Home values are going up in northern B.C., and they are going up inside the City of Prince George.
According to BC Assessment, homeowners across the province can expect to receive their 2019 assessment notices in the mail in the next few days - more than 247,500 properties altogether.
"The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect a moderate increase compared to last year's assessment," said B.C.'s deputy assessor Jarret Krantz.
"There are some exceptions to this such as Kitimat where owners will see increases of 20 per cent or greater. Also, the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality where there have been decreases in the range of 20 per cent or more."
The average assessment value for Prince George went up to $296,000, which was a 10 per cent increase over 2018.
An increase or decrease in the assessed value of any specific property does not directly impact the amount of tax the respective landowner must pay, although cumulative property values do have an impact on overall tax rates from town to town. Nor does assessed value guarantee that will be the sale price should a respective property be sold anytime soon.
An acreage at Moberly Lake near Dawson Creek topped the list of Northern B.C.'s most valuable residential properties with an assessed value of $3.07 million, followed by two homes in Prince George - 4205 Cowart Rd., assessed at $2.31 million, and 7765 St. Dennis Pl., assessed at $2.21 million.
Looking at our most immediate neighbours, Quesnel's average value went up eight per cent and Wells went up 11 per cent, to the south; Vanderhoof went up three per cent and Fraser Lake up 17, to the west; McBride dropped by one percent but Valemount jumped 18 per cent, looking east; while Mackenzie and Chetwynd both held even, to the north.
The community in northern B.C. with the lowest overall average home value was Granisle at $55,600 while the highest average assessed value was Fort St. John at $319,000.
Krantz said that the overall assessed value of northern B.C. property added up to about "$65.7 billion this year" which was a jump of more than $4 billion.
"A total of about $913 million of the region's updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties," Krantz said. "The Northern B.C. region encompasses approximately 70 per cent of the province stretching east to the Alberta border, north to the Yukon border, west to Bella Coola including Haida Gwaii and to the south, just north of Clinton."
The BC Assessment website has undergone some renovations so property owners have better tools for searching property information. Those who register for a free BC Assessment custom account have a range of tools to search for and compare property values and use the built-in interactive map.
"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, 2018 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January," said Krantz.
Additionally, there is a process for filing a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Jan. 31 "for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel," added Krantz.