Chesterfield property values worst they've been in 20 years

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - One major concern for Chesterfield is property taxes. Property values in the county are the worst in 20 years. That could mean 10-million dollars in lost revenue in next year's budget.

"You can't ask for a better market right now if you're looking to move up. First-time home buyers you can't ask for a better market. Investors, this is an investor's dream world," said realtor Matt Cullather.

Yet Cullather admits real estate right now is a double-edged sword.

"We're still seeing a ton of foreclosures, not only in Chesterfield but throughout the local market," Cullather said.

Take a look at the facts. In 2008 nearly 2,900 homes were sold. Fast forward a year and it's just over 2,500. While the gap closing, it might not be fast enough.

"We haven't seen it [like this] over the last 20 years. This is the worst real estate market we have seen in a long time," said Jonathan Davis, Real Estate Assessor.

Davis predicts an overall property assessment loss of about 5-10 %. But he won't know how bad it is for another few months.  We do know last year, the average listing for a home on the market was $270,000. It's deflated by $30,000 this year.

"Statistics are showing right now that the average list price versus the sales price, we're still getting about 97% of list price versus sales price which is still pretty strong," Cullather said.

Both Cullather and Davis agree that things are bound to get better:

"Some experts are predicting that we have bottomed out. So I think we are seeing some positive signs," Davis said.

"We'll recovery. It's a strong county. I think we'll do just fine," said Cullather.

Property taxes account for more than 50-percent of Chesterfield County's general fund. And because of a decrease, this year's budget took a 13-million dollar hit. Next years, is expected to be even lower by 10-million.

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