The relative strength of Greater Victoria’s real estate market through the middle of 2018 translated into an increase across the board in assessed residential property values, according to B.C. Assessment.
The 2019 property assessment roll, released Wednesday, shows average residential property values in the region jumped between four and 18 per cent.
“The majority of residential homeowners within the region can expect an increase up to 20 per cent as compared to last year’s assessment,” said Vancouver Island assessor Tina Ireland.
The assessment is an estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, and physical condition as of Oct. 31. According to B.C. Assessment, changes in property assessments reflect movement in the market and can vary greatly from property to property.
Assessors take into account current sales in the area as well as the size, age, quality, condition, view and location of a property.
Ireland said all markets — including single-family homes, condominiums, and commercial properties — were realtively strong as of July 1. Increases were generally lower on the south Island and higher in the central and northern areas, she said.
On the Island, the greatest increase in assessed value was seen in Sayward, where the average single-family home increased in value 44 per cent to $205,100, while Tahsis saw a 30 per cent jump to $99,600 and Cumberland rose 27 per cent to $460,000.
In Greater Victoria, the largest increases in single-family homes were seen in Sidney and the Gulf Islands, which both increased 13 per cent to $699,150 and $523,000 respectively. Metchosin saw an 11 per cent jump to $792,000.
The most highly assessed property in the region this year was once again James Island, assessed at $56.76 million as of July 1.
The most valuable single-family home is 3160 Humber Rd. in Oak Bay, assessed at $16.16 million.
This year’s most valuable assessed strata unit is 2101-83 Saghalie Rd., which was assessed at $8.79 million as of July 1. The year previous it had been assessed at $8.1 million.
More than 371,000 Vancouver Island property owners should receive their assessments in the mail over the next week.
The entire Island roll increased in value this year to $246.9 billion from $222 billion in 2018. Nearly $3.9 billion of Vancouver Island’s assessments reflect new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.
The total value of real estate in B.C. — there were 2,067,479 properties on this year’s roll — is over $1.99 trillion, an increase of 7.45 per cent from last year.
According to B.C. Assessment, 98 per cent of property owners accept their assessment without an independent review, though appeals do remain a possibility.
“Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions, but those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2018, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact B.C. Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” Ireland said.
Property owners may submit a notice of complaint by Jan. 31 to ask for an independent review by a property assessment review panel.
The panels, appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear complaints.
Increases in assessments do not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes, Ireland said. “How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”
B.C. Assessment can be reached at 1-866-825-8322. Information is also available oline at bcassessment.ca.
The website offers more detail from the 2019 assessment roll and provides self-service access to a property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2019 property assessments for anywhere in the province.