With 2015 assessment notices in the mail, homeowners in north Nanaimo can expect to see greater increase in property value than owners in the south.
Bill Dawson, B.C. Assessment Vancouver Island deputy assessor, characterized this year’s assessment as modest. He said a majority of homeowners in Nanaimo and Lantzville will see the values of their homes change between minus-10 to plus-5 per cent compared to last year.
“The north end of Nanaimo, especially that Dover/Dickinson area, is going to be receiving increases from let’s say, three to seven per cent typically for the median assessment change for those neighbourhoods,” said Dawson.
He said the south end and downtown seem to be maintaining a stable rate, with a median assessment change between zero and a 2.5-per cent increase. Unlike Nanaimo and Lantzville, Gabriola Island is seeing a decrease, with the average residential assessment dropping between three and five per cent in 2015, according to Dawson.
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“It’s a little bucking of the trend for the local market if you consider Gabriola as part of Nanaimo and Lantzville … [It] seems to have a consistent slippage of the assessment values, between a zero and five-per cent range,” Dawson said.
He said it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason one neighbourhood or region is increasing or decreasing at a different rate, as the factors affecting real estate value are numerous.
“Assessments are based on numerous characteristics, including a property’s size, age, quality, condition, view and location. B.C. Assessment follows the market by examining sales and ensuring the market trends are accurately considered,” Dawson said.
Brian Clemens, City of Nanaimo director of finance, said generally speaking, changes in market value don’t affect the overall amount of taxes the city has. Property taxes for city residents will be determined in budget discussions expected to begin later this month.
“So when we set our property tax increase … right now it’s estimated to be 2.2 per cent based on the last five-year financial plan, that would give the city an additional 2.2-per cent revenue from all properties. Now that won’t mean every single individual property pays 2.2 per cent more.
“Those that have increases in their assessment that’s higher than the average will get a higher increase and those that have increases that are less than that average will get lower,” Clemens said.