City Real Estate Values Decline

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For the first time in 40 years real estate values have declined in Roanoke City.

According to the Director of Real Estate Valuation, Susan Lower, the .17% marginal decrease in real estate valuation in fiscal year 2011 reflects a national trend:

“… The challenging economic conditions, unemployment concerns, rising foreclosure activity, the reduced volume of valid market sales data, including; single family residential, office, multifamily, industrial and retail properties and a continued slowdown in new construction activity.”

The total reduction in dollars is $11.6 million. Fiscal year 2010 had a slight increase in valuations at .11%. It is comprised of both residential and commercial valuations. The decrease was somewhat offset by new construction values projected out to July 2011, adding .40%.

Portions of land values on Melrose Avenue were reduced by 10%. Lower explained to council that the Peters Creek Extension had drawn traffic away from Melrose businesses, reducing their value.

Reductions in neighborhoods included: Wilmont Farms, Cherry Hill, Signal Hill, Melrose area, Old Mt. Rd. and The Glen and Glen Ivy condos. The remaining residential neighborhood assessments have not changed. Lower explained that these neighborhoods were “hit hard” with assessment increases in boom times.

Seven condo neighborhoods went up 3% to 5% including: Avenham House, Avenham Terrace, Colonial House Condos, Crown Point Condos, Highland Square Condos, Olde Georgetown Condos and Raleigh Place Condos.

New projects Lower expects will add to the tax base include: the Virginia Tech/Carilion Medical School and Research facility on Reserve Ave, Jefferson College, Member One Corporate Offices and Branch Bank, O’Reillys, Cheddars, CVS on Plantation, Kohls, the new rehab at Meridium, the Patrick Henry Hotel and properties at 302 Campbell Ave (school and apartments).

Home sales have declined by 22% from 2009 but the median home value for the city remains the same at $133,000. The average sale price increased 2% to $153,505.

Assessment appeals to Real Estate Valuation will be conducted from January 3 through January 31,  2011. Hearings will begin in March.

At Monday’s 2:00 p.m. council meeting Director of Finance Ann Shawver presented the financial results of the first five months of fiscal year 2011.

Revenues increased and expenditures decreased from fiscal year 2010. Shawver remains cautiously optimistic with sales tax down slightly at .4% from last year but above budget expectations at a positive .2%. Shawver was encouraged by the most recent two months of consecutive improvement but was cautious as unemployment remained at elevated levels.

General Fund revenues through November of fiscal year 2011 are 1.2% or $974,000 above last year.

To view the entire presentation go to  www.roanokeva.gov.