessment data from 2004? After all, those assessments reflected the market at that time....

Whatever a buyer bases their offer on, here's a restatement of the obvious:

2010 is the year of Seller Pain. Many (not all, but many) sellers who bought 2004-2009 (even 2000 forward) will not be able to match the prices of sellers with more equity.

Additionally, new construction pricing has dropped so much that "slightly used" houses (ca 05,06, 07) are competing with brand new houses built from scratch.

Bleed It said...

Today's Underwater Listings-these sellers and their Realtors are trying to sustain the unsustainable*

1298 Dunlora MLS 473354 $392k
Bought 2004 $369k
2004 Assessment $280k

3645 Worcester Lane MLS 473349 Keswick $569k
Bought $545k 2003
2004 Assessment $451k
2010 Assessment $495k

5065 Brookview Road $649k MLS 473334 Crozet
Bought $672,994 2007
2010 Assessment $562,900k
2007 Assessment $405k (built that yr)


Anonymous said...

I am the anon at the top...While I am not sure that prices are at 2004 sales price levels (definitely 2005, maybe 2004 - who knows) I don't think we've hit bottom just yet. This really kinda sucks cause I would not mind considering a move. But alas I (like atleast 75% of us) have two mortgages and am basically scuba diving. I am one to honor my debt obligations so long as I can. Of course a job loss or even a reduction in income makes me call an audible. The real bummer is that the longer this trend stays the less and less we all feel ok with it and we say "when" and just walk/sell short/go to foreclosure. And I am sick of how your credit score gets hit. Short sale - lose 120 points. Foreclosure - lose 150 points. I do not think 30 points really makes a diff when you've given up.

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

Anonymous, sorry for your situation.

Anybody who is considering foreclosure, short sale, or "walking away" needs to consult a lawyer. Not a blog, a neighbor, a friend, somebody who has been through it, nor a "how to" website, nor a real estate agent or Realtor. A lawyer.

It is currently government policy to try to keep housing prices up. Simultaneously, not enough is being done to keep people who want to stay in their homes, actually in their homes.

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

The government control of housing market:

Anonymous said...

I thank you for the sympathy, but it is all ok. I got caught up in the irrational exuberance like many. The whole thing has really helped me prioritize things. I totally agree the powers that be are propping/keeping up home prices - its the American dream. Keep up the eye opening work here!

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

Another article (dateline tomorrow, Feb 3) about walking away from a mortgage

by June, 5.5 Million will have houses that are worth 25% less than what they paid

That's 10% of all mortgage holders

Already, 25%, or 1 in every 4, mortgage holders are underwater

What's the number in Cville? No one can say for sure. But by 2007, this place was the 64th largest bubble in the US...see the section titled "Appreciation" in this post:

Anonymous said...

That NY Times article is telling. Looks like this is unchartered territory for many many homeowners/house arresters and C-Ville is no exception. While it is fairly depressing I guess misery loves company and it makes for great coversation over a beer or 6.