BC Property Assessment in 2021
While our minds have been clearly occupied with the pandemic and the political events south of the Canadian border, some of you may have been surprised to see the 2021 BC Assessment mail show up in your mailbox this week. If it slipped your mind with so much going on in the world, that’s ok! However, I would like to strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to look at your BC property assessment and make sure that it reflects your current property.
What is the BC Assessment and What Does it Mean to Me?
Every year, in January, the Crown Corporation controlling the BC property assessments sends out its annual notifications of the property value of your land and home. And every year, owners try to decipher this somewhat complex document.
The first thing to remember and take note of is that the BC Assessment, though mailed in January, actually reflects a point in time in July the previous year. So, we’re talking now about assessments done in July of 2020. If you have done major land revisions or home renovations since July, these will not be reflected in the property assessment that you just received.
The second thing to remember is that the purpose of doing these assessments is to have a value upon which to base your property taxes. (To understand more about how this is calculated for the purposes of your property taxes, see our 2017 blog post on it here.) Also, remember that your property tax amount is determined by the municipality’s annual operations budget, and this is why the property tax amount in Port Moody could be different from Coquitlam even if the properties have the same assessment value.
The third thing to remember is that these assessments are not to be considered the same thing as current market value for your home and property. If you were to list your home on the market with me tomorrow, the BC Assessment value is only one of several factors that we incorporate into coming up with a listing price that accurately reflects not only your land but your home and all the detailed work and finishes that have been put into your abode.
What Keeps BC Assessment Relevant in 2021
As I stated, the coronavirus pandemic may have taken your mind off of real estate. Or, conversely, you might have wondered and worried about your real estate investment, given the way that other markets and financial outlooks have suffered as a result of this global concern. So, you might be surprised to learn that the pandemic did not adversely affect Tri-Cities real estate to the point we might have expected.
As reported by the Tri-City News, “Detached homes in Coquitlam typically went up 6% while single-family houses in Port Coquitlam rose 8% and 6% in Port Moody.” Port Moody condos and townhouses increased by 1%, while the increases were 4% in both Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam. If you’re looking to put your home on the market in 2021, we will definitely take this information into account.
Another factor that keeps the assessment relevant is the fact that the BC Assessment is used in Speculation Tax calculation. The tax, aimed at preventing homes from being empty and created to support housing for British Columbians, uses information from BC Assessment to consider your property’s classification and determine the value of your tax if you are not eligible for an exemption.
If you do not receive your BC Assessment within the first two weeks of January, be sure to contact them at BCAssessment.ca. If you have any questions about your property assessment and how it reflects on the market value of your house, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 604-561-8892. — Jessica Chen-Sargent