Properties in the Cowichan Lake area saw significant increases in this year’s assessments, particularly waterfront properties. (Gazette file)

Properties in the Cowichan Lake area saw significant increases in this year’s assessments, particularly waterfront properties. (Gazette file)

Property values jump significantly for Lake Cowichan area

Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay see a 20 per cent increase in average homes

The assessed value of the average single-family home in Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake has increased a whopping 20 per cent over the last year, according to the latest figures by BC Assessment.

The average home in both communities is now valued at $384,000, while the average waterfront property in Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake has seen a 12 per cent spike in value, with the average price now at $950,000.

In fact, all regions of the Lake Cowichan area saw home assessments rise on average over the last year in BC Assessment’s valuation of homes across the province, which is based on what was happening in the real estate market as of July 1, 2020.

RELATED STORY: B.C. PROPERTY VALUES WENT UP 4.2% IN 2020

The Town of Lake Cowichan itself had an eight per cent increase in the value of the average home; from $340,000 to $368,000 over the last year.

The town also saw an average increase of eight per cent for strata properties, such as condos and townhouses.

Single-family dwellings in Youbou had an increase of 16 per cent, with the average home in that community now valued at $402,000; while waterfront properties in Youbou saw a 19 per cent increase, and are now valued at an average of $1,074,000.

The owners of about 378,000 properties throughout Vancouver Island should have already received their 2021 assessment notices, or they will soon.

The most valuable assessed property on Vancouver Island in 2021 is James Island, located close to North Saanich, which has been valued at $57,980,000.

“Home values across Vancouver Island have appreciated this year due to strong demand combined with limited inventory for sale,” said Vancouver Island assessor Tina Ireland.

“For most communities, the assessed values of single-family homes are up moderately about five to 10 per cent, while residential stratas are generally showing less of an increase.”

As for other parts of the Cowichan Valley, the assessed value of an average single-family home in North Cowichan has risen seven per cent, from $459,000 to $489,000, over the last year; while the City of Duncan saw a five per cent overall rise in value, from $370,000 to $388,000; and the Town of Ladysmith saw a seven per cent increase, from $445,000 to $476,000.

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Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2019 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January.

If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of BC Assessment’s appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Feb. 1, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel.

The property assessment review panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2020 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2020’s top valued residential properties across the province.

The website also provides self-service access to a free online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2020 property assessments for anywhere in the province.

New in 2021, the province is taking over full administration of the Home Owner Grant program to ease the burden on municipalities.

RELATED STORY: CMHC EXPECTS HOUSING MARKET TO RECOVER IN NEXT TWO YEARS AFTER DECLINES

The province already administers the grant for rural homeowners, but now, homeowners in all municipalities will submit their applications directly to the province instead of through their municipal office.

Similar to previous years, applications will open in May when a majority of property tax notices are received.

As in previous years, homeowners are reminded to keep their property assessment notice from BC Assessment or property tax notice from their municipality.

They will need their roll and jurisdiction number from their notice to apply for the Home Owner Grant with the province.

The grant amounts for 2021 for homeowners in the Valley and other areas outside of urban areas are up to $770; and up to $1,045 for homes in rural areas where the homeowner is 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability.

Homeowners may also be eligible for property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.

Some low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities can also apply for a supplement that replaces any grant amount they lose due to the value of their home being over the threshold.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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