Date Archives February 2006

Affordable housing in C’Ville

C-Ville reports:Councilor Kevin Lynch foresees that with more precise tax-relief in its toolbox, the City will be able to target “low- and moderate-income homeowners who have seen the most rapid appreciation in their properties,” rather than enacting blanket tax-rate relief as Council did in 2005 when the property tax rate was cut by 4 cents to $1.05.This kills me.  I wrote about this bill last month before the eminent domain language was removed.  I don’t even get this -Harumph, says Lynch: “The Free Enterprise Forum and the realtor group are always in favor of affordable housing and preventing any legislation that would block it until someone asks them to provide it.  Then they’re nowhere to be seen.”  Realtors are in favor of preventing affordable housing legislation?…  Governments have proven themselves time and again to be incapable of running an efficient organization.  There is seemingly little direct accountability in politics, and plenty of incentive to create endless layers of bureaucracy and thus, job security for said politicians and staff.  How does one explain the CAAR Workforce Housing Fund if Realtors are against affordable housing?

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CharlAlbemarle market update

The market always slows in December-January-February.  These numbers are …  interesting.  Using the MLS as my source, with my standard caveat that the MLS is not all-encompassing …Inventory for Charlottesville/Albemarle:Active in January 2005 – 229Active in January 2006 – 296% increase – 22.64%Contingent – 20% Pending – 24%Closings – 13%Active in February 2005 – 273Active in February 2006 – 372% increase – 26.61%For the entire Market Area:Active in January 2005 – 403Active in January 2006 – 516% increase – 21.90%Contingent – 20.21%Pending – 23.12%Closings – 32.61%What’s the difference between Contingent and Pending?  Contingent indicates that a contingency remains, typically home inspection, financing, etc. Pending means that all contingencies have been met and both parties are merely waiting to close.More inventory, less homes going under contract, a sense of equilibrium in the market, even a shift to more of a buyers’ market is upon us. I remain confident that the increase in inventory is a sign of a healthier market, for two reasons – first, I think that if enough people say “the market is popping!”  then we will witness a self-fulfilling prophecy act itself out.

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What will become of Charlottesville?

After our tour of C’Ville with you last Sunday, (we) drove around the town on our own for a few hours before heading north to Centreville….  However, I went to the Belvedere website after I received your email and, I’m sorry to say that our bubble seems to have burst….  That development will be north of Dunlora, and a large portion of undeveloped property still exists to the south (you don’t need too much of an imagination to figure out what the future holds for that area)….  We know that, with your assistance and guidance, we’ll be able to find a suitable residence in or near Charlottesville.I had several reactions after receiving this email from my clients, the most striking was that of utter disappointment….  Too much growth, combined with growth of the wrong kind, will destroy what makes our region special.  An awful lot of people choose to come to the Charlottesville area because they want to move here for the reasons that make Charlottesville special.  In the words of an off-line commenter: If C’ville continues to try to imitate No VA (i.e. concerns centering around Crozet development, developers squeezing in as great a density as permitted—well there goes the QOL and the neighborhood).  Again, I reiterate, it’s the “country” of Charlottesville with the little flair of charm, artsy craftsy, good restaurants, etc. created by UVA in downtown and “clean,pure wine country, that is C’ville.

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