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Montreal property owners, brace yourselves for more increases

Montreal property owners, brace yourselves for more increases

Reports are suggesting some pretty big increases in property valuations on the island of Montreal over the next three years.

Real estate analysts La Presse spoke to say they predict an average property valuation increase of 20% to be outlined in the valuation roll that'll be presented tomorrow.

This doesn't account for the disparity between boroughs, with the Plateau, South West and St. Laurent being hardest hit. Boroughs in the eastern end of the island won't be affected as much, such as Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal East, as well as their counterparts in the West island, such as Dorval, Pointe Claire, Beaconsfield and St Anne de Bellevue.

St. Laurent mayor Alan DeSousa agrees with the forecast of an average 20% property valuation hike but he urges caution.

"Some communities, some areas, some sectors, will be lower than 20%, others may be about the average," DeSousa said.

Terry Kilakos, a chartered mortgage broker with North East Mortgages, says part of the problem is the formula used to arrive at the property valuations.

"They will look at comparables that have sold in the past three years as opposed to looking at current market conditions," Kilakos said.

Pierre Pagé is with the citizens' advocacy group, Montreal pour tous, which says people watching the Charbonneau Commission are wondering where their money is going and are calling for a tax freeze.

"No more tax increases unless there's a plan to correct all those problems," Pagé said.

DeSousa dismisses said a tax freeze would be unfeasible.

"The city does have costs that go up, whether it be through increases in hydro, increases in gasoline, increases in wages and so on and so forth. So clearly a freeze on taxes would mean a significant impact on expenses and you have to make up the expenses," DeSousa said.

Owners of single family homes and condos should expect their property taxes to go up anywhere between 5% and 45% or more, while owners of triplexes and duplexes should see increases of between 10% to 30%.

Some analysts say some areas of the West Island have lost their appeal and seen their property values stabilized because of problems related to public transportation, traffic and the airport.