Kamloops homeowners are about to receive a shock in the mail when their assessments arrive this week and reveal a significant property value increase.
BC Assessment is reporting an average 27 per cent spike in assessed value for single-family homes — about quadruple that of last year (six per cent in 2021) and the year before that (seven per cent in 2020).
According to BC Assessment, single-family homes in Kamloops now average $619,000, compared to $488,000 a year ago. Condominiums and townhouses also saw a sizeable spike, rising 21 per cent — up to $346,000 this year from $285,000 in 2021.
“It is market movement,” said Tracy Shymko, BC Assessment’s deputy assessor for the Thompson- Okanagan. “Year-over-year market movement of houses selling for anywhere between 25 and 35 per cent more than what they were the previous year.”
Assessments reflect market value as of July 1 the year prior, meaning 2022 values were determined based on last summer’s real estate market.
The trend is being seen across the province.
Single-family homes in Kelowna saw an average increase of 34 per cent, with a typical home in the Little Apple now valued at $869,000 — $250,000 more than a typical home in Kamloops. Vernon homes are also valued higher than in Kamloops, with the typical single-family $644,000 as a result of an average 34 per cent jump this year.
An hour southwest of Kamloops, in Merritt, homes in the second-largest community in the Thompson-Nicola region are valued at two-thirds of those in Kamloops, at $418,000. Merritt saw an increase of 29 per cent.
“Across the whole province, we’re seeing increases in that 20 to 35 per cent range,” Shymko said. “And in some communities, even more.”
Up the mountain at Sun Peaks, a typical ski chalet is now valued at $1.2 million, up 24 per cent from $921,000 last year. Homes in Chase, the small community 45 minutes east of Kamloops bordering another recreation mecca, the Shuswap, are up a whopping 38 per cent on average. A typical single-family home is now $427,000, up from $309,000 last year.
Kamloops did not make the province’s top 500 valued properties. It is perhaps because a typical single-family home in Vancouver is now assessed at $2 million.
The highest-valued home in the province continues to be that of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson. His Kitsilano mansion is assessed at $73.2 million. The top-valued property in the Thompson-Okanagan region is a $14.1-million house in Kelowna. The Okanagan generally boasts substantially higher-priced abodes, with multi-million-homes reported in not only Kelowna, but also in Lake Country, West Kelowna, Coldstream, Peachland and Summerland. Meanwhile, the typical home in Victoria, B.C.’s capital, is assessed at $1.1 million, up from $867,000 in 2021.
Lytton was ravaged by a fast-moving wildfire in the summer, but saw a modest increase of five per cent on average for single-family homes. Shymko said that figure reflects homes still standing.
Shymko added BC Assessment wants to speak with residents who experienced weather damage to their homes between Oct. 31 and Dec. 31, as there is a provision to make adjustments. She is asking them to reach out to BC Assessment by calling 1-866-825-8322.
Did you know?
Assessments are based on market values as of July 1 the previous year. A number of factors contribute to property assessments, including supply and demand and home improvements.
Generally speaking, the amount of a homeowner’s tax hike is based on where their property’s assessed value increase sits relative to the average increase in assessment, plus whatever property tax hike is coming from the City of Kamloops. Based on preliminary budget discussions, the proposed tax hike in 2022 is just shy of five per cent.
In general, if assessments increase overall, the mill (tax) rate will decrease. For example if a property assessment increase is the same or less than the city’s average assessment increase, that property owner’s taxes should not significantly increase. However, if that property assessment increase is above the average increase in Kamloops, a more substantial property tax hike could be in store.
How to challenge the assessment
If you have a concern about your assessment, call BC Assessment at 1-866-825-8322 to speak with an appraiser. Appeals can be filed online until Jan. 31.