Property values decline across Greater Victoria

Chances are when you open your 2013 notice from B.C. Assessment, you'll see your property value has decreased since last year.

Chances are when you open your 2013 assessment notice from B.C. Assessment this week you’ll see your property value has decreased since last year.

Most homeowners in Greater Victoria will see a two- to six-per-cent drop in their home’s assessed value, but B.C. Assessment’s area assessor for Greater Victoria calls the slight decrease “comforting.”

“I would probably characterize this as a stable market, actually,” said Reuben Danakody. “We’re not seeing the year-over-year increases, those substantial increase in values that we used to see before. It’s not bad news, it’s comforting news, that the values are still very stable. We don’t want to see what was occurring the past few years down south.”

Of the region’s 18 assessment jurisdictions, only Langford and Oak Bay saw average increases in residential property values, at 0.47 per cent and 0.78 per cent, respectively.

“The numbers are very specific to local markets. Oak Bay is a very strong market and it still continues to see strong investor demand. … People are still paying fairly premium dollars to get in to Oak Bay,” Danakody said. “And Langford is a growing area; they’re very aggressively growing new developments out there. The affordable, single-family market is growing (in Langford).”

The largest average declines in the Capital Region came from the Peninsula, with Sidney reporting a 5.64 per cent drop and North Saanich seeing a 3.65 per cent decline. Victoria and Saanich saw average decreases between two and three per cent.

Danakody says the assessment trends indicate, economically speaking, the real estate market has corrected itself “quite well.”

“We’re not seeing substantial declines in assessed values, which would be very concerning to many people,” he said. “Certainly we’ve seen significant impacts in other (B.C.) markets. Greater Vancouver’s seeing more of a decline than Greater Victoria, for example. The Vancouver market … (had) a lot of aggressive investment speculation and the market became overheated. We tend not to get that aggressive here.”

Shelley Mann, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, says she anticipates homeowners will open their assessment expecting the property value to be higher than it is.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see how the seller takes into consideration the assessed value versus what the actual market value is,” she says. “One thing that’s happening, though, is the economy is growing. There’s more full-time jobs in Victoria, and people are still retiring here. We’re anticipating an increase (in home sales) this year.”

Danakody stresses to homeowners that their assessment is not based on the current market, but on numbers from July 2012.

“The market has softened since July. It’s important to look back, right in the middle of summer 2012 – if (your house) was to sell on the marketplace, it would’ve been worth that much,” he said.

Mann recommends to people who are looking to sell take the assessments with a grain of salt, given the fluctuations in the real estate market over the last six months.

“(Assessments) really don’t determine the market value of a property. They’re great if you want to try and determine a sale price by looking at the neighbours next door that sold.”

There is an appeals process for homeowner who aren’t satisfied with their property’s assessment. Prior to appealing, however, Danakody suggests homeowner do their due diligence and visit bcassessment.ca to compare properties and assessments in their areas. As well, he recommends contacting the B.C. Assessment office to speak with an appraiser about your property’s value.

“Our job is to provide information and rationale as to how we arrive at that assessment,” Danakody said. “In some cases there are errors, and we can make a change to the value outside the appeal process.”

B.C. Assessment analyzes sales transactions using such information as location and buildings, and trends in the real estate market to determine the assessed property values.

For more information, visit bcassessment.ca.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit returns to Royal BC Museum

Exhibit will feature award-winning photographers from around the world

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read