The real estate market began 2023 with lower volumes than recent years according to the latest report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors.
“There were 688 homes sold in total across the area in the first quarter of 2023, down 23 percent from last year, the lowest first quarter sales total since 2016,” reads the executive summary for the CAAR Home Sales Report for the period between January 1 and March 31. “This is the slowest first quarter the CAAR market has had since 2016.”
The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission is made up of five counties and the City of Charlottesville. Like similar bodies across Virginia, the TJPDC’s mission is to help those localities with both planning and implementation.
For instance, the TJPDC is currently leading a 13-county effort to use federal funding to leverage private dollars to expand broadband internet across southern and central Virginia. Locally, the body now collects county-issued cigarette taxes.
The Board of Commissioners meets monthly and provides an opportunity to check-in with what’s happening around the region. All across Virginia, it is budget time and that includes Louisa County, where Rachel Jones represents the Green Springs District on the Board of Supervisors.
“Our [real estate property] assessments went through the roof and I think many of yours did, too,” Jones said. “It’s not just Louisa County. It hits hard for our residents. Last year we did make adjustments to our personal property tax and I think we will be probably be figuring out if there’s anything we can do to help with our assessments.”
Ten years have passed since the Virginia Department of Transportation analyzed the Route 151 corridor in Nelson County and now it’s time for another study to begin. Such work can help identify projects to address safety concerns, and the Nelson County Board of Supervisors got a briefing at their meeting on Tuesday.
“And I’m happy to say that we’ve had success not only through the Highway Safety Improvement Program but also through Smart Scale getting a number of projects vetted and fully funded and constructed along this corridor,” said Rick Youngblood is a planner with the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Lynchburg District.
“There’s still more work to be done and that’s why we’re looking at this study again,” Youngblood said.
It has been a year and a half or so since the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission adopted a document called Planning for Affordability that sought to help all six regions in the community update the housing chapter of their respective Comprehensive Plan.
The work is part of something called the Central Virginia Regional Housing Partnership, a subset of the TJPDC. This month, members of the partnership have been appearing before different elected bodies to share what the group does. Albemarle County’s turn is this Wednesday, but Charlottesville City Council saw the presentation on January 17. (view the presentation)
“The ‘why’ behind the partnership was created is that we all know we have housing affordability issues and its not just specific to any one jurisdiction that’s in the Commission,” said Ned Gallaway, the Rio District representative on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. “It is a regional issue and while regional solutions may vary depending on if you are urban or rural, perhaps our solutions with our boundaries, but the information sharing, the data collection, and the efforts should be shared to help us all solve the problem.”
The population of the six localities that make up the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission grew by 2.5 percent between the 2020 U.S. Census and the beginning of the fiscal year.
That’s according to the latest population estimates from the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia. These are used by the Commonwealth of Virginia for all manner of planning purposes.
“Population estimates are an important tool used by a variety of state agencies in their planning processes — from developing budgets to determining salaries for public officials,” reads an overview of the website for the data that was made available yesterday.
Housing sales have been down for five consecutive quarters in the region covered by the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. The group released their quarterly report today.
“There were 1,206 home sales in the CAAR region during the third quarter of 2022,” reads page 2 of the report. “This is 192 fewer sales than this time last year, which is a 14 percent drop.”
The effort to link the Blue Ridge Tunnel in Afton to Charlottesville with a continuous shared-use path has received a major boost from the federal government. A $2 million grant authorized by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be awarded to Albemarle County for the Three Notched Trail Shared Use Path Plan.
“A ‘shared use’ path is typically a 10’ wide paved trail that is physically separated from the motor vehicle travel way and allows bi-directional pedestrian and bicycle traffic,” reads a website for the project. “Once built, the TNT will provide local residents and visitors with car-free transportation and recreational opportunities.”
The number of sales in the Charlottesville housing market continues to drop as the median sales price continues to climb. That’s according to the latest report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors. (view the report)
“There were 1,380 homes sold in the CAAR area in the second quarter,” reads one of the bullet points in the CAAR Home Sales Report for the second quarter. “This is an eleven percent drop from the second quarter a year ago, which is 165 fewer sales.”
The final public meeting for the development of a Regional Transit Vision will be held tonight in an online format. The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission is overseeing the study, which seeks to come up with an aspirational document for enhanced public transportation throughout the entire Charlottesville area including Buckingham County.
The draft document has gone before the Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, as I’ve reported. But the Regional Transit Vision also has been to the outlying counties. Last week, Boards of Supervisors in both Fluvanna County and Greene County had a briefing.
“It started in the summer of 2021 with assessing the situation,” said Lucinda Shannon, a planner with the TJPDC. The $350,000 study was conducted by the firms AECOM and Jarrett Walker + Associates.
Consultants hired by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission are moving into the second phase of a community engagement effort for a $350,000 plan to create a regional transit vision to make public transportation a more attractive option.
They have developed both a constrained plan that would anticipate around $26 million funds that might be generated through becoming a regional transportation authority with taxation power, as well as one that assumed funding would be found to increase the frequency of service. That has an estimated annual price tag of $70 million.