New development lifts home sales in Greene County

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GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Home sales were up in 2018 compared to the previous year, and one of the biggest increases happened in Greene County.

According to the annual report from the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors, Greene County saw a 13-percent increase in home sales in 2018 compared to 2017, including a 25-percent jump in the fourth quarter.

"This is a significant jump for us," said Matthew Woodson, a real estate agent with Roy Wheeler Realty who focuses on Greene County.

Woodson said Greene County has had very little new home construction since the recession, but 2018 was a breakthrough, thanks largely to the Oxford Hills development. That development is situated about a mile north of the Albemarle County line.

The development sold 74 lots in the last eight months of 2018, and dozens of new homes are already built and occupied.

"New construction is viable in Greene County," Woodson said. "We just needed something like this to show us that we were missing a piece of that puzzle."

Price may be another big reason that more people are choosing to buy in Greene County.

The new homes in Oxford Hills average about $250,000. The median sales price in Albemarle County in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $396,000, and it was $345,000 in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville saw a seven-percent increase in home sales in 2018, and Albemarle increased four percent, according to the CAAR report.

"It's not a runaway market," said CAAR President-Elect Tom Woolfolk, "but it's a nice steady increase over 2017."

Woolfolk said the widening of Route 29 may also make Greene County more enticing because it has shortened the commute to Charlottesville.

"Any time you widen the road, you attract more traffic and more residential development," Woolfolk said.

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