Assessed vs Market Value

General Victor Anasimiv 19 Jan

Homeowners here in the Comox Valley, and in fact across most of Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, probably suffered a bit of “sticker shock” when they opened their latest property tax assessment notice.  Increases were anywhere between 10% to 35%.  The highest increases in value were noted for condominiums in urban areas.   The average value of a single-family dwelling went up 14%, 20% & 22% in Comox, Cumberland & Courtenay respectively.  For a full rundown of increases on Vancouver Island & The Sunshine Coast, take a look at the chart below.  This assessment is based on an estimate of market value as of July 1, 2017 and is used by taxing authorities for determining the share of municipal and provincial property taxes owners will pay.  Rest assured that a 22% increase in property value doesn’t necessarily translate to a 22% increase in property taxes.  Municipalities adjust their tax rates to raise revenue to cover operating budgets & pay for public services.

A provincial property assessment is an approximate value based on the (broadly) estimated market value of previous years. Sale prices of homes have been increasing steadily over the past few years, so an increase in assessed value isn’t a surprise.  But the assessed value does not involve a formal site visit and makes no consideration for recent renovations, landscape work or other significant upgrades (or deterioration).  For these reasons, it is important not to focus too much on assessed value when it comes to the market value of your home.  While the assessed value is a good starting point, true market value is better determined by current market trends specific to that area.

What would someone be willing to pay to buy your home?  That is a far better estimate of fair market value.  Always enlist licensed professionals to help with this.  A local realtor can take a look at your home and give a reasonable estimate of true market value.  It may even be worth hiring an appraiser to get a more accurate value.  An appraiser is an educated, licensed and heavily regulated third party offering an unbiased valuation of your property. An appraisal factors in all characteristics of your home and then compares it to a short list of recent property sales in the same area.

You will likely discover that the market, or appraised value, of your home is significantly higher than the assessed value.  These terms can mistakenly be used interchangeably, but they are definitely not the same.  Feel free to contact me anytime if I can help explain the differences further.

Community                2017 Value       2018 Value          % Change
Greater Victoria
City of Colwood $500,000 $571,000 +15%
City of Victoria $679,000 $779,000 +15%
Dist. of Central Saanich $614,000 $699,000 +14%
Township of Esquimalt $556,000 $655,000 +18%
Dist. of Saanich (SD#61)* $653,000 $759,000 +17%
Dist. of Saanich (SD#63)* $836,000 $940,000 +13%
District of Oak Bay $1,036,000 $1,156,000 +12%
City of Langford $456,000 $551,000 +21%
Dist. of North Saanich $767,000 $876,000 +14%
District of Metchosin $574,000 $716,000 +25%
District of Sooke $394,000 $462,000 +17%
District of Highlands $487,000 $559,000 +14%
Town of View Royal $604,000 $666,000 +11%
Town of Sidney $528,000 $632,000 +20%
Victoria Rural $435,000 $495,000 +14%
Gulf Islands Rural $634,000 $727,000 +15%
Gulf Islands Rural $426,000 $476,000 +12%
*SD = School District
Central Island
Town of Ladysmith $336,000 $391,000 +17%
Town of Lake Cowichan $228,000 $278,000 +22%
City of Duncan $267,000 $312,000 +16%
Dist. of N. Cowichan $341,000 $399,000 +17%
Cowichan Rural $411,000 $483,000 +18%
Lake Cowichan Rural $321,000 $378,000 +18%
District of Lantzville $442,000 $535,000 +21%
City of Nanaimo $385,000 $441,000 +15%
Nanaimo Rural $335,000 $396,000 +18%
Town of Qualicum Beach $449,000 $546,000 +22%
City of Parksville $361,000 $440,000 +22%
Oceanside Rural $440,000 $524,000 +19%
District of Tofino $576,000 $654,000 +14%
Town of Ucluelet $290,000 $366,000 +26%
City of Port Alberni $193,800 $240,000 +22%
Alberni-Clayoquot Dist. $317,000 $362,000 +15%
North Island
City of Courtenay $360,000 $440,000 +22%
Town of Comox $392,000 $444,000 +14%
Village of Cumberland $302,000 $361,000 +20%
Comox Valley Rural Areas $395,000 $453,000 +15%
City of Campbell River $303,000 $356,000 +18%
Campbell River Rural $312,000 $363,000 +16%
District of Port Hardy $189,000 $196,000 +4%
Village of Port Alice $136,000 $141,000 +4%
Town of Port McNeil $215,000 $230,000 +7%
Village of Gold River $145,000 $160,000 +10%
Village of Tahsis $68,000 $81,000 +19%
Village of Alert Bay $112,000 $119,000 +6%
Village of Sayward $137,000 $142,000 +3%
Village of Zeballos $89,000 $85,000 -4%
Port Hardy Rural $148,000 $161,000 +9%
West Coast Rural $133,000 $134,000 +1%
Powell River
Powell River Rural Areas $217,000 $256,000 +18%
City of Powell River $234,000 $297,000 +26%