Property values in Tumbler Ridge have declined by more than a third from 2015 to 2016, according to new information from BC Assessment.
In 2015, the averaged assessed value of a single-family home there was $210,000. In 2016, it dropped to $138,000, or a 34 per cent drop.
The information was released by the B.C. Assessment Authority Monday, as part of its 2016 assessment notices expected to arrive in the mail this week.
On a percentage basis, Tumbler Ridge saw the sharpest drop in property values across Northern B.C. for 2016. The district has had to deal with poor economic conditions exacerbated by the closure of area coal mines.
Since 2014, the average assessed value of a Tumbler Ridge home has dropped 78 per cent, or more than $100,000.
Fort St. John and Dawson Creek homeowners will see slight boosts to their property values for 2016.
In Fort St. John, property values rose by six per cent, while property values rose by two per cent in Dawson Creek.
Fort St. John's average single-family home rose from an assessed value of $381,000 to $405,000, while increasing from $256,000 to $260,000 in Dawson Creek.
Kim MacKay, a Fort St. John area realtor, said the figures might have changed as July was a very busy time in the market, but has seen a slow down since August.
"Right at this moment, I wouldn't say (Fort St. John) is up six per cent," she said.
She blamed this partly on falling oil and gas prices. MacKay also said that a new NDP government in Alberta has affected this area as well.
"Our little area has been thought of, really, it's like Alberta, because we're so connected," she said. "If they get nervous because of an NDP government, then it affects the work here for sure."
This could change, though.
"We've been getting a lot of calls from Hydro people going to move in the spring, so that should help the market quite a bit."
These employees would come to work on the Site C dam.
Homes in Taylor saw the largest assessment increase across Northern B.C., where the average single-family home saw its value go up by 16 per cent from $311,000 to $361,000.
For Taylor's high rise, some homes in Taylor are getting assessed to their proper values after not being so assessed for long, MacKay noted.
"I would not say that Taylor's markets rose 16 per cent," she said. "I would say that… the B.C. Assessment Authority is catching up because they haven't re-assessed it for quite a long time, or something like that. As far as the selling market goes, I don't think they would be up 16 per cent at all."
Assessments in Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope rose slightly, at eight and one per cent, respectively. Assessments in Chetwynd rose from $232,000 to $248,000, while assessments in Hudson’s Hope rose from $196,000 to $198,000 for a single-family home.
Assessed values in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and Pouce Coupe assessed dropped slightly. In the Northern Rockies, a single-family home dropped from $276,000 to $265,000, while a single-family home dropped from $213,000 to $211,000 in Pouce Coupe.
Homeowners who see incorrect information on their assessment, or feel that their assessment is not in line with market values as of July 1, 2015, should contact the BC Assessment as soon as possible, said David Keough, a deputy assessor of BC Assessment.
Across B.C., there is $1.34 trillion of real estate value on the 2016 roll, according to the agency.