Princeton property values increase

Housing prices jump in town, unlike most South Okanagan communities.

Princeton homeowners will likely see an increase in their property values when they receive assessment notices in the mail this month.

Housing prices increased nearly four per cent this year compared to last, with the average cost of a house in town jumping from $215,000 to $225,000, according to a BC Assessment report.

Housing prices in Princeton jumped after Copper Mountain Mine opened in 2010, said real estate agent Lee Mowry.

“If the mine didn’t come here, we would be in pretty dire straights. We’d be similar to the rest of the Okanagan.”

While Princeton homeowners did not see the dramatic increases that those in cities such as Vancouver enjoyed, they fared better than many of their South Okanagan counterparts.

Penticton, Keremeos, Greenwood, Summerland, and Midway all saw decreases in property value by around three per cent.

Osoyoos and Oliver homeowners saw small increases in the prices of their homes.

Mowry expects the housing prices in Princeton to go down slightly in the New Year because not as many mine workers are scooping up places to live.

“It’s simple. It comes down to supply and demand. And demand has really lightened up.”

But he knows of some people who are renting in Princeton as they wait for housing prices to drop.

“People want to buy, but they’re not happy with the pricing right now because it’s gone up quite a bit.”

Princeton real estate agent Tyler Willis agrees.

“We haven’t seen the buyers we thought we would have during the last few months. This is, in part, because our prices got so high.

“The year coming up will be better because prices are starting to come back down because sales are slow.”

Prices are now about where they should be, he said.

Some homeowners are renting their houses out because they haven’t been able to sell them, leading to less people in the market to buy a new home, Willis said.

There aren’t many apartments or duplexes in town because houses have historically been affordable enough for people to buy, he added.

Rural recreation property sales have been slow, but are picking up a bit as more Vancouverites look for a summer home to escape the big city, he said.

BC Assessment looks at values on July 1 on every year.

The assessment is based on market activity of sales that occurred during the previous year.

Appraisers look at size, age, quality, condition and location of individual properties when determining housing values.

People wanting to appeal their assessment have until Jan. 31 to contact BC Assessment.

Homeowners can check online at www.bcassessment.bc.ca for the assessment of their home and others in the neighbourhood.