Sep 12, 2022 - News

Where Richmond property values went up most

Richmond property value change, 2022 to 2023
Data: City of Richmond; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios and the City of Richmond

City real estate assessments went out last week, and most Richmond homeowners saw another year of steep property value increases, the latest reflection of the red hot housing market on locals' tax bills.

Driving the news: The average assessed value of a Richmond home jumped 13.04% for 2023, down slightly from last year's 13.35% increase.

Zoom in: 13.04% is the average increase across the city's 82 neighborhoods, but more than half — 57 neighborhoods — saw significantly larger increases, with some of the biggest jumps hitting Richmond's previously more affordable areas.

Why it matters: The average Richmonder is paying nearly $1,000 more a year in real estate taxes than pre-pandemic.

  • And since homeowners' insurance is calculated based on home value, those rates often rise along with taxes.

Flashback: For 2018, Richmonders saw the average year-over-year assessment for residential homes jump 8.3% — the biggest increase in a decade, and double the average annual change in the previous years.

  • That year, the average assessed value went up to $247,000, and Richmonders paid an average annual real estate tax of $2,964.
  • For 2023, the average assessed value hit $324,000 with an average tax bill of $3,888.

What's happening: The COVID-era real estate market, which saw low inventory, bidding wars, an influx of new remote-work residents and rising rent pushing more people to buy, "produced a perfect economic storm of market value," city assessor Richie McKeithen tells Axios.

  • "We have to assess every year at market value, as required by state law," McKeithen added.

The intrigue: Monument Avenue had the lowest increase in the city at 3.99%.

  • City appraiser Charles Evers, whose district includes the 225 homes of the Monument Avenue neighborhood, tells Axios there were more home sales than usual in the area, making the assessments more precise.

How it works: The city assessor's office uses a computer mass-appraisal system, McKeithen tells Axios, and then a 33-person team analyzes the data, looking at homes that sold nearby and if permits have been pulled for property improvement.

  • "Assessments are normally way more conservative than the market value," McKeithen said. "Especially the last couple of years, the market is so robust."

Threat level: The city's real estate tax rate is among the highest in the region at $1.20 per $100 of assessed value, and the Richmond City Council last year voted down a proposal to reduce the rate to $1.135.

Be smart: Homeowners can file a written appeal with the assessor's office until Sept. 30.

  • Tax relief is available, but per current state law, it's limited to senior citizens who make $60,000 a year or less and people with disabilities.

What they're saying: Making financial assistance available to more Richmonders would require action by state lawmakers, McKeithen tells Axios.

  • "There's a wealth of individuals who are not seniors and not disabled who need assistance. Other states have things that help protect long-term residents," McKeithen said.

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