Kamloops Real Estate: B.C. Property Assessments Ease Up for 2011

This article appeared in the Friday, January 7th, 2011 issue of Kamloops This Week . Many of my clients have experienced an increase in their home’s assessed value. I find it interesting that the majority of them are listed either below their home’s assessed value (some significantly) or very close to the assessed value. Will BC Assessment continue to increase Kamloops home values even though real estate prices have not continued up? This makes it very confusing for home owners wanting to sell their homes especially when the assessed value is much higher than the asking price.

Large jumps in property values around the Tournament Capital that likely caused shock to most residents during the mid-point of the last decade are a thing of the past. For the second year in a row, the majority of Kamloops homeowners will see a modest increase in their property assessments.

According to BC Assessment, the average property owner of a single-family dwelling will likely see their property value increase by 4.7 per cent. Some 33,000 assessment notices in Kamloops for 2011 were sent out this week. The biggest change was in the downtown, where the average property jumped to $392,484 from $348,347, or about 12 per cent.

Other neighbourhoods around town saw more modest increases in assessments. “There was no hot spot in particular in Kamloops,” said Graham Held, a deputy assessor with BC Assessment.

Homes in Sahali and Aberdeen increased to $412,925 from $389,311 , East Kamloops including Juniper Ridge, Dallas and Barnhartvale were up to $394,653 from $375,069 and Batchelor Heights rose to $373,769 from $364,014.

Held said the city isn’t seeing the big market movement of years past, suggesting a diverse economic base in Kamloops has contributed to stability in the real estate market.

The overall assessment roll for the city increased to $13.5 billion from $12.9 billion the previous year. Last year, a majority of property owners in Kamloops were looking at an increase of up to 20 per cent on their 2010 assessments.

It was only a couple of years ago property owners were seeing assessments jump by more than 20 per cent year-after-year. Due to the economic meltdown at the end of 2008, the province decided to put what amounted to a freeze on property assessments for 2009.

There is recourse for residents who are unhappy with their property assessment. They can challenge their assessment by speaking to the appraisal staff or submit a written request by the end of January for an independent review by an assessment panel. The panel will be hearing complaints starting in February and running until March 15.

However, Held encourages residents to go to BC Assessment’s website bcassessment.ca to do as much analysis on their own. He noted a little less than two per cent of assessments in Kamloops end up being disputed.