‘Good news’ coming to region’s property owners

Property assessment notices in the mail, beginning Saturday

The majority of people who own property in the Capital Region won’t be disappointed when their 2012 property assessment notices arrive in their mailbox next week.

“I think people are looking at what the value of their real estate is doing. Obviously, people have got a lot of money invested in real estate,” said Reuben Danakody, an assessor at B.C. Assessment’s Victoria-based Capital Region office, which services more than 141,000 properties valued at nearly $92 billion. “Most want to see their values flourish.

“I think the fact that (market) values are stable and holding in (Greater) Victoria is probably going to be good news (to property owners).”

Millions of B.C. property assessment notices will be in the mail by Saturday (Dec. 31), headed across the province and around the world to people who own properties in B.C.

Details of the 2012 assessment roll won’t be released until Jan. 3.

Of those, more than 140,000 envelopes will reach owners of properties in the Capital Region, halfway up the Malahat Drive of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Tsawout and Songhees aboriginal communities and the Gulf Islands.

More of the paper notices in the 2012 assessment roll will be sent out this year, reflective of an increase in the number of new homes that have been built, particularly on the West Shore where land is available, Danakody said.

Though Greater Victoria’s housing market hasn’t seen the increase in activity that Greater Vancouver has, Danakody said locally, the market is strong and steady.

“You didn’t see the leaps and bounds you saw in previous years, but I would describe it as a very stable market,” he said, adding that construction may not be as brisk as it was in 2010 and 2011, but people are, however, spending money on home renovations.

“(New construction) … shows stability in the market place, and overall economic growth is good for the community here,” Danakody said. “New construction is good. Obviously it creates jobs.”

Market strength and stability is also helped by the presence of large-scale employers in the region, including several federal and provincial government departments, the Vancouver Island Health Authority and the University of Victoria, Danakody said.

People interested in knowing what their real estate portfolios are valued at as of July 1 each year are paying closer attention to their annual property assessments.

The information helps owners make more informed decisions about future purchases, said Danakody, adding the values are also significant because of their “impact on the (municipal) property taxes that (owners) would be liable for in the forthcoming taxation year.”