Most homeowners in the Lower Mainland can once again expect their property assessments to go up and for the first time in at least a decade, condo values have jumped as much as 40 per cent in some areas.
"The single family home market is very stable, while the residential strata market is quite robust this year". "That's pretty constant throughout the Greater Vancouver area, into the Fraser Valley, and across over into the Island", says Tina Ireland with BC Assessment.
Real estate sales determine a property's value which is reported annually by BC Assessment.
Tim Down, President of PacWest Commercial Real Estate Advisors, specializes in annual property assessment and tax appeal consulting throughout B.C. He notes "If an assessment is incorrect, the owner will be paying more property tax now and into the future, so they need to ensure that they have been assessed fairly and consistently.
The priciest single-family home in the Thompson Okanagan region is located at 4358 Hobson Rd.in Kelowna with an assessed value of more than $10 million.
Ireland thinks the high demand for condos is simply due to the fact that they are less expensive than single-family homes.
"When you start moving out a little bit, you'll see a bit more of an increase in the 10 to 20 per cent range in single-family homes", she adds.
A moderate increase for Sun Peaks, up six per cent to $831,000 compared to $785,000 in 2017.
In northern B.C. the biggest swings in residential property values were in Granisle, which saw a 44.9 per cent increase in the average value of single family homes (from $42,000 to $61,000) and Kitimat, which saw the average value of a single-family house fall 16.2 per cent from $278,000 to $233,000.
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This home type saw, on average, a 30% jump in assessed value, from $673,000 a year ago to $877,000.
As houses become out of reach for more people, he said, cheaper properties become more attractive and their relatively low supply is driving much of the increases.
Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice.
There was a moderate increase year-over-year in the City of Kamloops, up nine per cent compared to last year.
Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. "The values are for July 2017, and since then the market has gone upward price wise, while in the last few months it has tended to flatten out".
"If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by January 31, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel".
BC Assessment says property assessments are now in the mail.
BC Assessment Authority continues their trend to aggressively pursue assessment valuation policies and property tax classification initiatives through legal challenges that will have long lasting impacts on all non-residential taxpayers.