Property assessments continue to increase in the South Okanagan

Home owners in Summerland and Keremeos can expect some of the biggest increases in property value when their 2019 assessment notices arrive in their mailboxes over the next few days.

In Keremeos, the average assessed value for a single-family home has risen from $240,650 to $270,200, an increase of 12 per cent. In Summerland, it’s a 10 per cent increase, from $466,000 to $517,000.

At 18 and 17 per cent, respectively, Spallumcheen and Sicamous saw the biggest increases in the B.C. Assessment’s Thompson-Okanagan region.

Thompson-Okanagan assessor Katrina LeNoury said the majority of residential home owners in the Okanagan can expect a five to 15 per cent increase in their property assessment.

“It is very similar to last year,” said LeNoury, noting that the Okanagan has seen similar increases in property values over the last three years. “It would be fair to say there has been a cooling in the Vancouver market, but other regions are still seeing increases.”

Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos, and Princeton all fall in the middle of that range, with increases of seven and eight per cent.

LeNoury emphasizes that these are averages, and individual home owners may experience larger or smaller increases than the average.

“Market values are based on local market demand and conditions,” she said.

Overall, the Okanagan’s total assessments increased from about $108 billion in 2018 to $118.6 billion this year with about $2.5 billion of that due to new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

The honor of the most expensive home in the Okanagan goes to Kelowna this year, where a waterfront property was assessed at more than $10.5 million.

According the B.C. Assesment’s annual report, most of the properties on the top 100 list fall into the West Kelowna and Kelowna area. The first smaller community to make it on the list is Coldstream, where a $6.177-million property is ranked at No. 39.

Across the province, though, the Okanagan doesn’t even make it into the top 500, which range from an $73.12-million home in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood to an $11.63-million home on the West Vancouver waterfront.

Dori Lionello, president of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board, said that January and February is traditionally a quieter time for real estate sales, but the local market has still been busy and there is still a number of cases of multiple offers being made from properties.

“Prices are stable, but we are not seeing the urgency on the part of Vancouver buyers,” said Lionello. “They are still coming, they still want to be here.”

If you are concerned about your property’s assessed value, LeNoury suggests contacting BC Assessment.

“I really would encourage property openers to look at our website. There has been quite a few changes this year to make it easier,” she said. That includes an interactive map and other user-friendly features to make it easier to find your property.

A phone call, she said, can also yield information that might help allay concerns, but if they do want to file an appeal, the deadline is Jan. 31.

“They have to file an appeal letter with us by Jan. 31,” said Le Noury. “We do encourage people to give us a call. A lot of times we can provide information on why it has changed.”

BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2019 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2019’s top valued residential properties across the province.

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