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Property assessments up in Prince Rupert, down in Port Edward

Neighbouring areas of Terrace, Kitimat and Haida Gwaii skyrocket to more than 20 per cent
While Prince Rupert’s housing assessment increase remains modest, its neighbouring cities have seen large increases in their property values. (The Northern View file photo)

The BC Assessment Authority released its annual snapshot last week of the real estate market across the province from July 1, 2018 — with Prince Rupert seeing its single-family residential properties for 2019 now averaging $276,000.

The 2020 assessed value (as of July 1, 2019) for Prince Rupert is a three per cent increase from the previous year which saw the average estimated worth for a home at $268,000.

Housing in Port Edward has seen a dip of five per cent, valuing at $187,000 from $197,000.

Overall, Northern B.C.’s total assessments increased from more than $65.4 billion in 2019 to more than $69.4 billion this year. A total of about $1.06 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

While Prince Rupert’s housing assessment increase remains modest, its neighbouring cities have seen large increases in their property values.

Terrace and Kitimat skyrocket

“For most of the region’s homes, it’s a bit of a mix of modest increases and decreases compared to last year’s assessments,” Jarrett Krantz, deputy assessor for the BC Assessment Authority, stated. “There are some exceptions such as Terrace and Kitimat where most homeowners will see increases of 20 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.”

READ MORE: B.C. assessed home values to dip 2.5% in 2020

In anticipation of a positive LNG announcement, property values in Terrace’s single-family residential properties are now averaging $373,000.

As of July 1, 2018, homes averaged $312,000. In contrast, the 2017 assessment for family homes in Terrace dipped 1.3 per cent to $286,050.

Sheila Love, Terrace and Kitimat Re/Max managing broker, says this year’s assessment is good news but it’s already inaccurate to how the market is doing right now.

“Once that LNG announcement finally happened, our prices did go up. The next assessment is going to be even better.”

She says that the average sale price of a home in November 2018 had an actual market value of $428,000, a dramatic increase from 2017 when that value was averaged at $337,000.

She says she expects values are only going to increase.

In Kitimat, single family home values increased by 41 per cent and are expected to rise in the coming years.

Haida Gwaii village see jump by 31 per cent

The average single family home assessment for Queen Charlotte residents on Haida Gwaii rose by 31 per cent compared to last year.

In 2019, the typical assessed value of a Queen Charlotte home was $167,000, which will now rise to $219,000.

Krantz said the high increase in Queen Charlotte is based on 11 homes sold in 2018 at higher value than previously assessed.

Queen Charlotte mayor Kris Olsen said the change is a double edged sword. With no new industry, but higher residential property values, affordable housing will be more of an issue for residents.

However, the increase is good news for those who have already invested in homes in the village and want to sell.

Port Clements homes increased by six per cent ($69,000 - $73,000) and Masset assessment values increased by four per cent ($98,000 - $102,000).

Changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes.

“How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes,” Krantz said.

READ MORE: Canada’s housing market ‘vulnerable’ even as Toronto cools: CMHC

with files from Rod Link

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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