Sooke single-family home assessments to leap 10 to 40% this year

Assessments for all homes will be mailed in the first week of January

Single-family homes in Sooke will face “substantial increases” on their 2017 B.C. Assessments.

Homeowners in the Sooke region will probably see higher assessments in the 10 to 40 per cent range, said Christopher Whyte, acting assessor for the Vancouver Island region.

Five per cent of homeowners across B.C. can expect higher taxes because their properties have risen higher than the average in their municipality.

Courtesy notification letters will be sent to homeowners whose assessed values are at least 15 per cent higher than average in their municipality and they can expect taxes to go up by the same amount.

Assessments for all homes will be mailed in the first week of January and be posted online Jan. 3.

Homeowners have until the end of January to have the assessed value reviewed and their complaint will be heard before March 15.

“There has been a significant market movement in the Lower Vancouver Island area this year,” Whyte said.

“Victoria has a solid job market, vacancies are low, there’s pressure from Lower Mainland and retirement, all those factors come into play.”

Other factors that can affect an assessment are significant renovations, how attractive the neighbourhood is for investors and homebuyers, and zoning changes, for instance to increase density.

Not all properties assessed at a higher value will see their taxes rise, said Whyte. It depends on how your property performs compared to others in your taxing jurisdiction,” he said, adding some taxes can decrease.

If a property goes up 50 per cent and the average for that municipality is 30 per cent, “then that homeowner will see a tax increase,” he said.

And there’s no indication of the market slowing down.

So far this year, more than 600 homes have sold in Sooke, compared to 395 in 2015.

Sooke realtors sold 14 properties last week.

“Anything that’s coming up on the market that’s decently priced is selling,” said Sooke realtor Tammi Dimock, adding this is the strongest market in years.

Higher assessments shouldn’t be a surprise to homeowners, said Whyte.

“The reason we’re notifying property owners this year is because its quite a substantial increase. It is to be hoped that those in tune with the market will understand it.”

About three percent of all properties in Greater Victoria will receive the letters, said Whyte.

The highest assessments in Greater Victoria are expected to be in Victoria, Saanich, Sidney and Oak Bay. Typical strata residential increases will be in the five to 25 per cent range, Whyte added.

 

Be wary of property assessments, warns a Sooke realtor

Last week, B.C. Assessment said many single-family homes in Greater Victoria, including Sooke, will probably face hikes of up to 40 per cent next year.

But for Royal LePage realtor Tammi Dimock, there’s no “rhyme or reason” on how the assessments are calculated.

Appraisers analyze current sales in the local area, as well as the property’s size, age, quality, condition, view and location, said B.C. Assessment in a written statement.

“Fundamentally, they don’t even come out a check house anymore, they just ride what the market is saying,” Dimock said. “B.C. Assessment hasn’t been a player for a while.”

The result? Two exact houses next door to each other can see a price difference as much as $80,000. The difference is that the house that sold more recently will have a current market value.

Dimock doesn’t blame the staff at B.C. Assessment. It comes down to a staffing issue.

“They do a good job, but everyone has to work within their means,” Dimock said.

 

Just Posted

Victoria council narrowly approves transitional housing for former Tally Ho

Neighbours angry about decision to allow temporary three-year permit

Inner Harbour pathway in need of repairs: Harbour Authority

Victoria council approves initial design plans for walkway changes

RCMP open investigation to find missing Sooke macaw

$5,000 reward still being offered for safe return of Rufus

Check out what’s happening in Greater Victoria this weekend

From swimming championships to Oak Bay Light Up, there’s plenty to keep you busy this weekend

VicPD chief rescues lost $10 bill in downtown Victoria

The note was promptly returned to its owner unharmed

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Esquimalt mayor frustrated at latest E&N railbed development

Barb Desjardins says it makes no sense to start over looking at commuter options for corridor

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read