BC Property Assessment and what it really means TO YOU

Everyone is talking about the recent 2020 Property Assessments here in Victoria, BC. What does it really mean and what does it mean for you and your property?


If you're not a real estate professional and involved in the real estate market on a daily basis the values given by BC Assessments is likely the only tool you have in trying to understand what your property is currently worth. This is common and you are not alone. You've likely been discussing this with your neighbours for years every time that assessments are re-evaluated. But is your most recent BC Assessment a true reflection of what your home is worth? Don't be so sure!
BC Assessments are based on many factors. The neighbourhood in which you live, recent sales, reported improvements to your property (meaning - done with proper permits and inspected by the City of Victoria when completed), the basic details of your property (ie. single storey/two storey etc..) and the lot on which it sits. BC Assessments does not come and inspect your home personally. The logistics of trying to do so would be almost impossible.
So how accurate can these assessments be?
The assessments we recieve can be a 'hit or miss' situation. It really depends on current market trends, what your home is actually like when compared to others near you (is your home run down? is your home more improved than others?), have you done improvements that can't be quantified by BC Assessments such as landscaping, new paint or a new roof? These all determine 'MARKET VALUE' which should not be confused with 'TAX VALUE'
In many ways, we want our property tax assessment to be low. That means we pay lower property taxes and who doesn't want that?! But we all too often can't help feeling a sense of pride when our new assessments arrive and it indicates our property is worth more than it was last year.... especially if you are thinking of selling!
This year, for the first time in almost 10yrs, single family home assessments in Greater Victoria are down (on average -3%) while some condo and townhouse assessments increased (on average +3%). What does this mean? Why the discrepency? Depending on the assessment you received, is your property really worth more or less than it was a year ago? Not necessarily!
As the market continues to stabilize since the robust and often unpredicatable and exhausting market of 2016/2017 prices in Victoria have actually not shifted that much. We continue to see a lack of product for sale and that is still causing great demand amongst Buyers. Increased mortgage qualification rules and 'stress tests' (despite interest rates still remaining at historical lows) has decreased most Buyers price potential and this in turn, has shifted many Buyers focus to properties that are more affordable. Condos and Townhouses often become the only option for some Buyers and this has increased demand (and value!) for these particular properties in certain neighbourhoods and locations. 

What do you think of your assessment now?

Feeling confused? It IS confusing! That's why I'm here! If you want to know the TRUE MARKET VALUE of your home you are always welcome to contact me so that I can provide you with a 'no obligation' CMA (Current Market Assessment) of your property. It's the only way you will really know what it is worth in today's market.
MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.