The good news is that property values in the Shuswap have generally increased.
The not-so-good news is that those increases might be factored into 2019 property taxes.
In Salmon Arm, as of July 1, 2018, the 2019 average assessed value of single-family residential properties was $364,000, an increase of five per cent over July 1, 2017 when the average assessed value was $307,000.
In Sicamous, the average assessed value as of July 1, 2018 was $293,800, a 17 per cent increase over an average assessed value of $251,000 as of July 1 2017.
“The majority of residential homeowners within the Okanagan can expect a five to 15 per cent change compared to last year’s assessment,” says Thompson Okanagan assessor Katrina LeNoury. “Local communities and individual housing may experience changes greater or lesser than the average, as market values are based on local market demand and conditions.”
The Okanagan area forms a part of BC Assessment’s Thompson Okanagan region and includes the Shuswap (Sicamous to Sorrento) in the north.
In urban areas of the Okanagan, assessments of residential strata units increased as much as 20 per cent, while ones in rural areas increased by up to 25 per cent.
Commercial units in urban areas ranged between a five per cent loss to a 20 per cent increase, the same as in rural areas of the Okanagan.
Light industrial property values increased from zero to 20 per cent while assessments in rural areas of the Okanagan region increased anywhere from five to 20 per cent.
BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year, providing estimates of average 2018 versus 2019 assessed values of properties throughout the region. The average is represented by the median, or mid point, value. The examples demonstrate market trends for single-family residential properties by geographic area.
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.
The website also provides self-service access to a free, online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2019 property assessments for anywhere in the province.
As a new option, property owners can unlock additional property search features by registering for a free BC Assessment custom account to store/access favourites, create comparisons and use the new interactive map.
“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions, but those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2018 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” says assessor Katrina LeNoury. “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 Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.”
The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.
“It is important to understand that increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” explains LeNoury. “How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”