Property assessments up more than 35% for some BC homeowners

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Property owners across the Okanagan can expect to receive their 2018 assessment notices in the mail this week, but you can already look up yours online.

"This year, we have seen a strong demand in our residential strata market and this has resulted in a larger increase compared to the residential single-family detached homes".

"For example, a commercial property in a downtown location should not be assessed at a higher rate than a similar neighboring property".

Vancouver, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond, Surrey and the North Shore were among the areas with the highest increases a year ago, and the province sent out notices ahead of time so owners wouldn't be caught off-guard.

"Property taxpayers have a right to either the lower of the actual market value, or the eq-uitable assessment value for their property", Down adds.

- If you believe the panel did not consider changes or physical problems with your property, did not assess the fair market value of your property or you believe the assessment is inconsistent with that of similar properties, you can file an appeal of the panel's decision with the Property Assessment Appeal Board by April. 30.

Meanwhile, the assessed value of detached homes in much of Metro Vancouver remained steady, signalling a break from the trend in recent years of marked increases.

"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".

The increases seen this year were, on average, far less than those seen last year, when assessed values jumped 20-50%.

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A moderate increase for Sun Peaks, up six per cent to $831,000 compared to $785,000 in 2017.

This home type saw, on average, a 30% jump in assessed value, from $673,000 past year to $877,000.

Bobby Ross, a real estate agent with Pemberton Holmes, agrees the assessment notices have little impact on the real estate market.

This year's notices are especially important and deserve close inspection given the record increases in property assessment values over the past year in most areas of British Columbia.

The Okanagan's total assessment value increased from $98 billion in July of 2016 to $119 billion in July of 2017.

On the North Shore, home values in the City of North Vancouver went up the most - by an average of 10 per cent - led by increases in Lonsdale area condo values.

- First speak with an appraiser from B.C. Assessment before January 31; if they find an error, they can make a correction without an independent review.

The day after the assessments were released, the provincial government raised the homeowner grant to $1.65 million from $1.6 million.

BC Assessments collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year. "That's a uniform valuation date; all assessments are based off of the same conditions that occurred across all property types", says Ireland.

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