Port Edward homeowners are bracing for a massive hike in their property assessments.
Property assessments, due in the mail this week, will see the average Port Edward single-family dwelling unit jump nearly 15 per cent (14.86 per cent increase) from a 2016 valuation of $189,000 to a 2017 valuation of $222,000 – the highest increase of all communities in northern B.C.
Despite the major valuation increase, it is still below other major markets in the area, with Prince Rupert’s average single family home assessed at $260,000 (a 6.15 per cent increase), Terrace at $309,000 (remained the same), and Kitimat at $277,000 (a 4.69 per cent decrease).
In Prince Rupert, the residential class assessments (single- and multi-family dwellings, residential strata properties, rental apartment buildings and vacant land) increased overall by 5.69 per cent from last year, with business class properties (retail, offices and warehouses) increasing by 3.62 per cent.
Those same residential properties in Port Edward experienced an increase of 17.83 per cent, with a business class increase of 0.97 per cent.
“The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect a slight increase, compared to last year’s assessment,” said deputy assessor David Keough. “Most homeowners in the northern B.C. region will see changes in the zero per cent to plus-10 per cent range.”
Residents should have received their assessments in the mail this past week or in the coming days.
While industry in the surrounding area and speculation are not taken into account when evaluating properties, but rather sales of comparable properties, deputy assessor Geoff Radtke said that Port Edward has been attracting considerable interest.
“Sales in some communities, such as Port Edward, continue to attract a lot of interest from buyers, which is significantly increasing demand and the value of the property owner’s investment,” Radtke said.
“Although values can be affected by various economic factors, speculation does not play a role in the valuation process. The role of BC Assessment is to report the market value of each property based on sales of comparable properties as of July 1, 2016.”
Asked if there is a likelihood Port Edward valuations may catch up to those in Prince Rupert or Terrace in the near future, Radtke said it’s not possible to tell.
“With regards to the future value of single-family homes in Port Edward in comparison to the surrounding area, it is difficult to speculate what assessments in any community will look like until we are able to review the future sales that may affect value,” said the deputy assessor, adding that sales of comparable properties, rather than size of community, affects valuations.
BC Assessment’s Keough said that residents who have questions can check BC Assessment’s website or contact the agency this month.