Condos, townhouses drive up Fraser Valley property values

Condos, townhouses drive up Fraser Valley property values

It's that time of year when the annual property assessment notice envelope appears in the mail¬box or by e-mail, displaying 2018 property assessment values and classification.

In West Vancouver, dominated by expensive single-family homes, residential values were flat, up just over one per cent.

The highest assessed property for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands is an acreage on James Island valued at $5.4-million.

In Delta, strata townhouses have seen a 12 per cent increase, going from $882,000 to $986,000, and strata condos have seen a 19 per cent increase, going from $364,000 to $432,000.

You can appeal your property assessment if you believe information on your assessment notice is incorrect or if you believe the actual market value listed is incorrect.

- If you believe the panel did not consider changes or physical problems with your property, did not assess the fair market value of your property or you believe the assessment is inconsistent with that of similar properties, you can file an appeal of the panel's decision with the Property Assessment Appeal Board by April 30.

But there's good news for homeowners whose property values went up this year - it doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will keep pace.

"There has been a little bit less demand [for single-family homes]".

"The western communities increased, Sidney increased, and those jurisdictions previous year didn't experience the same kind of volume", said Deputy Assessor Gerry Marolla.

As houses become out of reach for more people, he said, cheaper properties become more attractive and their relatively low supply is driving much of the increases.

"When you look at Richmond, there's been no changes in the single-family assessed values, yet the townhouse market has gone up 15 to 20 per cent, and condos are upwards of 35 per cent", said Tina Ireland, an assessor with B.C. Assessment.

Homeowners that don't agree with their assessment have the option to appeal their notice.

The values posted this week reflect market value as of July 1, 2017.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property.

Rural Chilliwack, Langley City and Abbotsford saw the highest average increases in residential property values with 22 per cent, 20 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

"If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may still submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by January 31, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel".

Overall, assessment values in Northern B.C. increased by more than $1 billion, from $60.3 billion in 2017 to $61.8 billion for 2018 due to new construction, subdivisions and rezonings.

Real estate assessments for commercial and industrial property on the North Shore also rose sharply this year. The physical condition is based on how the property was on October 31, 2017.