Northern B.C. property values to rise in 2019

Property values across northern British Columbia are expected to rise this year. (Lakes District News file photo)

The value of residential homes in northern British Columbia is due to rise in 2019 compared to last year.

The increase among 247,500 properties in the region is expected to be moderate and reflects the market value as of July 1, 2018, according to the Northern BC 2019 Property Assessment report from BC Assessment.

The value of Burns Lake single-family residential properties rose by 13 per cent, from $131,600 to $148,900 on July 1, the report stated.

All neighbouring communities including Fort St. James, Fraser Lake, Houston, Smithers and Vanderhoof saw increases in value.

The exception is Granisle which registered 0 per cent growth, a fall compared to last year when it rose in value by 44.9 per cent.

“The sales activity in that community showed us that was no increase or decrease, that it was very stable. The values haven’t dropped there,” Jarret Krantz, Deputy Assessor with BC Assessment, told Lakes District News.

Fraser Lake stands out after it rose by 17 per cent to $132,950 for single-family residential properties.

Elsewhere in northern B.C., large fluctuations were noted in Kitimat where values rose by 20 per cent, and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality which went down by 23 per cent.

The rise in Burns Lake’s assessment shows how little last summer’s wildfires affected many properties’ values in the area.

“It’s the same philosophy as other properties when it comes to natural disasters. It depends on what the market will pay for those properties,” Krantz said.

“Those fires affected some properties and not others. For those specific properties damaged by fire they’ll be looked at differently [by appraisers] than the general market,” he said.

If a property has been renovated then its value might increase by up to 50 per cent, Krantz explained.

“Going the other way, if a property has some damage then its value might decline, like if the house is burned down.”

With regards to larger rises and drops in value, Krantz said that rural communities linked to natural resource industries face economic factors and demands that affect the assessments.

Sawmill closures and openings are among the causes for changes in property values, he said.

Northern B.C.’s total assessments rose from around $61.5 billion in 2018 to $65.7 billion this year.

About $913 million of the assessments comes from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

Krantz urged residents to use the BC Assessment website to check on values and other property activity in the community, and to contact the organization if there any concerns.

Go to https://www.bcassessment.ca/ or BC Assessment toll free at 1-866-825-8322.

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