This article appeared in the Kamloops Daily News on January 2nd, 2013 and was written by Michelle Young.
From a Real Estate perspective there are a number of areas of Kamloops where the assessed value put on a property is much higher than the true value of that property. Home owners should ensure that they know the true market value of their property if they are considering selling their home. I have come across a number of sellers who have thought that their assessed value was a good representation of the value of their home only to find out it was overestimated in excess of $50,000 in some cases. If you feel that your home’s assessment is incorrect make sure you appeal it as you have until the end of January to do so.
Call it the five-per-cent stability. Kamloops and surrounding communities have seen their property values rise and fall, but most are within a range of five per cent up or down.
That indicates a fairly stable economy as far as real estate properties are concerned, deputy assessor Graham Held said Wednesday.
Property values in Kamloops, with the exception of Barnhartvale, fluctuated up or down by less than one per cent for 2012, he said. Barnhartvale defied the trend, with values jumping 6.15 per cent.
City administrator David Trawin said the reason for that could be that larger lots are in more demand and there are a limited number of them.
Barnhartvale still has most of the remaining large lots, mainly because the City hasn’t allowed subdivision there due to a restricted water supply in that area.
Trawin said once the new water meters have been in use for a couple of years, there might be more subdivision allowed if the water pressures ease up. “It depends on what the impact is on water usage,” he said.
The assessment roll shows $173 million in new construction, subdivision and rezoning, which will add $1.2 million to City coffers. The overall assessment picture shows minimal fluctuation — and that’s good for residents, businesses and the City, he said. “It’s a positive sign given the economic times,” said Trawin.
“The stability is good. You don’t want to see properties dropping, but you don’t want to see them going up 10, 20 per cent at a time, either.”
Held said the trend in Kamloops is similar to many of the other communities in the region, including Merritt, Logan Lake, Ashcroft and Chase.
Even that $173 million in new growth in 2012 is similar to what Kamloops had in 2011. “We’re really close to last year in terms of construction. We’re not off much from the previous year for new construction,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of consistency with previous years. I guess it does speak to the stability and strength of the economy in the region.”
Kamloops Real Estate Association president Dave Peressini said the number of property sales was up two per cent in 2012 compared with 2011.
Again, it’s not a huge jump, but no one’s expecting that in real estate these days. “At the beginning of the year, our chief economist was joking flat will be the new up this year,” he said. “I don’t see much change coming in 2013, at least in the first part of the year. We don’t have great economic changes on the horizon, we’re not looking at interest rate hikes and other things that will trigger a change in the market.
“The general wisdom is we’ll be a little bit better in 2013 in the first (two) or three quarters. And in the end of the year, the economic situation in places like the U.S. should improve and filter into Canada. There’s no excitement here. It’s actually good for the buyers and sellers.”
The median price of a house sold in Kamloops last month was $359,500. One year before, it was in the $353,000 range. While prices haven’t seen any dramatic change, the expectations of buyers and sellers have, Peressini said.
Sellers have to price close to what they’ll accept, not buffer their selling figure with several thousand extra for additional negotiation room, he said. “You have to be close to the mark because there is competition out there.”
Where you live in Kamloops makes a difference to your property assessment. Here are B.C. Assessment’s changes for 2013:
* Sahali, 0.56 per cent
* South Sahali, 0.19 per cent
* Westmount and Bachelor Heights, 0.38 per cent
* Juniper Heights, 0.32 per cent
* Barnhartvale, 6.153 per cent
* North Shore, 0.20 per cent
* Valleyview, 0.60 per cent
* Aberdeen, Dufferin, 0.51 per cent
* Westsde 0.33 per cent
Average property value changes by community for residential and business:
* Kamloops, 0.93 per cent, 3.92 per cent
* Barriere, 1.67 per cent, 3.99 per cent
* Clearwater, 4.73 per cent, 1.79 per cent
* Merritt, -0.26 per cent, 3.16 per cent
* Ashcroft, 0.23 per cent, -0.14 per cent
* Cache Creek, 0.57 per cent, 3.84 per cent
* Chase, -2.11 per cent, 2.45 per cent
* Clinton, 1.77 per cent, 0.55 per cent
* Logan Lake, 2.12 per cent, 5.21 per cent
* Lillooet, -2.22 per cent, 9.11 per cent
* Lytton, -0.13 per cent, 1.07 per cent
* Sun Peaks, -0.60 per cent, 0.43 per cent