What slump? County assessments spike 15%

There's talk of a real estate slump, or at least a cooling, but no chill will be found in County mailboxes this week when Albemarle County mails out real estate assessment notices. After several years of double-digit increases, the average property value has spiked another 14.9 percent in just the past year.

That's a two-year jump averaging 27 percent, according to a release from County spokesperson Lee Catlin, who notes that reassessments in Albemarle will happen on an annual basis beginning next year, so property owners will receive their next reassessment from assessor Bruce Woodzell in January 2008.

"An annual process will allow county assessors to react more quickly to changes in the real estate market and to reflect those changes in reassessments of individual properties," says Catlin. Many owners, no doubt, are hoping assessors can move quickly to document a value retreat!
Some history: the City of Charlottesville saw a 23 percent jump in 2003 and 17 percent in 2005, even in the formerly blue-collar Belmont neighborhood, where assessments skyrocketed around 35 percent in 2003. In 2004, North Belmont shot up 40 percent! Albemarle was more steady with an overal 18.7 percent jump in 2003 and 27 percent in 2005, but those are Albemarle two-year combo jumps.

Below, the average annual increases by magisterial district (with two-year jumps in parentheses):

*Rio 13.57 % (27.14 %)
*Jack Jouett 11.27 % (22.54 %)
*Rivanna 14.98 % (29.96 %)
*Samuel Miller 15.64 % (31.28 %)
*Scottsville 15.54 % (31.08 %)
*White Hall 16.72 % (33.44 %)
*Town of Scottsville 15.93 % (31.87 %)

Other jurisdictions:

• Greene County 24%
• Fluvanna County 21%
• Charlottesville City 13 – 15% (prelim.)
• Orange County 25%
• Augusta County 8% (January 2005)