Richmond home assessments stay the same or drop slightly

Richmond’s real estate market may not be as hot as it was 18 months ago, but neither asking prices by buyers or property assessment numbers by provincial assessors have dipped significantly.

This week, property assessment notices were mailed out by the B.C. Assessment Authority, even as the year-end figures from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver were released, and showed below-average sales activity but only modest declines in home prices for 2012.

According to the assessment authority, most homeowners should expect to see only a marginal change, or no change at all, to their home’s estimated value.

A single-family detached home in the Thompson neighbourhood that had been assessed at $1.677 million for 2012, is now assessed at $1.642 million, a drop of 2.1 per cent. A single family home in Broadmoor assessed at $1.41 million saw its assessment drop to $1.403 million, down just 0.5 per cent.

A three-bedroom townhouse in the Cambie neighbourhood assessed in 2012 at $543,000 nudged up slightly for 2013 to $546,000. A one-bedroom apartment in Lansdowne, built in 1995, saw its value rise five per cent from $273,000 to $287,000.

“Most homes in both Delta and Richmond are remaining relatively stable for the 2013 assessment roll,” said South Fraser Region deputy assessor Craig Barnsley.

The 2013 assessment is based on an appraiser’s evaluation of market value on July 1, 2012.

Homeowners who believe the assessment is inaccurate or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact the office indicated on their notice. Richmond is part of the South Fraser assessment region, and that office is located at 5477—152nd St. in Surrey, and is open for the month of January from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The B.C. Assessment Authority can also be reached at 1-866-825-8322.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a notice of complaint (appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel,” Barnsley said.

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.

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

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.

Changes in the property tax payable depends on the actual tax rates 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 smaller tax revenue increase.

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.

—with files from Jeff Nagel

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