Anyone in the real estate market knows it, but the B.C. Assessment authority has confirmed it: housing prices in Whistler have jumped 20-25 per cent in the last year. Area assessor Calvin Smyth noted the steep jump in values last September when he projected a 30-40 per cent increase in residential land values and a 20-25 per cent increase in single family houses. This week he confirmed Whistler’s Assessment Roll has grown from $2,661,955,890 a year ago to $3,259,266,000, an increase of more than 22 per cent. However, the increase varies among various types of properties, their location and age. A single family home in Alpine Meadows that was valued at $320,000 in the summer of 1995 would have sold for $395,000 last summer. A condominium that sold for $200,000 in 1995 would have sold for $250,000 last summer. In 1994 it would have sold for $175,000. A single family home on Blueberry Hill that sold for $866,000 in 1995 would have sold for $1,080,000 in the summer of 1996. Smyth said last fall that Whistler’s growing international profile was one of the contributing factors to the highest increase in property assessments in the province. The approach of buildout is felt by many to be another strong influence. All properties in British Columbia share a common valuation date, July 1, 1996. The value is determined by the real estate market. B.C. Assessment has mailed assessment notices to more than 10,300 Whistler property owners, who should be receiving those assessments in the next few weeks. The assessment authority estimates the value of properties annually. Municipal governments use the information from assessments to calculate property taxes, but Smyth noted that the projected increases in assessment do not translate directly to tax increases.

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