BC Assessment released figures online Tuesday, revealing an upswing in value for residential properties across most of the Vancouver Island region.
The Gulf Islands Rural area encompassing Salt Spring and the major southern Gulf Islands saw an increase in property values of just over 12 per cent, with the average home valued at $476,000 compared to $426,000 in 2017. A separate number for Salt Spring Island is not yet available. Assessors set values according to property sales in the surrounding neighbourhood as of July 1 each preceding year.
BC Assessment’s Vancouver Island region includes all communities on Vancouver Island, plus the Gulf Islands and Powell River. Overall, Vancouver Island’s total assessments increased from $192.7 billion in 2017 to $223.1 billion this year. A press release issued by BC Assessment on Tuesday states that nearly $3.2 billion of the $30.4 billion jump is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.
While the real estate market on Salt Spring seemed to pick up briskly over the past year, the Gulf Islands Rural area of the assessment roll actually had the smallest percentage increase aside from the Town of View Royal when compared to nearby communities in the capital region, southern and central Vancouver Island.
The majority of residential home owners within the Vancouver Island region saw assessments increase from 10 to 25 per cent. Hotspots for 2018 were Metchosin at 25 per cent and Langford at 21 per cent. The biggest jumps were found a little further afield, with residential properties in Ucluelet and Powell River both seeing an average increase of 26 per cent.
BC Assessment figures are used to calculate property taxes, but the agency says an increase in property value does not automatically mean a substantial increase in tax.
“How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes,” said Vancouver Island assessor Tina Ireland.
“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions, but 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,” she added.
Property owners who are still concerned about their assessments after speaking to an appraiser must submit a notice of complaint by Jan. 31, to schedule an independent review by a property assessment review panel.
See the Jan. 10 issue of the Driftwood newspaper for more on the assessments topic.