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