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.”