RATE rises are likely for many Hunter residents with increases in land values recorded throughout the region.
The latest valuations from NSW Valuer General Philip Western have been sent to residents of 45 local government areas, including Newcastle, where the value of residential land has shown a ‘‘moderate increase’’ in the past three years.
Homes in Cooks Hill, Adamstown, Merewether, Hamilton and New Lambton recorded a strong boost in their values based on property conditions at July 2012, while Wallsend and Maryland remained steady or showed a slight increase.
The last valuation for Newcastle was in July 2009.
‘‘Increases or decreases in land values do not necessarily lead to similar increases or decreases in rates,’’ Mr Western said.
Newcastle City Council determines its rates based half on a base or flat charge per property and the remainder on the land value multiplied by a rate on the dollar.
Real Estate Institute Newcastle Hunter divisional chairman Wayne Stewart said the valuations reflected the demand for properties in Cooks Hill, where there had been high sales turnover.
Low interest rates, low property prices and good economic growth in the Hunter meant ‘‘all the stars are aligning out there for a very strong year in property ... especially in the high demand areas,’’ Mr Stewart said.
Values in Dungog showed a slight decrease in residential land, ‘‘reflecting the tight market conditions that have affected the area’’, Mr Western said.
Singleton was among the areas that experienced the largest increases in median land values, up by 7.1per cent.
Valuations for commercial land in Newcastle were slightly down, due to the effects of the global financial crisis.
Overall, land values across NSW fell by 0.36per cent in the year to June 30, 2012.