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Property assessments show biggest gains in condo market

12 January 2018

Individual property assessments have been mailed out, and homeowners can expect to receive them within the month.

"The single-family homes have been quite active and we're seeing increases up to 25 per cent". An example property is now assessed at $524,000 in 2018, up from $440,000 in 2017.

Vancouver, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond, Surrey and the North Shore were among the areas with the highest increases a year ago, and the province sent out notices ahead of time so owners wouldn't be caught off-guard.

Real estate sales determine a property's value which is reported annually by BC Assessment.

In the case of some Marpole or Cambie Corridor bungalows, the reduced assessment and taxes may be less than half the assessed value and taxes of the property next door.

The Central Okanagan led the way in property value increases.

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The single most expensive home in the province is on Point Grey Road in Vancouver.

For the first time in years, many single-family homes in Vancouver, the North Shore, Burnaby and Richmond went down in value - some by as much as 10 per cent.

Property tax rates for individual homes depend on how much their assessed value has changed compared to the average change in the municipality.

Realtor Aaron Jasper said the increases show demand for condos and townhouses clearly outstripping demand for detached properties, a market where many are already priced out.

This is because Section 19 (8) of the Assessment Act allows residential land to be assessed at less than market value where the owneroccupied the property as their principal residence continuously for 10 years effective October 31 of the year preceding the tax year, and provided the property has redevelopment potential for a more valuable use than its current use.

"Then there's potential to increase property taxes, but if everyone has gone up 20 per cent and your property has gone up 20 per cent, it's more than likely your property taxes won't change", she said.

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The Okanagan's total assessment value increased from $98 billion in July of 2016 to $119 billion in July of 2017.

Bobby Ross, a real estate agent with Pemberton Holmes, agrees the assessment notices have little impact on the real estate market.

If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to an appraiser, they may submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by January 31 for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel, she said.

The review panels are independent of BC Assessment and are appointed annually by the provincial government.

This year, changes in assessment values for Delta's different communities vary, but remain in the single digits.

But aside from the fact that Chip Wilson's house continues to be astronomically valuable, here are a few other key facts to take away from this year's release of property data. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.

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Property assessments show biggest gains in condo market