Property values up 0-10 per cent at Cowichan Lake

Cowichan Lake area property owners will see increases in residential property values of anywhere from zero to 10 per cent

Cowichan Lake area property owners, receiving their 2017 assessment notices, will see increases in residential property values of anywhere from zero to 10 per cent, with the average at five to six per cent.

According to Bill Dawson of BC Assessment in Nanaimo, that’s lower overall than most other nearby areas.

Duncan is looking at about five percent, North Cowichan at six to eight per cent, and Ladysmith is seeing increases closer to 15 per cent.

“It’s all about the market value of properties,” he said. “That’s what drives it. What our appraisers do every year is take a look at the sales during that second and third quarter of each year, around July 1. We compare them to what assessments were last year and make the appropriate changes in our base rate to reflect how much a certain community has increased or how much a certain neighbourhood has decreased, depending entirely on what the market is telling us. For instance, we don’t take a look at Oak Bay sales when we are looking at Cowichan Lake sales, otherwise the assessments would go up a lot more in Cowichan Lake.”

However, all the Cowichan Valley increases are still low compared to those experienced in other parts of the Island, even north of Victoria, that real-estate hot spot.

“We’ve seen increases of from 10 to 20 per cent in the City of Nanaimo, with the median being about 14-15 per cent,” Dawson said.

Realtors have reported a lack of inventory of homes to sell in the Cowichan Valley and Dawson said, “That is a common trend during 2016 in a lot of locations on Vancouver Island.”

If you want to learn more about your assessment go to “evaluebc” on the Internet.

“That is BC Assessment’s internet presence. Property owners can learn how their assessment was built. They can take a look at the inventory that we actually have on their property and can actually verify it through that web-based tool and tell us whether it’s accurate. They can take a look at the assessments of neighbours to make sure they are being treated equitably. And they can also take a look at the sales that our appraisers actually used in coming up with their individual assessment,” Dawson said.

Next, after you do your own research on evaluebc, then you can still talk to an appraiser if you wish.

But, if any property owners still have questions that are unresolved in their minds, they must have a letter of appeal in by the end of January.

Contact BC Assessment if you don’t get your assessment notice. If your address information needs to be updated, you must notify both organizations: BC Assessment and the land titles office. Check out ltsa.ca for more information.