Greater Victoria home assessments to fall up to 10%

Single-family homeowners in Greater Victoria could see their assessed property values drop by as much as 10 per cent this year according to B.C. Assessment.

The Crown corporation, which will be sending out this year’s assessment notices in the first week of January, says Victoria homeowners will see anywhere from a 10 per cent drop in the assessed value of their homes to a five per cent increase.

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Condo and townhouse owners in the region will likely see a five per cent drop to a five per cent increase.

Assessor Tina Ireland said lower values are not unexpected, given that signs of moderation were starting to show in property values last year. “We have had a pretty healthy and active real estate market for quite a number of years, so there’s no surprise to think there’s a bit of moderation happening now.”

Ireland said this year is one of the few in the past decade that B.C. Assessment has sent out pre-Christmas notices suggesting homeowners should prepare to see valuations drop.

“In the last 10 years, we haven’t sent out many,” she said.

Property-assessment notices will be available online Jan. 2 and will be in mailboxes starting that week.

The assessment roll tends to lag behind the market, as it reflects a property’s market value as of July 1, and physical condition as of Oct. 1.

B.C. Assessment says changes in property assessments reflect movement in the market and take into account current sales in the area, as well as the size, age, quality, condition, view and location of a property.

Last year, the average residential property assessment in the region increased by as much as 20 per cent, but this year, only the Island’s commercial and industrial properties are likely to hit that mark.

Commercial property owners on the Island should see an increase of between five and 15 per cent and industrial landowners an increase of 10 to 25 per cent.

“There is still strong demand for commercial and industrial property, probably due to limited supply,” said Ireland.

Meanwhile, the rate of assessment appeals has remained steady at below two per cent over the past 10 to 15 years, she said. “That’s been consistent regardless of market activity. It’s actually quite surprising.”

This month, B.C. Assessment will provide notification letters to property owners whose assessments will change significantly more than the average.

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