Assessments bring ‘modest changes’ to Cowichan Valley values

It’s a bit of seesaw for Valley property owners as they look at their assessments for 2015.

BC Assessment announced its annual look at assessment trends around the province as its notices go out in the mail.

This time of year always sees homeowners anxiously opening their notices to find out what’s happened to property values.

What are the area’s priciest properties?

Like last year, the property at 249 Fraser Point Rd. on Thetis Island tops the region’s assessments, valued at $3,172,000, with a site at 450 Meredith Rd. in Cherry Point coming second at $2,672,000.

Next up is Dayman Island, classified as Duncan Rural, with an assessment of $2,665,000, followed by 6439 Lakes Rd. in North Cowichan at $2,641,000.

"Most homes in the Cowichan Valley are remaining stable," said Vancouver Island regional deputy assessor Bill Dawson. "Most home owners in the Cowichan Valley will see modest changes in the minus-10 per cent to plus-10 per cent range."

Overall, Cowichan Valley’s assessment roll decreased from $10,751,961,341 (valued July 1, 2013) to 10,757,489 (valued July 1, 2014). It was $11,006,821,659 as of July 1, 2012, he reported.

This overall 2015 roll value is slightly lower despite an increase of almost $127 million from subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

In the City of Duncan, the average single family dwelling went down from $262,300 in 2013 to $247,447 in 2014 to $245,100 in 2015.

Average strata condominiums in Duncan went down from $146,200 in 2013 to $139,900 in 2014 to $133,000 in 2015.

In North Cowichan, the average single family dwelling assessed at $325,400 for 2013 went down to $314,700 in 2014 and has now dropped to $312,000 in 2014.

In the Town of Ladysmith, an average single family dwelling in 2013 was valued at $288,500, for 2014 it was $285,100, increasing slightly to $285,400 for 2015.

Average strata condominiums in Ladysmith have dropped from $178,700 in 2013 to $153,300 in 2015.

In the Town of Lake Cowichan, single family dwellings assessed at $219,100 in 2013 dropped in 2014 to $202,700 but bounced part of the way back to $208,100 in 2015.

Under the category of Cowichan Rural, which includes areas like Mill Bay, Shawnigan Lake, and Cobble Hill, "pretty well everywhere south of Duncan," according to Dawson, single family dwellings on under two acres of land went down from $375,200 to $357,000 in 2014 but are now at $362,400 in 2015 and single family dwellings on over two acres went down from $499,600 to $488,000, again dropping in 2015 to $487,600.

Lake Cowichan Rural (which includes Youbou and Honeymoon Bay and a lot of pricey waterfront) bucked a downward trend a little last year but this year that kind of property is dropping in value again.

The average single family dwelling on under two acres there went up a little from an average assessment of $277,926 for 2013 to $291,000 for 2014.

However, this year it’s down again, moving to $285,400.

In Lake Cowichan Rural, single family dwellings on more than two acres were unchanged in 2013-14 at $383,000 but they are now up to $389,700, Dawson said.

According to BC Assessment, in general, commercial property assessments have remained stable in the Cowichan Valley with a taxable commercial assessment roll of $817,960,841.

A total of almost $18 million in new commercial value has been added due to various changes including subdivision, rezoning and new construction.

Dawson has seen values rise and fall, saying that in his decades at BC Assessment he’s even seen some years with considerable swings. But in the last couple of years, it’s been a pretty stable situation all up and down most of the Island.

"Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2014 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January," said Dawson.

After that, there is a review process available for changes.