Tumbler Ridge sees drop in home valuations

Trent Ernst, Editor


The value of a home in Tumbler Ridge is not what it once was.

In fact, the value of a home in Tumbler Ridge is down 14 percent since last year, one of the largest drops in the province.

The assessed values for single-family homes fell from $246,000 on July 1, 2013 to $210,000 the same date last year.

Tumbler Ridge flies in the face of the majority of towns across Northern BC, which saw most properties increase in value.

“Most homes in the area are worth more in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,”said Jarret Krantz, Deputy Assessor with the North Region. “Most home owners in the Peace River Assessment Area will see changes in the -5% to +15% range.”

Overall, the Peace River Area’s Assessment Roll increased approximately $1.212 billion from $18.655 billion last year to $19.867 billion this year. A total of almost $701 million of this growth includes subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

“It is important to note that BC Assessment assesses 2015 properties reflecting their physical condition and permitted use as of October 31, 2014, and using a valuation date of July 1, 2014,” says BC Assessment. “In determining property values, our appraisers consider a wide variety of factors, such as size, age, shape, quality condition and location of the property. Local comparable sales are also a consideration.”

That latter is a factor in Tumbler Ridge,  with the mines in Tumbler Ridge idling or deferring opening, the housing market has come to a grinding halt, with ten houses being sold in the last year.

That’s down from 37 single family detached homes sold in the year, the majority of which were sold early in the year.

Currently, there are 101 properties on the market, 54 of which are single-family detached houses.

The asking price of many of these houses had dropped, some by more than 25 percent of their original asking price.

Since April, when Walter announced they were idling the Wolverine Mine, only four houses have sold in Tumbler Ridge: two in July, and one apiece in the last two months of the year.

Elsewhere in the Peace Region, Fort St. John saw an eight percent gain, with the average assessed value for a single family residential property increasing from $347,000 to $376,000. Nearby Taylor saw their assessments go up nearly nine percent from $286,000 to $311,000.

Hudson’s Hope saw a more modest increase in average increased value, increasing six and a half percent from $186,000 to $198,000.  Pouce Coupe’s average went from $210,000 to $215,000, an increase of just over two percent.

Dawson Creek saw their house assessments go up just under two percent, from an average or $259,000 to $264,000, while Chetwynd saw an one percent increase from $231,000 to $233,000 in 2014.

“Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2014 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Krantz.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by February 2, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” added Krantz.

While Tumbler Ridge’s assessed value dropped the most, we weren’t the only ones, with the Northern Rockies Regional District seeing a drop from $282,000 in 2013 to $272,000 in 2014, a drop of about three and a half percent.

A drop in assessed value makes it more difficult to sell a house, but can be viewed as a good thing for residents who remain in Tumbler Ridge.

A lower assessed value typically means lower property taxes, though this is not always the case when all the properties in a jurisdiction go down in value.

In these cases the municipality may choose to raise everyone’s taxes, as happened when Bullmoose and Quintette closed.

Residents of Tumbler Ridge should be receiving their assessments in the next few days.