Kamloops Housing Starts Remain Steady, CFJC News

This article was written by James Peters of CFJC News and appeared on their website on January 13th, 2016.

New Construction Kamloops BC Real Estate

Kamloops — The final numbers are in for 2015, and the Kamloops new home construction market performed almost exactly as well as it did in 2014.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, a total of 523 new units were started last year, just five more than the year previous.

CMHC Market Analyst Taylor Pardy says don’t expect big changes in that number any time soon.

“The outlook for new construction in Kamloops is expected to be positive for the 2015-2017 period in general, with total housing starts remaining steady,” said Pardy adding, “new housing construction will be supported by a combination of low mortgage rates, population growth, and a balanced re-sale market”

Pardy also indicated that stability is very positive, especially considering the uncertainty much of the rest of Canada is seeing right now.

Assessments Show Moderate Growth in Kamloops, Kamloops This Week

This article appeared on Kamloops This Week‘s website on January 4th, 2016 and was written by Cam Fortems.

BC Assessment 2016 Kamloops BCValleyview and Barnhartvale led city neighbourhoods in a 2015 assessment marked by continued moderate growth for Kamloops and the region.

Homeowners will tear open their assessment letters arriving in the mail this week — or check online — to find values in the range of minus five per cent to plus 10 per cent. Most neighbourhoods saw property values increase in the range of two or three per cent.

“For the most part, values are fairly constant,” said area assessor Graham Held. “Graphically. you can see the vast majority are in the zero to five per cent range [of increase].”

The City of Kamloops uses the calculations as part its annual tax assessment.

The city’s revenue manager, Parissa Bhullar, said a precise average is not yet available. That average will determine whether property owners will get a break or pay higher property taxes in 2016.

On a neighbourhood basis, Barnhartvale homeowners saw the biggest average increase — at $24,000, or about 6.5 per cent. That compares to lower increases in Juniper Ridge, Westmount and Batchelor Heights, where values are up a half per cent or less.

Values are calculated as of July 1, 2015.

The city also saw about $382 million in new construction for the period between July 2014 and July 2015. Held said the higher volume of sales recorded this year helps with valuations. “Sales values were strong, which is good for us because everything is based on sales,” he said.

Held said property owners who believe there is an error or that their values are misrepresented should call B.C. Assessment Authority for a potential correction or to book a time for an appeal with the property assessment review panel.

The deadline to file an appeal is Feb. 1.

Based on moderate increases, Held said call volumes to the office, as well as appeals, are expected to be down.

Across the region, Chase and Sun Peaks saw the highest average increases — as much as 15 per cent  — with Logan Lake and the North Thompson among the lowest.

An Active Real Estate Market

While real-estate sales cooled in December, the year 2015 marked an active real estate market in Kamloops.

Kamloops & District Real Estate Association recorded a 14 per cent increase in unit sales for the year, to reach almost 2,600 units. For December, typically one of the slowest months of the year, the market saw a nine per cent decrease in units sold.

Prices remain moderate, with the median price for a single-family home in Kamloops reaching $375,000. That monthly number can fluctuate widely due to the small monthly sample size. In November, the median price was $393,000.

For the year, the most active neighbourhood for sales was Brocklehurst, followed by Aberdeen and Sahali.

Assessment Notices Will Not Shock Kamloops Homeowners, Kamloops This Week

This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on November 30th, 2015 and was written by Cam Fortems.

Kamloops should escape the price shock homeowners in many parts of the province will experience when they tear open assessment notices next month.

Area deputy assessor Graham Held said yesterday that, while real-estate sales volumes in the Thompson region remain healthy, the market is not seeing the wild price increases found in the Lower Mainland.

“We’re looking at another flat market this year, a marginal increase,” Held said of assessment valuations.

Property owners across B.C. receive assessment notices in the first week of January. Those notices reflect property values as of July 1 the previous year.

“Certainly in the Kamloops market, it’s marginal increases,” Held said.

Kamloops & District Real Estate Association president Cyndi Crossley agreed price increases in this market have been moderate.

“We’re incredibly different than the rest of the province,” she said.

“It seems every time I have a conference call [with other real-estate association presidents], we’re the anomaly.

“Everyone else has a roller-coaster market. Kamloops is really stable.”

Assessment increases last year ranged from zero to about 10 per cent in some areas of the city.

Held said this year’s assessment is expected to continue that trend of price stability.

Some markets, including Vancouver Island and the Okanagan, have seen ripples from Greater Vancouver, where prices for single-family homes are up in the range of 20 per cent in some areas.

“We’ve been there in 2007,” Crossley said.

“It gets to the point were you don’t know what to advise your client, it’s so crazy.”
Property purchase tax relief?

Kamloops-area realtors are hoping the province will bring relief to local buyers from the property purchase tax (PPT) in the coming budget.

The B.C. Liberal government has mulled changes to the PPT, in part to cool the high end of the overheated Vancouver housing market.

Suggestions by Finance Minister Mike de Jong have included increasing that tax on homes above a certain value and giving relief on the lower end.

“For young buyers buying a second home . . . that could add up to $6,000 or $8,000 said Cyndi Crossley, president of Kamloops & District Real Estate Association.

Today, the tax is assessed on one per cent of the first $200,000 and two per cent thereafter.

First-time buyers are exempt up to $475,000.

“I hope they’ll readjust,” she said of the B.C. Liberal government.

“Any savings we can give buyers will be huge.”

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Multiple Family Units on the Rise in Kamloops

This article appeared on KamloopsBCNow.com on October 8, 2015 and written by Tahirih Foroozan.

Kamloops housing starts were on the rise this September compared to the same time in 2014.

BC Interior & Northern Prelim Actual Housing Starts Data YTD 2014-2015

Compared to last year, the amount of single family homes grew slightly from 34 to 37. Multiple family homes grew dramatically, from nine in September, 2014 to 113 in 2015.

A total of 150 new housing starts were completed this September, which is up approximately 28 per cent compared to last year.

To date, housing starts have increased, from 329 multiple and single family homes in 2014, to 425 in 2015.

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September 2015: Kamloops Real Estate Market Strong, CFJC

Sold Kamloops Real Estate Kirsten Mason Team Best Top RealtorCFJC News Kamloops posted this article and news story on October 1st, 2015. The story is by Tanya Cronin.

Video Link

September was a strong month for the local real estate market in Kamloops, with sales up 34-percent. A total of 248 residential properties changed hands last month – up from 183 in September of 2014. The local market is the most balanced it’s been in years – and with mortgage rates at a low, the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association President says, it’s great news for both buyers and sellers. Right now, the average sale price in the City is 386-thousand dollars.


 

As a team we have found that it has been very busy both with Buyers and Sellers. We sold 24 homes in September alone so it definitely was a busy month. With lower mortgage interest rates Buyers are excited and eager since they have lower financing costs. Homes under the $500,000 mark seem to sell well in Kamloops however homes over that price point are a bit challenging. The sales are also stronger in some areas of Kamloops more than others. It isn’t consistent across the board. The more expensive real estate in Kamloops takes time to sell and needs effective marketing to stand above the competition.

Kamloops Housing Market ‘Surged’ During First Part of 2015, Infotel

This article appeared in the Infotel (Kamloops InfoNews.ca) on June 2nd, 2015 and was written by Dana Reynolds.

KAMLOOPS – With more houses being built and home-buyers spending more the Kamloops housing market is off to a very good start in 2015.

According to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation single-unit housing starts in Kamloops ‘surged’ in the first three months of 2015. The report from the corporation shows every category of housing start grew during the first quarter, with the exception of rental apartments. The first quarter of 2015 saw just one rental unit built, compared to 88 in 2014.

The corporation notes there is a provincial trend towards multi-family dwellings and the trend is seen in Kamloops as well, where the number of starts on semi-detached homes tripled. Single-family homes almost doubled as well though, growing to 33 in the first quarter of 2015 from 19 during the same period in 2014.

The number of completions during the first quarter were up 76 per cent as well, with 92 more homes finished in quarter one of 2015 than in 2014.

The price of newly built homes during this time period averaged about $490,000, a more than $40,000 increase from the first quarter housing prices in 2014. Of the 69 single family homes sold in the first quarter of 2015, 68 per cent came in under $500,000. There have also been more people who have purchased houses in the $500,000 and up range so far this year, with 22 homes falling within that price range in the first quarter of 2015, compared to just 13 during the same time period last year.

Kamloops Experiences Increase in Housing Starts, Kamloops BC Now

This article appeared in the KamloopsBCNow.com on May 8th, 2015 and was written by Wendy McLeod.

April turned out to be a good month for housing starts in Kamloops.

Figures last month came in above year-earlier figures, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

A reported 59 units were started in April compared to just 38 units during the same month one year ago.

When broken down, 47 of the new housing starts were single-detached residences while 12 were multiples housing. That compares to 36 single-detached homes in 2014 and two multiples.

So far this year total housing starts sit at 111 which are lower when compared to the same time period of 2014 with 153 starts.

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Kamloops Council Gives Nod to 10-Year Tax Break Downtown, Kamloops This Week

This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on April 15th, 2015 and was written by Andrea Klassen.

Residential developers in downtown Kamloops will soon get a break on their taxes even if they don’t include rental units in their projects.

Kamloops city council has agreed to expand its downtown tax exemptions to include a 10-year, 100 per cent break on municipal taxes for projects that include new residential units.

A staff estimate puts the tax savings at $349,969 over the term for a new building with 15 units, and $745,848 for a development with 53 units.

Previously, the city had offered a tax break for residential projects in which at least 50 per cent of the units built are for rent, but planning and development manager Randy Lambright said no one has taken the city up on the offer since that incentive was created.

The city also gives tax breaks on both the North Shore and downtown for redeveloping brownfield sites, including former gas stations.

Several councillors wanted to see the downtown exemptions broadened further, to allow for other projects, such as converting unused office space into residential units.

Coun. Marg Spina is a fan of that idea, which she said could add more affordable housing to the downtown.

“My caution would be that I want to see the affordability factor there so we’re not just making tax exemptions for high-end residential buildings,” she said.

Coun. Tina Lange sees the move away from rentals as positive for developing the city’s core, arguing homeowners are more likely to stay in the area and become part of the downtown community.

“In order to build downtown, which is the most expensive per-square-foot land in the city, affordable housing isn’t going to be an option,” she said.

“If we want developers to build something they can sell, affordable housing isn’t going to cut it.”

Coun. Arjun Singh floated a proposal to allow tax breaks for second-floor conversions, using another portion of the downtown tax bylaw which gives a break on improvements worth $100,000 or 30 per cent of a property’s assessed value if they also include improvements to the building’s appearance.

Singh suggested the city could waive appearance requirements in cases when residential conversion is taking place, but wasn’t able to convince a majority of council to take up his idea.

“Frankly, I’m not looking to convert office space into apartments in downtown Kamloops,” Mayor Peter Milobar said.

“I think we have that office space and we need to fill it up because that provides employment for people to want to live in downtown Kamloops.”

Only Coun. Donovan Cavers opposed the new tax-break structure, saying the new exemptions are too broad and don’t allow council to pinpoint specific kinds of development it wants to encourage downtown.

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