News — 03 August 2012
By Jennifer Thurbide

Average real estate prices have increased across the district confirmed a new report from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). Releasing an overlook of sales rates across the province last week, the organization says the report is good news for home owners as the average sale price for residential properties in Ontario have risen 17 per cent in the last three years.

“The report is good news for most Ontario homeowners,” said Larry Hummel, MPAC’s Chief Assessor on the Market Snapshot released on July 24th. “It shows the average sale price of residential properties in most communities has increased since 2008 and that the real estate market continues to be strong.”

Charting the price index for the territorial districts of Kenora, Rainy River and Thunder Bay, MPAC reports the same property sold in January 2008 for $100,000 would have been sold in January 2012 at a price of $126,000 and attributes the growth to a strong northern economy.

“This explains why we are seeing these kinds of increases across northern Ontario generally. It is a stronger economy than in the past because of the diversifying of the economy and the commodity sector in general and the mining sector,” furthered Hummel when discussing the results with The Northern Sun News on July 26th. “The purpose of the article is to draw the link for tax payers between the real estate market and the assessed values and they are meant to reflect the real estate market generally and also to tell people to remember that an increase in assessment doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in property tax. It is the method that is used to distribute the taxes.”

Despite a dip caused by the recession experienced in 2009, MPAC says the housing market recovered strong and has steadily increased over the time of evaluation. During the four year cycle most of the province, including the northwest region experienced a 20-30 per cent increase with much of southern Ontario posting various increases in the 10-20 per cent range.

However, Hummel says the recent report is aggregate data meant to provide only a snapshot of data in advance of the individual tax assessments being issued later this fall. “We send out our notices in the fall it will be at an individual property level and will be providing statistics and information around the change and the very localized market that exists. We are in that process.”

MPAC analyzes the sale prices of similar properties to help establish the assessed value of more than four million residential properties along with 800,000 farm, commercial, industrial and other property types across the province.

Hummel says the Market Snapshot was developed as part of the organization’s commitment to openness by sharing information with the public about how assessed values are calculated.

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