BC property owners received their annual assessment notice in early January from BC Assessment (BCA).
This is the valuation on which your property taxes are based. You will receive your local tax notice in June each year. Property owners take note: you have until January 31 of each year to appeal your current assessment.
Typically, there is a difference between the property value assessment on the assessment notice and the market value determined by a REALTOR®. Home owners often want to know why. What accounts for this difference?
The assessment notice is BCA’s estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1 of any given year.
A REALTORS® market value assessment is typically current. In our active local market, six months can mean thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars difference.
Every Property is Unique
BCA has a database of 1.8 million properties. When a new property is created through zoning or construction, or an existing property changes, a BCA appraiser visits the site and reviews lot size, structure and other factors including whether the property is on a quiet street with backyard lanes or on a busy boulevard.
BCA appraisers do not visit each property annually to update the database. Instead, they use what is called a mass appraisal system, calculating values by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighbourhood, or of similar units in a strata complex as of July 1 and then applying the information to arrive at an assessed value.
BCA analyzes a range of factors for each property including house type, square footage, age, heating, and even outbuildings such as garages, sheds and gazebos, as well as pools and spas.
REALTORS® determine the value of a property by scrutinizing the most recent comparable data for homes sold in a neighbourhood on the MLS®. REALTORS® also examine the exterior and interior of a property in detail, noting alterations and major renovations, such as new kitchens or bathrooms that affect the value of a home. They also take into account view lines, architectural styles and landscaping.
Where every lot and every home on the street are generally the same, both BCA’s value and the REALTOR’S® value will be similar, assuming a stable market.
Differences will likely occur in neighbourhoods where every lot on every street is different, every home’s architecture is unique and every view is distinct. Differences also occur when property owners make changes such as renovations that BCA does not know about.
Property assessment appeals
Property owners who disagree with their property assessment must file a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by January 31 of any given year. There is a formal appeal process. Details are on the back page of each assessment notice.
For this and more information visit www.bcassessment.bc.ca
Don't hesitate to give me a call if you have any questions about assessed versus market value.