Homeowners can now check the B.C. Assessment Authority website to see the value of their home as of July 1, 2022.
But the value comes with a caveat: The reported value will likely be higher than the home’s value today.
To check your home’s value, go to bcassessment.ca and search under the address. The authority will be releasing full details of property value increases across the province on Jan. 4.
An assessment is an estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1 and physical condition as of Oct. 31. To determine value, assessors take into account sales in an area as well as the size, age, quality, condition, view and location of a property.
House prices across Canada jumped 34 per cent between July 2020 and July 2021. This growth continued beyond July 2021 into the start of 2022; however, as inflation began to take hold, the government responded by raising interest rates, which has dampened the housing market.
As a result, B.C. Assessment has advised homeowners that the value of their property as of July 2022 could be different from the reality of the current housing market.
Jeff Tisdale, the CEO of Landcor Data Corporation, says sales data shows the B.C. real estate market hit a “consensus peak” in March 2022 and has been sliding — both in number of sales and prices — since the assessments were done in July.
In January 2022, homeowners in Greater Victoria saw their annual property assessments increase by an average of 22 to 35 per cent — something that could happen again this year for some owners, assessor Bryan Murao told the Times Colonist in early December.
The assessment authority has sent early notification letters to a small number of properties around B.C. warning them that they could experience an increase or decrease in value outside the normal range — including those facing an increase or decrease of 30 to 40 per cent.
Changes in assessed value do not necessarily mean a change to amounts paid in property taxes — what affects individual property taxes are assessment changes relative to the average change in their community. A higher-than-average increase might bring higher taxes, while a bigger-than-average drop might decrease them.
Those who feel that their property assessments do not reflect market value as of July 1 can appeal, but Murao said the assessment authority does not expect to see much of an increase in the number of homeowners challenging their assessments this year.
Each year, more than 98 per cent of property owners accept their property assessments without proceeding to a formal, independent review.
Murao said one of the reasons for the low appeal rate is the public seems to have an understanding of the relationship between assessed values and property taxes.
— With a file from the Vancouver Sun