Property assessments in the mail this week

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Most property owners in Fraser Valley can expect an increase in their property values, according to BC Assessment. The Lululemon founder's waterfront property is assessed at $78.8 million this year.

Vancouver, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond, Surrey and the North Shore were among the areas with the highest increases previous year, and the province sent out notices ahead of time so owners wouldn't be caught off-guard.

"Stratas are the area where the market is moving the most prominently this year", said BC Assessment Fraser Valley assessor Laura Schwagele.

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).

"If you've got a condo in Vancouver, I think they're going to get it pretty right, because there's so many homes they compare to yours, but out in the hinterlands, it gets thinner, and you have to believe if your home is unique in some ways, that they could botch the assessment".

The average home in the Town of Sidney is valued at 20% higher than a year ago, according new figures released by B.C. Assessment.

"The western communities increased, Sidney increased, and those jurisdictions past year didn't experience the same kind of volume", said Deputy Assessor Gerry Marolla.

The values posted this week reflect market value as of July 1, 2017.

There was a moderate increase year-over-year in the City of Kamloops, up nine per cent compared to last year.

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Across the Fraser Valley, residential strata units have seen between 10 per cent and 40 per cent increases in value over the previous year.

In northern B.C. the biggest swings in residential property values were in Granisle, which saw a 44.9 per cent increase in the average value of single family homes (from $42,000 to $61,000) and Kitimat, which saw the average value of a single-family house fall 16.2 per cent from $278,000 to $233,000.

Bobby Ross, a real estate agent with Pemberton Holmes, agrees the assessment notices have little impact on the real estate market.

The BC Assessment Authority is responsible for the annual valuation of over two million properties in B.C. but has less than 700 employees, so it remains the property owners' responsibility to review and appeal annual property assessment notices.

"It's a more typical market than what we've seen in the past couple of years", said Borgo.

The day after the assessments were released, the provincial government raised the homeowner grant to $1.65 million from $1.6 million.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.

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. The physical condition is based on how the property was on October 31, 2017.