Lake Country’s average family homes are worth more than Kelowna’s.
Residential homes in Kelowna are valued at $725,000 compared to Lake Country’s at $727,000 according to a recent report issued by BC Assessment.
Both municipalities’ assessments increased by an average of 17 per cent.
The average is based on market activity and type of houses, said deputy assessor Tracy Wall.
Owners of more than 227,000 properties throughout the Okanagan region can expect to receive their 2018 assessment notices over the next few days. The assessments reflect market value as of July 1, 2017, according to BC Assessment.
The rise in house values continues as Vancouver residents continue to sell their homes and move to the Okanagan, said Andrew Smith, residential realtor with Royal LePage.
“The community has grown so fast in the last 20 to 30 years, people don’t even blink about commuting from Lake Country… and you can see how it’s going to continue to grow with the construction,” he said.
“People don’t look at Lake Country like they used to when it was way out in the middle of nowhere… it’s essentially a part of Kelowna.”
He said the biggest increase in values for Lake Country was the calendar year of 2015 for the single-family residential homes.
The big spike in prices was in 2016, in a jump of 27 per cent to $721,000 from $569,000, he said. The data he uses is different from BC Assessment and does not incorporate townhouses and strata.
“That’s largely reflected on equity rich Vancouver and area buyers moving here,” he said. “They look at a $750,000 house in Lake Country and say ‘what a great deal.’”
Home values are continuing to increase, he said. “The steam doesn’t seem to be coming out of the engine, but for 2018, who knows?”
If you talk to 10 people, five people will say the market is still extremely unvalued, while the other five will say there’s too much debt and young people can’t get into the housing market, he said.
Real estate agents are optimistic, he said.
But no one knows for sure what next year’s housing market will be. “Kelowna has always been the type of housing market which has been so unpredictable,” he said.
In West Kelowna, assessments are up 15 per cent with an average home price of $682,000. Peachland’s average assessment is $612,000, an increase of 16 per cent from a year ago.
BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year.
Overall, the Okanagan’s total assessments increased from $98 billion in 2017 to $119 billion this year. A total of over $2.5 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties, said BC Assessment.
Fires throughout the Okanagan this summer also had an impact on housing assessments, said Wall.
“If someone’s house was damaged or destroyed by wildfire and was not repaired or rebuilt by last Oct. 31, then BC Assessment would make an adjustment to reduce or remove the building value on their 2018 assessment. Oct. 31 is the date by the state and physical condition of a property that can be assessed on, as stated in the Assessment Act,” she said.
BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2018 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2018’s top valued residential properties across the province, said BC Assessment.
The website also provides self-service access to a free, online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2018 property assessments for anywhere in the province.
“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” said Wall.
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