Average Osoyoos residential assessment up 17 per cent – among highest in Okanagan

By on January 9, 2018

Osoyoos homes saw an average 17-per-cent jump in assessments this year, reflecting a stronger real estate market throughout the Okanagan region. The increase in Osoyoos was only matched by Kelowna and Lake Country, but most municipalities saw double-digit increases. (Richard McGuire file photo)

Residential assessments in the Okanagan have seen their biggest jump in years and Osoyoos, averaging a 17-per-cent increase, is at the top.

The average assessment in Osoyoos rose to $472,000 as of July 1, 2017 – an increase from $402,000 a year earlier.

Local residents can expect their assessment notices within the coming week.

Assessments are used to calculate municipal taxes, but assessments don’t result in a higher tax bill unless they exceed the average in a municipality. That’s because the mill rate is adjusted downwards to offset the rise in average assessments.

In B.C., assessments are based on property market values so the rise in assessments reflects a hot housing market in most parts of the Okanagan.

Kelowna and Lake Country also saw 17-per-cent increases, with most communities only slightly behind. Oliver’s average assessment rose by 14 per cent.

All communities in the Okanagan region saw their assessments increase by double-digit percentages with the exceptions of Keremeos (seven per cent) and Spallumcheen (six per cent).

“What we have seen throughout the Okanagan is a number of people selling in the Lower Mainland and coming to live or invest in our marketplaces,” said Tracy Wall, acting assessor for the Thompson Okanagan Region of BC Assessment.

“Other factors that attract people to Osoyoos are the great climate, proximity to the U.S. border and the Lower Mainland and amenities like the lake and wineries,” she said.

The value increases have been the greatest this year compared to past years, she said, noting that increases in 2017 and 2016 were mostly less than 10 per cent, with a few exceptions near Kelowna, including Lake Country, which increased by 16 per cent last year.

Last year Osoyoos saw a 9.6-per-cent increase.

“Prior to this, the market had been stable with slight fluctuations up and down since 2008,” said Wall. “Before that, the market was very strong from 2004 to 2008, but the prices were much less than they are today.”

The average is based on the value of single-family homes on municipal-sized lots. The Osoyoos average may be affected by high-priced lakefront properties, but it excludes acreage properties outside the town.

Unlike some of the larger cities, strata properties in Osoyoos and Oliver are not reported separately.

People can look up their own assessments as well as those of their neighbours on the BC Assessment website at bcassessment.ca.

“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions,” said Wall. “Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2017 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January.”

If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to an appraiser, they may submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by Jan. 31 for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel, she said.

The panels typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

More than 98 per cent of property owners typically accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal independent review of their assessment, BC Assessment says.

Property owners can contact BC Assessment at 1-866-825-8322 or online at bcassessment.ca.

RICHARD McGUIRE

Osoyoos Times

 

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