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Property value sag shows up in some assessments

Some Metro Vancouver homeowners are seeing a modest drop in their assessed property value for 2013.

But officials at BC Assessment say the changes generally are not large.

Drops of as much as five per cent and gains of up to 10 per cent are typical for single detached houses in Surrey, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities, as well as many other parts of the region.

White Rock was one of the areas where drops were more likely, with changes tending to range from negative 10 to plus five per cent, according to the assessment authority.

Significant decreases were also more common in Whistler, Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island.

"For the first time in many years a significant number of properties in the region are actually decreasing in value," assessor Jason Gratl said of Vancouver Sea-to-Sky region changes.

Many homes on Vancouver's west side and in Richmond are also down slightly, after gains of as much as 30 per cent a year earlier.

Strata condos and townhomes in Metro Vancouver were susceptible to wider swings, with drops of as much as 10 per cent and gains of 10 per cent typical.

But most Fraser Valley home owners, including Langley and Maple Ridge, are seeing minimal changes, according to assessors.

The numbers vary considerably depending on neighbourhoods, property type, age and other localized factors.

Stronger gains of up to 20 per cent were reported for commercial and industrial properties in the Tri-Cities and Burnaby's Kingsway corridor saw gains of 20 to 30 per cent for commercial property.

Assessments are considered a snapshot of the property value as of July 1, 2012, which predates some of the recent decline in Lower Mainland real estate markets.

The property assessments are being mailed out this week.

But owners can also check their assessments online at  bcassessment.ca (click on e-ValueBC) and compare with others in their neighbourhood to decide if they wish to file an appeal by Jan. 31.

Appeal requests go to independent property assessment review panels that convene in February.

Changes in the property tax payable depends on the actual tax rate to be set by each local municipality, so a home that's assessed five per cent higher might not pay any more in tax if the average assessment in the city rose 10 per cent and the local council sets its rate to generate a modest gain in tax revenue.

The total assessed value of real estate in B.C. rose 2.3 per cent from a year ago.

Most cities are seeing gains of around 1.5 per cent in their assessment rolls from new construction, expanding their tax base.

 

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