Real estate value decline continues on islands

  • Jan. 7, 2004 5:00 p.m.

The value of real estate on the islands dropped again last year, according to BC Assessment, which last week mailed out 3,100 property assessments to islanders.
The total value of all properties on the Charlottes dipped to $273,349,840-million in 2003, its lowest in many years, and about 3-percent less than in 2002, when property value totalled just over $280-million. In 2001, total property value was $291-million, and five years ago it was $313-million, but has been dropping steadily since.
“This reflects changing market values for many properties, but also includes subdivisions, rezoning and new construction,” Acting Northwest Deputy Assessor Erich Streckenback said, ” Â…change in the assessment roll is less than the previous year. The unsettled local economy in some areas resulted in lower market demand.”
Generally speaking, according to BC Assessment, houses in Port Clements and Masset declined the most. In Port, a single family home valued at $67,400 in 2002 sold for $62,000 last year,, an drop of about 8-percent, and in Masset, a former DND duplex valued at $71,600 in 2002 sold for $63,500 in 2003, an 11-percent decline.
On the other hand, houses in Queen Charlotte are worth about the same as they were a year ago, BC Assessment says. It considers recent sales and purchase prices when determining assessments, but not underlying factors.
The dropping or static values on the islands are in sharp contrast to the lower mainland. In Vancouver, property values are skyrocketing, up between 10 and 30-percent as of July 2003. Analysts attribute this to low interest rates and the coming 2010 Olympics.
Islanders who think their assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2003, or that other information is incorrect, should contact BC Assessment at 100-4545 Lazelle Ave., Terrace, V8G 4E1, fax 250-638-0156, telephone 1-800-990-1116.
If you want to compare your assessment with neighbouring properties, lists of assessments by address are available at village offices, local libraries, the Government Agent’s office and on the BC Assessment web site at www.bcassessment.bc.ca
If, after talking to BC Assessment, property owners have a concern about their assessment, they can request an independent review from the Property Assessment Review Panel. The deadline to request a review is Jan. 31.
Although assessments are used to calculate property taxes, BC Assessment has no control over the tax rates, which are set by local tax jurisdictions. Villages, regional districts and the like. A rising or declining assessment does not necessarily mean that property taxes will rise or fall.