Property values in the Bella Coola Valley saw very small increases of about four percent in some areas, with other areas showing no increase at all. This is a change from last year, which saw home values in the Bella Coola Valley increase up to 10 percent in some areas.
“The average single family dwelling in the Bella Coola, Hagensborg and general Valley area in 2016 was $134,100,” said Geoff Radtke, Deputy Assessor, BC Assessment. “In 2017 it’s now sitting at $139,400.”
According to local real estate calculations, the average selling price of a residential property in 2016 was approximately $197,000.
Most Valley residents have likely already received their assessment notices in the mail, which reflect market value as of July 1, 2016.
The Bella Coola Valley is part of the Northern BC region, which overall only saw a slight increase this year.
“The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect a slight increase, compared to last year’s assessment,” says Deputy Assessor David Keough. “Most home owners in the Northern BC region will see changes in the 0% to +10% range.”
Overall, the Northern BC Region’s total assessments increased from $59.2 billion in 2016 to $60.3 billion this year which equates to a 1.9 per cent increase in the assessment roll. A total of almost $800 million of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.
The Northern BC 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 Haidi Gwaii and to the south just before Clinton.
This is in stark contrast to the southern regions of the province, which have seen much higher increases.
“With property assessments showing increases as high as 50 per cent in urban areas of B.C., the provincial government is promoting its interest-free loan program for first-time home buyers as existing home-owners brace for higher property tax bills,” said Tom Fletcher of Black Press. “Preliminary data showed increases of 30 to 50 per cent for houses and condos in Metro Vancouver, 10 to 40 per cent for Greater Victoria and five to 30 per cent in the Central Okanagan.
Rising values mean fewer properties qualifying for the provincial homeowner’s grant. Homes valued at more than $1.2 million are ineligible, and Metro Vancouver politicians have repeatedly called on the province to create a regional system for grant eligibility to reflect higher values in their region.
The province’s latest move is the creation of a second-mortgage fund for first-time buyers, called the B.C. Home Partnership. It starts taking applications on Jan. 16, with loans up to five per cent of the purchase price to a maximum of $37,500, interest free for five years for qualified buyers.
Housing Minister Rich Coleman said the program is designed to help renters as well as first-time buyers, as more people move out of a tight rental market into their own homes. The province estimates 42,000 households are eligible to take advantage of the interest-free loans.