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Penticton property values see slight decline

Property assessments began trickling into homeowners’ mailboxes this week, and some South Okanagan homeowners could find their biggest investment starts the new year off on a lower point.

While the entire province’s assessment roll topped $1 trillion for the first time, the roll for South Okanagan decreased. Overall, properties decreased in value to $19.96 billion from $20.48 billion. That 2012 figures include $226 million in new construction, subdivisions and rezoning.

The Penticton residential assessment roll for residential properties in 2012 listed the average at $394,000, down from $399,00 the year previous. That figure does not include strata properties, which posted a $19,000 decline in assessed value to an average of $231,000.

Oliver, Princeton and Osoyoos, however, posted increases for the 2012 assessment roll. Oliver posted the largest increase of $11,000 in average assessed values to $314,000, while Princeton increased $8,000 for an average of $223,000 and Osoyoos recorded a $3,000 increase for an average assessed value of $401,000.

Owners of commercial and industrial properties will also see values fluctuate between a 10-per-cent increase and five-per-cent decrease.

Okanagan office deputy assessor Tracy Wall characterized the changes as “modest,” and local market trends for residential properties depend on several variables like location, building type and condition and age.

“We look at sales properties on their valuation date, which is July 1. What we would have found in Penticton and any community is based on the sales information that values had declined slightly,” she said.

“There may be some variation from one community to the next, based on the information available.”

The south end of the region has not been hit as badly as the north end, however. North Okanagan assessments posted no change in cities like Vernon or a 10-per-cent decline in Revelstoke or Enderby. The roll was valued at $27.5 billion, down from $28.26 billion.

Central Okanagan also saw a decrease in its assessment roll, but not as sharp as that of its northern neighbours. Property values were deemed to be static or decline approximately five per cent. Kelowna’s residential assessment roll was assessed at $504,000, down $7,000, while strata units in the area were assessed at $240,000 on average, down by $18,000.

Wall said there are mechanisms in place for people who disagree with the notices from B.C. Assessment.

“Most homeowners and property owners are satisfied with their assessments. What we’ve tracked in the last several years is that less than two per cent launch a formal appeal,” she said.

“I would like to remind property owners to read over their assessment notice closely. There’s a lot of information on the notice as well as the insert that’s provided with it.”

Property owners have until Jan. 31 to file an appeal in writing with the Kelowna office. Property assessment review panel hearings start Feb. 1 and must be concluded by March 15.

People can also visit the authority’s website at www.bcassessment.ca and click “eValue B.C.” to view assessments for their home, the neighbours and others in B.C.

Shortly after the assessments were released, the B.C. government announced it would increase the homeowner grant threshold to $1.285 million, up from $1.15 million. The new threshold value ensures at least 95.5 per cent of homeowners receive the full amount, which translates into a maximum residential property tax reduction of $770. Households living in residences valued above the threshold may still be eligible for a partial grant.

 

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