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Condo values soar as detached-houses remain steady in Lower Mainland

Homeowners will be getting their annual assessment notices in the mail soon and condo owners may be in for a shock

Condos in Vancouver's Yaletown neighborhood on September 8, 2016.

Jennifer Gauthier / Metro

Condos in Vancouver's Yaletown neighborhood on September 8, 2016.

Most homeowners in the Lower Mainland can once again expect their property assessments to go up and for the first time in at least a decade, condo values have jumped as much as 40 per cent in some areas.

Condo owners in the past few years have seen the value of their property slowly increase and a five or 10 per cent increase was typical, according to Brian Smith, deputy assessor at BC Assessments. But 2017 changed all of that.

“This year has been one of the first years that I’ve seen where the strata market has increased by a greater percentage than the single-family market,” said Smith, who has worked at BC Assessment for 10 years.

Meanwhile, the assessed value of detached homes in much of Metro Vancouver remained steady, signalling a break from the trend in recent years of marked increases. The change was especially evident in the western half of the region, according to Smith.

“In our western markets, the City of Richmond, the City of Delta, and the South Surrey area specifically, we did see single family homes stay either relatively, no change or a slight decrease this year, as people are either moving east or they’re looking for alternative housing in that market,” he said.

“There has been a little bit less demand [for single-family homes].”   

But homeowners of both detached homes and strata properties in Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other east-lying areas will see their assessments increase significantly.

The assessed value of a typical condo in the City of Langley went up by 36 per cent this year, according to a release from BC Assessment. In Maple Ridge, townhome owners will see a jump of 33 per cent.

And in North Surrey, a typical condo assessment went up by a whopping 40 per cent, according to BC Assessment.

The average single detached home in the Fraser Valley will see an estimated change between -5 to 25 per cent, while the average strata property unit will see an estimated change of anywhere from 10 to 40 per cent.

The deadline to appeal your BC Assessment is January 31.

How will your property assessment affect your property taxes?

Property tax rates for individual homes depend on how much their assessed value has changed compared to the average change in the municipality. The average change in property values for each municipality can be found on BC Assessment’s website

For example, if your home’s property assessment increased by 10 per cent this year and properties in the City of Vancouver increased by an average of 20 per cent, you may in fact pay less property taxes, according to Smith.

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