Property owners in the Thompson region can expect to get their property assessment notices in the mail within the next few days and you might find your home has appreciated in value - some significantly.
In West Vancouver, dominated by expensive single-family homes, residential values were flat, up just over one per cent.
2018 is the second year in a row that values have spiked. "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.
"The assessments always reflect market values".
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.
She says an increase in your assessment does not necessarily translate to an increase in your property taxes.
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"It could be an affordability thing, as that product is generally more affordable than a single-family home, or it could be a desire for some people to live in a strata".
Assessment increases are expected across the board this year, with single family homes in urban areas seeing an increase of between 10 and 25 per cent, and commercial and light industrial land increasing by as much as 20 per cent compared with last year.
"The western communities increased, Sidney increased, and those jurisdictions past year didn't experience the same kind of volume", said Deputy Assessor Gerry Marolla.
The total assessed value of the more than 247,000 properties in all of northern B.C. increased from $60.3 billion in 2017 to $61.8 billion this year -including an estimated $1.5 billion due to new construction, subdivisions of existing lots and value changes due to rezoning.
Assessments for the average single-family home in Fort St. John dropped from $387,000 to $369,000 year-over year, or a decline of 4.6 per cent.
The Okanagan's total assessment value increased from $98 billion in July of 2016 to $119 billion in July of 2017.
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Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice.
"It's a more typical market than what we've seen in the past couple of years", said Borgo. Between one and two per cent of people file an appeal with B.C. Assessment every year (the deadline is January 31), but property tax agent Paul Sullivan said people shouldn't file one without doing careful research ahead of time.
The biggest gains are seen across all residential types in Langley, with assessed values up almost 20 per cent. The Property Assessment Review Panel is independent of BC Assessment.
The highest average single-family assessment in Greater Victoria was in Oak Bay, at $1.156 million, up from $1.036 million a year ago.
Some B.C. homeowners may be surprised when they open their property assessment this year.
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