Residential property assessments have increased throughout the Thompson Okanagan region.
Owners of nearly 289,000 properties in the region have started to receive their 2023 assessment notices in the mail.
“Homeowners throughout the Okanagan can generally expect to receive assessments that are up about 10 per cent to 15 per cent for houses while condos and townhomes are up a bit higher,” says Okanagan area Deputy Assessor Tracy Wall. “Assessments are valued as of July 1, meaning everyone’s annual assessment is a reflection of what your home could have sold for around that time.”
Thompson area Assessor Tracy Shymko added that “home assessments for Kamloops and the surrounding area are rising about 10 per cent to 15 per cent for most communities whereas some communities will be notably higher.
“It is important to think about your assessment as what you could have sold your home for around July 1 of the past year and not necessarily in today’s real estate market.”
Rising interest rates and threat of a recession have since cooled the hot market.
Still, according to data released, single family residential homes in the District of Clearwater as of July 1, 2022 have seen an increased property value of 28.9 per cent. Strata properties increased 36.2 per cent as of July 1, 2022.
In Barriere, the value of a single family home has increased 21 per cent, from $355,000 in 2021 to $428,000 in 2022 for a single family home.
The value of a single family home in Clearwater has gone from $346,000 in 2021 to $445,000 on average in 2022.
Business properties in Clearwater, meanwhile, are up 13.9 per cent as of July 2022, while light industrial properties are up 13.9 per cent.
In the Central North Thompson rural areas, residential home property values have increased 19.1 per cent on average.
In Kamloops Rural (726) the average increase for residential properties is 10.5 per cent for residential homes and Kamloops Rural (724) the increase is 16.5 per cent for residential property values. These would be areas stretching from Little Fort to Vavenby.
Compared with larger centres such as Kelowna and Kamloops, communities such as Clearwater are still more affordable to live.
A single family home in Kelowna, for example, is approaching the $1 million mark at $988,000, while a single family home in Kamloops is now valued at $689,000 by BC Assessment.
Overall, the Thompson Okanagan’s total assessments increased from $203.7 billion in 2022 to $234.3 billion this year.
A total of about $3.8 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and the rezoning of properties. BC Assessment’s Thompson Okanagan region includes the urban centres of Kelowna and Kamloops as well as all surrounding Okanagan and Thompson communities.
South Cariboo home owners set to appeal assessments
Some homeowners in the South Cariboo are already preparing to appeal their assessments after receiving early notice of a significant increase in their property assessment values.
The increases are across the region – from 100 Mile where Teresa Porter’s property increased 43 per cent and Clinton, where former mayor Susan Swan is seeing a 140 per cent rise on her 1960 duplex.
Assessor Bryan Murao said in a news release that most homeowners can expect to see a five to 15 per cent increase in their assessments this year. Assessments are based on house values sold up to and around July 1, 2022.
“I realize it’s all based on market values and from months past,” said Porter. “However, it’s ludicrous to have that large of an increase without major renovations or upgrades to warrant it.”
Swan said when she phoned BC Assessment she was told the increase was based on the sale of similar properties in Clinton. However, she said there are three duplexes in Clinton and none of them have sold. She spoke with one other duplex owner who told Swan hers went up 139 per cent.
“So what are they basing it on?” she asked.
Murao said they are aware that since July 1 the real estate market has changed as interest rates rose and overall sales volume went down. As a result, people can expect their next property assessment to likely be higher than current market values but this will be the same for everyone.
“An increase in assessed value does not, however, necessarily result in an increase in property taxes,” he said. “Taxes are typically only affected if you are above the average value change for your community.
“Our job is to make sure your assessment is a fair and accurate reflection of market value sales based on July 1st.”
Homeowners have until Jan. 31 to appeal. Swan said she will be calling the Kamloops Assessment office.