Land value hikes will hurt some ratepayers

DANIEL ADAMS
Last updated 05:00 31/10/2012
Land Value Residential overview
Land Value Residential overview
Capital Value Residential overview
Capital Value Residential overview

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Homeowners in Hamilton's growing northern suburbs can expect to pay a bigger chunk of the city's rates next year on the back of rising land values.

Ratepayers will next week learn how the value of their biggest investment has fared over the past three years with the triennial rating revaluation - the first since 2009 - independently completed by Quotable Value and set for release.

While overall the new valuations reflect the city's relatively stagnant real estate market, big land value jumps in some areas will start hitting rates next year.

Flagstaff, Rototuna, Huntington, Rotokauri in the north, and Peacockes in the south will bear the brunt of the rating impact, with average land values jumping between 10.3 and 12.6 per cent, at least five times the city average.

In some parts of Rototuna land values have leapt by 20 per cent, while in others more modest 5 per cent increases have been assessed by the external valuers.

While the revaluation does not affect the amount of rates collected next year by the city council, residential ratepayers whose land values increased by more than the average 2 per cent will pay more rates, while all other residential ratepayers will pay less.

Any rating changes caused by the revaluation will come on top of an average increase of 3.7 per cent already locked in under the city's long-term plan.

The various sectors will pay the same overall proportion of rates as this year.

For residential property, the average house price or capital value has increased 0.5 per cent to $341,500 since the last revaluation while the average section or land value has increased 2.0 per cent to $162,000. Average commercial capital values have fallen 4.6 per cent and land values 6.4 per cent, while average industrial capital values have dropped 5 per cent and land values 6.6 per cent.

Increased demand for vacant land in the city's northeast and in some high density residential areas are driving the above average land value increases.

Residents who want to challenge their new valuation must lodge an objection with the council before December 14 - details will be sent with the notices.

The revaluations, effective from September 1, show the change in property values within the city over the past three years relative to each other, although the size of the overall "rating pie" for the city stays the same, say council officials. Hamilton City Council revenue manager John Gibson said the revaluation reflected the current sales market.

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"The general trend is that capital values are reasonably similar to those from 2009.

"There are, however, some areas within the city where there have been more significant changes," said Mr Gibson.

He said it was still too early to quantify the specific property rating impacts.

Individual valuations will be online next week at hamilton.co.nz/revaluation2012.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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