Valley home values jump, but may not reflect market

Jan 3, 2019 | News

By George Le Masurier

The property assessment notice that arrived in your mailbox this week may not reflect the real estate market, according to the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB).

B.C. Assessment says the 2019 values reflect market movement and actual sales in any individual property owners neighborhood, in addition to the property’s amenities.

Assessor Tina Ireland say the majority of the Island’s residential homeowners can expect “increases up to 20 percent as compared to last year’s assessment.” BC Assessments estimate market value as of July 1 each year.

But in its annual year-end market review, the VIREB said the market has cooled off and pinned the price increase of single-family homes at 10 percent from December 2017.

In Comox, some homeowners have reported assessed value increases between 25 percent and 35 percent, even though BC Assessment said the average increase was 17 percent.

In Cumberland where average assessments rose 27 percent, the third highest on Vancouver Island, some individual properties must have increased by 35 percent or more.

Here’s how Comox Valley communities ranked in assessments:

Courtenay: Single-family homes increased an average of 17 percent, from $385,000 in 2017, to $450,000 in 2018.

Comox: Single-family homes increased an average of 17 percent, from $441,000 in 2017, to $517,000 in 2018.

Cumberland: Single-family homes increased an average of 27 percent, from $360,000 in 2017, to $460,000 in 2018.

Campbell River: Single-family homes increased an average of 16 percent, from $345,000 in 2017 to $401,000 in 2018.

The biggest assessment increase occurred in Sayward, where values jumped 44 percent to an average home value of $205,100. Tahsis increased by 30 percent to $99,600, followed by Ucluelet at 21 percent to $403,00 and Tofino at 19 percent to $767,000.

Parksville and Qualicum Beach had more modest value hikes, but still recorded double-digit increases of 11 percent and 13 percent respectively.

The VIREB annual review said, “Despite lower demand, however, year-over-year benchmark prices of single-family homes continue to rise board-wide, up 10 per cent from December 2017.”

The board said decreased demand and additional inventory has turned a sellars’ market into a balanced or near-balanced market. Single-family home sales dropped 19 percent from 2017.



“My assessment has gone up 40%, I can’t afford for my taxes to go up 40%!”

A common misconception is that a significant change in your assessed value will result in a proportionately significant change in your property taxes. The most important factor is not how much your assessed value has changed, but how your assessed value has changed relative to the average change for your property class in your municipality or taxing jurisdiction.

Learn more about how a change in your assessed value may impact your property taxes.

— B.C. Assessment




Once property tax rates have been set by your local taxing authority, property owners are unable to appeal the tax rate. Property owners are able to appeal their assessed value, which forms one part of the property tax equation described above, to the Property Assessment Review Panel. The deadline for appealing your assessed value is the last working day in January each year, typically January 31st. You can visit our website to see more information on appealing your assessment.

— B.C. Assessment


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