what's your property worth?

British Columbia (BC) property owners just received their 2015 assessment notices the first week of January from BC Assessment (BCA).

This assessment notice mailed to BC property owners is BCA's estimate of a property's value as of July 1, 2014 and for new construction or substantially renovated homes, the physical condition as of October 31, 2014.

A provincial Crown corporation, BCA is responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates for 1,974,120 properties in its database, an increase of 1% from 2014.

Since 1974 BCA has produced the assessment role which local and provincial taxing authorities use to raise property taxes;  $6.8 billion in 2015!

BC property assessments can be viewed on BCA's website which includes e-valueBC.  evalueBC provides details about every property, 
  • including a photo, 
  • a property description (land and buildings), 
  • the total assessed value, the previous year value, 
  • the legal description and 
  • property ID.
evalueBC lets users compare neighbouring properties and sample sold properties to decide whether their property has been correctly assessed.

Other useful features BCA's website offers include:
  • an interactive map of BC showing the percentage change for residential and for business property types by community, 2015 compared to 2014.  View the map at....click here.
  • real estate market trend graphs with statistics such as median prices by quarter for single family homes and strata properties.  Visit...click here...and select province-wide property trend graphs.
  • property identifiers (PID) and the legal descriptions; and
  • videos about BC's 10 assessment areas at www.bcassessment.ca under Social Media
BCA's assessment and the market value determined by a REALTOR® may be different.

Both BCA assessors and REALTOR'S® calculate market value by analyzing sales of comparable homes within a local market, and look at factors that affect value such as
  • size of home,
  • view,
  • location such as a busy or quiet street,
  • number of bedrooms,
  • construction quality,
  • floor level, and
  • garage or parking stalls.
Where every lot and every home on a street are typically the same, both BCA's value and a REALTOR'S® value will be similar during stable market conditions.

Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots have been rezoned or are different shapes and sizes, where architecture and views are unique, and where owners have made changes that BCA hasn't yet taken into account.

BC property owners who disagree with their assessment should do homework by:
  • comparing their assessment with neighbouring properties; and
  • contacting the BCA at 1-866-valueBC (1-888-825-8322) and talking to staff who can make adjustments if there is an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation, when it was merely a spruce-up.
Property owners who decide to appeal their property assessments must complete a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) form available...click here.

The deadline to file the appeal is February 2, 2015.

p.s. Less than 1% of BC property owners appeal their assessment each year.