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What you need to know about BC's 2017 assessment values

12 January 2018

This week, owners of more than 522,000 properties throughout Greater Vancouver can expect to receive their 2018 assessment notices.

"In our western markets, the City of Richmond, the City of Delta, and the South Surrey area specifically, we did see single family homes stay either relatively, no change or a slight decrease this year, as people are either moving east or they're looking for alternative housing in that market", he said.

"For example, a commercial property in a downtown location should not be assessed at a higher rate than a similar neighboring property". Vancouver Island commercial will see an increase of between 0 and 20 per cent. "But definitely the demand is there and that's reflected in the sale prices and ultimately to the assessments".

BC Assessment's website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about the 2018 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2018's top-valued residential properties across the province.

Those homeowners whose homes have increased in value are not necessarily facing a hike in property taxes.

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"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".

On average, single-family homes across the island were up 10 to 25 per cent, while condo and townhouse strata values saw the greatest growth of up to 35 per cent in some cities, according to data provided by BC Assessment.

Across the Fraser Valley, residential strata units have seen between 10 per cent and 40 per cent increases in value over the a year ago.

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

The sharp spike was especially felt in the West Shore communities of Langford and Metchosin, where property values soared by 21 and 25 per cent, respectively, since last year's assessments.

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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.

Ireland said the market has remained strong across the Island and offered few surprises.

Assessments for the average single-family home in Fort St. John dropped from $387,000 to $369,000 year-over year, or a decline of 4.6 per cent. Between one and two per cent of people file an appeal with B.C. Assessment every year (the deadline is January 31), but property tax agent Paul Sullivan said people shouldn't file one without doing careful research ahead of time. The Property Assessment Review Panel is independent of BC Assessment.

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. "That's a uniform valuation date; all assessments are based off of the same conditions that occurred across all property types", says Ireland.

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What you need to know about BC's 2017 assessment values