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2010-11-10 / Front Page

Property assessments continue downward

By Greg Pearson
STAFF WRITER

Foreclosures offer some of the best deals in the real estate market today. The new owners of this home on Walton Creek Drive got a bargain when they bought this home that had been foreclosed on for $221,402. It’s assessed at $260,900. Lisa Billings/Chesterfield Observer Foreclosures offer some of the best deals in the real estate market today. The new owners of this home on Walton Creek Drive got a bargain when they bought this home that had been foreclosed on for $221,402. It’s assessed at $260,900. Lisa Billings/Chesterfield Observer To no one’s surprise, homes and commercial properties in the county continue to decline in value.

“I expect residential assessments to be down 4 [percent] to 5 percent this year,” said Jonathan Davis, head of Chesterfield’s real estate assessment office. “The main thing we’re hearing from the market is foreclosures are being driven by job losses.”

During the first nine months of this year, there were 874 homes sold in foreclosure sales in the county. Davis wasn’t able to provide the number of foreclosures for the same period last year, “but I’m sure there are more this year,” he added.

For a list of the 2010 foreclosures, visit www.chesterfieldobserver.com, then click on “Special” in the left-hand menu. The data is arranged alphabetically by community, and each includes address, assessed value, foreclosure selling price and date of sale.

Davis’ department doesn’t include foreclosures when calculating assessed values, or assessments would be down a lot more. “For market analysis, foreclosures are taken out,” he explained, “or foreclosures would set the market.”

If foreclosures were included, that would play havoc with Chesterfield’s general fund where 43 percent of the tax revenue comes from property taxes. The general fund is how Chesterfield pays for the services (schools, police, fire, libraries, parks and recreation, etc.) that residents expect.

Last month www.auction.com held an auction on 40-plus homes in the Richmond area at the Richmond Convention Center. The company has auctioned off more than 34,000 homes this year nationwide bringing in $1.5 billion.

At last week’s joint meeting with Chesterfield’s state legislative delegation, County Administrator Jay Stegmaier estimated commercial properties are likely to decline twice as much in value as homes.

“We don’t have the data yet for how commercial assessments are doing this year,” said Davis, “but the speculation is it will be down more than residential.”

Like other localities, there are numerous “for lease” and “for sale” signs on commercial properties throughout Chesterfield. Today, auction company Tranzon Fox is putting eight office warehouse condos in the Oak Lake Business Park up for bid. Two of the flex-condo units are to be sold “regardless of price.”

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