Hundreds of disgruntled Rotorua homeowners have raised objections about their new property valuations, with one resident saying he thinks his is $80,000 too high.

Preliminary figures from Rotorua Lakes Council show 358 people had taken part in the objection process this year - down from three years ago when it received 937 objections.

Council communications advisor Vicki Cawte said this week that was not a final number as some could still be making their way to the council via post.

Three years ago the average Rotorua property value was $260,000 but was now $370,800
- up 48.6 per cent.


A report prepared by valuation firm Opteon and presented to the Operations and Monitoring Committee last month revealed Selwyn Heights, Fordlands, Koutu, Ohinemutu and Western Heights all had average capital value increases of between 60 and 70 per cent.

Homeowner Dean Barnett told the Rotorua Daily Post he was confused about the $306,000 valuation for his three-bedroom, modest unit in Hillcrest.

He bought the unit about 13 years ago for $113,000 and in his view $220,000 was closer to the mark for its current value.

He has lodged an objection with the council.

''I'm probably like every other ratepayer... it feels like it's more around revenue gathering even though they told me they don't set the rates by the valuations."

Council spending and budgets were not determined by valuations but by the amount required to deliver what is planned in any given year, as determined through the annual planning process.

Valuations were used to determine the share you would pay of the revenue required from rates (as determined by the budget) which is calculated as a per $1 of property value.

The rate assessed for every dollar of a property's value was obtained from dividing the total revenue required from rates by the total of all property valuations in the district.

Simon Anderson, chief executive of Realty Services, which operates Eves and Bayleys, said at the end of the day the market would determine what a property was worth.

''Quite often that could be significantly different and above or below what the rateable value is. I think people will grab hold of any number they want for their own purposes.''

Council valuations were set for rating purposes ''and they don't actually come and value your house independently, it's worked on a ratio of what things have sold for and the ups and downs''.

A registered valuation can be done on an individual property and often owners wanted that, he said.

''So a buyer may use a low valuation to try and get the property as cheap as they can or a vendor may get a high valuation in regards to what they want to sell it for. But the market is the market and what somebody will pay for a property will determine the price.''

Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers Association chairwoman Glenys Searancke said valuations were a complicated process but she felt they were pretty fair.

''If I look at my own valuation I know that is what people are getting [if they sell] and a little more for their properties in this area.''

Feedback she had received was that once people understood a rise in valuations did not necessarily mean a rise in rates, they were okay with the higher values.

''Usually the only way rates go up is if council decides they are going to spend more and then it is distributed back to the ratepayers.''

How it works:
* If the district comprises five properties with capital values of $1000, $1000, $2000, $2000, $4000, that gives a total worth of $10,000.

* If the council needs to raise general rates revenue of $2000, the general rate per dollar of property value would be 20c ($2000 divided by $10,000) and the five ratepayers would therefore pay $200, $200, $400, $400 and $800 respectively.

* Following a revaluation, the general rate per dollar of property value will change relative to the movement in property values.

- Source Rotorua Lakes Council