B.C. assessments bring smaller increases to homes outside Lower Mainland

Most areas outside the Lower Mainland saw single-family homes increase in value by 0 to 10 per cent. But values in some communities also fell — some substantially.

House prices in declining coal mining community of Tumbler Ridge actually fell ... by 34 per cent

While Metro Vancouver homeowners saw the value of their homes increase between about 10 and 30 per cent, homeowners in other parts of the province are seeing lower increases — and sometimes, major decreases. (Reed Saxon/AP Photo)

While many homeowners in Metro Vancouver found the assessed value of their homes jumped between 10 and 30 per cent when the 2015 assessments were released on Monday, homeowners in other parts of the province are seeing lower increases — and in a few communities, major decreases.

In northern B.C., the region's deputy assessor, David Keough, found increases ranging between 0 to 10 per cent.

"Every year's different in terms of what goes up, what goes down … it's not an exact science in terms of what goes through," he said.

However, the declining coal mining community of Tumbler Ridge saw a major decrease in home value with the price of a single-family home falling by 34 per cent.

Fraser Lake homes decreased in value by 19 per cent, and Granisle saw a decrease of 30 per cent.

Tumbler Ridge realtor Sue Pittman-Kangas says things are "very, very slow" in Tumbler Ridge, so the massive drop in value was not unexpected.

"We just need to wait until things improve, which they will." she said. "We're diversifying into tourism; we just became a Global Geopark, and so I think we'll pick up."

Similar story in southern Interior

In the southern Interior, the Okanagan remains the priciest place to own a house.

Penticton, Summerland, Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country, West Kelowna, Vernon and Coldstream all average more than $400,000 for a detached house.

Deputy assessor Tracy Wall says the Okanagan, like northern B.C., experienced increases ranging between 0 to 10 per cent, but there were some exceptions in Sicamous and Princeton.

"Sicamous, that's obviously a recreational area, and perhaps with the economy, the oil people in Alberta … aren't buying as much as they have," she said.

However, Wall believes that an improving global economy is putting the region's real estate on an upward trend.

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