Inner-city neighbourhoods see bump in property values
The inner city neighbourhoods of McCauley and Boyle Street recorded two of the highest jumps in assessed property value last year, meaning residents face a bigger tax bill.
Figures released by the city on Thursday show McCauley had an 8.1 per cent increase in assessed value. In Boyle Street, the jump was a little higher – 8.8 per cent.
Both are significantly higher than the average increase for a single family home in Edmonton at only 2.5 per cent.
The two neighbourhoods have long been home to many of the city’s social ills, which resulted in affordable housing costs.
However, the area is revitalizing and could be feeling the effects of development in the nearby downtown area.
“I think a lot of people have been able to move in for affordable housing, and now that's going to become a challenge,” said 35-year resident Bob McKeon.
Rod Risling, the city’s branch manager for assessment and taxation, says the amounts reflect market conditions on July 1, 2013.
He notes that homes in Boyle and McCauley tend to cost less than the $374,500 price of an average single family home, which could explain the higher percentage increases.
“So if you see a $20,000 increase in the average sale price, that’s a high percentage,” he said.
“Where a $20,000 increase in say, Glenora, that’s a smaller increase in terms of a percentage.”
However, there are worries that some residents could get priced out of their own homes.
Heather Van Boom moved to McCauley when she arrived from Lethbridge several years ago because she wanted to live in a walkable, urban neighbourhood that was ethnically and economically diverse.
She thinks its unfair that the area could soon become unaffordable.
“This is the most affordable neighbourhood in Edmonton, one of them, and people will be pushed out, really, because of property tax hikes.”
Risling says tax increases tend to even out over the years. After a huge jump six years ago, the assessed values in Boyle and McCauley have been flat.
“Those two neighbourhoods —and we look at a longer period of time — are pretty much in line with all of our other neighbourhoods,” he said.