Average house assessment up $40,888 for 2019

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, January 16 2019

The average assessed value of a home on Gabriola went up $41,888 this year, a 10.5% increase from 2018.

For 2018, the average value for Gabriola Island was $397,020, while for 2019; the value increased to  $438,908 on average.

The rural area around Nanaimo went up an average of 13%.

 Gulf Island properties are seeing an average increase of 13% in assessed value going into 2019. That according to the BC Assessment Office.

That increase is right in line with most of the Central Island, which is seeing similar increases. Ucluelet and Tofino have the highest increases for the Central Island, going up by 21% and 19% respectively, followed by Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan, both at 16%.

Gerry Marolla. Deputy Assessor with the Vancouver Island BC Assessment Office said it’s no surprise, people want to move to Vancouver Island.

“You have snow in the east, and daffodils are coming up here. Even with the monsoons we’ve just had, it’s still better than snow and 20 below or colder.”

Gabriola sits in the same 16% increase that is being seen on Salt Spring Island. Pender has seen a 25 to 30% increase - Marolla said Pender and Saturna are being driven through being seasonal markets for the lower Mainland.

“So there’s a dual influence on their market.

“Here in Victoria, in our development sites - we’re getting a lot more Vancouver developers buying land and building condos. Land here is still relatively cheap compared to land in Vancouver.

“If you buy your land for $100,000 a unit, and sell it for $400K to $600K a unit, your profit margin is higher.

“The islands....are just chugging along. We live in a great place, and the market is relatively strong since last July.”

He cautioned that any assessment is based on market value that is already six months old.

“Whatever has happened since last July and when you receive your assessment notice, that won’t be reflected until we set a new roll.”

For those property owners wanting to know how accurate their assessment is, Marolla said they can look up their property assessment and that of their neighbours to compare.

“You know what your house is like, and what your neighbours house is like. If your neighbours house is assessed at less, but they have a ‘better’ house, give us a call.”

He also cautioned that percentages don’t always demonstrate the same change in actual value. A $40,000 increase in value in Sayward works out to a 30% increase.

But in Gordon Head in Saanich, the same dollar increase is only a 4% increase.

Vancouver Island Assessor Tina Ireland said in a press release, ““The majority of residential home owners within the region can expect an increase up to 20 per cent as compared to last year’s assessment. 

“All markets were relatively strong as of July 1 2018, including single family, condominiums, and commercial properties. Increases in assessments are generally lower in the south part of the island and higher as you move to the central or northern areas.”

“It is important to understand that increases in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes,” explains Ireland. “How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.” 

Overall, Vancouver Island’s total assessments increased from about $222 billion in 2018 to $246.9 billion this year. A total of almost $3.9 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties. BC Assessment’s Vancouver Island region includes all communities located within Greater Victoria, South Island, Central Island, North Island, West Coast, Northern and Southern Gulf Islands and Powell River.