Property values in the Columbia Valley have dropped since last year, but according to the BC Assessment figures released on January 2, the changes are overall relatively modest.

“Generally speaking, the trend in market values throughout the Columbia Valley as well as through the East Kootenay all told was downward slightly,” said Brad Lane, the area assessor with the BC Assessment-East Kootenay Office.

The District of Invermere’s assessment roll decreased from $966 million last year to $961 million this year, the Village of Radium’s assessment roll decreased from $394 million to $362 million and the Village of Canal Flats decreased from $141 million to $128 million over the same period.

Approximate roll totals for Fairmont and Windermere dropped from $403 million to $378 million and from $1,108 million to $1,076 million respectively.

The average value of single family residential homes dropped slightly in Invermere Westside from $392,000 to $382,000, in Timber Ridge from $494,000 to $493,000, in Radium from $334,000 to $319,000 and on Columbia Lake from $463,000 to $444,000. More noticeable changes took place in Canal Flats where values fell from $202,000 to $158,000, in Windermere from $602,000 to $566,000, and in Fairmont from $413,000 to $382,000.

Some locations were the exceptions where the average value of single family residential homes pitched up marginally. In Invermere proper, there was an increase from $311,000 to $313,000, along the waterfront values rose from $1,401,000 to $1,469,000 and in Panorama they crept up to $694,000 from $674,000.

“Those are the exceptions to the rule,” said Lane.

He did point out that the downward trend is partially offset by growth resulting from subdivisions, rezoning and new construction. BC Assessment tracks and reports this non-market change to local governments for use in budgeting and setting of tax rates. The total non-market change recorded for the 2013 assessment/taxation year for Invermere was $6.1 million with $3.8 million for Radium, $3.6 million for Canal Flats and $43 million for Invermere rural.

“There is always a certain amount of activity that results in a certain amount of growth,” said Lane. “It’s just a question  of whether or not that’s enough to offset declines due to market value.”

Interesting to note that sales volumes in 2012 (although not all December sales have been captured to date) were almost identical to those in 2011 with 32 single family residential properties sold in Invermere and seven sold in Radium both years. Four were sold in Canal Flats in 2011 with five sold in 2012, while 48 were sold in Invermere Rural in 2011 with 47 sold last year.

As for commercial and industrial properties, Lane said the market is down slightly or fairly stable.

“The biggest changes we were seeing were down by about ten percent but there were a fair number that weren’t moving at all,” he said.

Property owners who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2012 or see incorrect information on their notice should contact the BC Assessment-East Kootenay Office as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January. Visit for more information.