Annual B.C. Assessment notices will be sent out to homeowners in early 2017 and property values are expected to show increases of up to 50 per cent over 2016.
“The preliminary market analysis for 2017 property assessments indicates significant increases over last year’s assessment values,” said assessor Jason Grant in a release. “Increases of 30 to 50 per cent will be typical for single-family homes in Vancouver, North Shore, Squamish, Burnaby, Tri-Cities, Richmond and Surrey. Typical strata residential increases will be in the 15 to 30 per cent range.”
In comparison, those municipalities saw increases of between 15 and 25 per cent in 2015.
Home values are assessed in the province yearly on July 1.
For Metro Vancouver, this year’s date comes just weeks before the provincial government announced a 15 per cent foreign buyers’ tax. Shortly after the tax was announced, property listings began falling in price and sales stalled.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported home prices in the region have dropped 2.7 per cent since August. The decreases were most defined in areas like West Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Port Coquitlam, where prices have fallen by 9.5, 4.2 and 4.4 per cent respectively.
While the beginning of July may be considered the high point of the market in recent months, B.C. Assessment says it sticks to that date to ensure fairness year over year.
“Using a single common date ensures your property’s assessed value is fair, equitable and uniform compared to the other properties in your community and across B.C.,” it said.
Appraisers use the location, a property’s size, age, quality, condition and view to determine what its value is.
As homeowners know, increases in property values typically mean an increase in property taxes. But Grant says that’s not always the case.
“It is important to understand that large increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” adds Grant. “Your taxes are actually affected by your assessment changes compared to the average change in your community.”
Meaning if every home in your community increases by about the same amount, your taxes are unlikely to change all that much.
Homeowners whose property values are increasing more than usual will receive courtesy notices from B.C. Assessment in December. All other property owners will receive their assessment notices in January. They can also check their assessment value online beginning on Jan. 3, 2017.
Last year, B.C. Assessment appraised almost two million properties worth a combined $1.34 trillion.