Big assessment increases for condos & townhouses


                 Image Credit CFJ

10:54am Image Credit CFJ

Property owners across Greater Vancouver can expect 2018 assessment notices reflecting a 5 to 50 per cent increase on last year's values, according to BC Assessment.

Real estate experts say the data is indicative of a condo boom caused by families being priced out of the single-family home market. The Lululemon founder's waterfront property is assessed at $78.8 million this year.

In West Kelowna, assessments increased 15 per cent to an average home price of $682,000. "But definitely the demand is there and that's reflected in the sale prices and ultimately to the assessments".

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.

Meanwhile, the assessed value of detached homes in much of Metro Vancouver remained steady, signalling a break from the trend in recent years of marked increases.

"If you've got a condo in Vancouver, I think they're going to get it pretty right, because there's so many homes they compare to yours, but out in the hinterlands, it gets thinner, and you have to believe if your home is unique in some ways, that they could botch the assessment".

The value increases have been the greatest this year compared to past years, she said, noting that increases in 2017 and 2016 were mostly less than 10 per cent, with a few exceptions near Kelowna, including Lake Country, which increased by 16 per cent last year.

This year, strata units have seen the largest increases, with assessments jumping anywhere between 10 and 40 per cent. Condos jumped by 25 to 35 per cent, while most townhome values increased between 20 and 30 per cent.

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

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

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.

In the City of Vancouver, the biggest increase was a 15% jump in the average assessed value of high-rise condos on the east side of the city, from $486,000 a year ago to $557,000.

There were 39 municipalities in B.C. where the average assessed value of residential properties rose more than 15 per cent in the past year.

A notice of complaint has to be submitted by January 31, which triggers an independent review by a property assessment review panel.

The day after the assessments were released, the provincial government raised the homeowner grant to $1.65 million from $1.6 million. "That's a uniform valuation date; all assessments are based off of the same conditions that occurred across all property types", says Ireland.

To qualify for this tax relief, the owner should submit a completed application form to BC Assessment each year by November 30 to receive the benefit in the following assessment/taxation year.

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