In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.

According to Royal Lepage’s Regional House Price Survey, The Greater Vancouver real estate market continues to see year-over-year price declines, which has attracted considerable interest from buyers and spurred sales.


With prices slowing from their previous pace, homeowners must realize that pricing their homes a little over market value to leave room for negotiation will actually dramatically decrease the number of buyers who will see their listing.


Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price their house so demand for the home is maximized. By doing so, the seller will not be negotiating with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers competing with each other over the house.


The secret is making sure your house is Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the most potential buyers. It will sell at a great price before more competition comes to the market.

 

Bottom Line

If you’re debating listing your house for sale, reach out to a local real estate professional to discuss how to price your home appropriately and maximize your exposure.

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January 09, 2020 - Courtesy of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver


Property owners received their 2020 assessment notices in the first week of January, which reflects the market value as of July 1, 2019.  Assessments for strata units throughout Greater Vancouver decreased with West Vancouver leading with a decline of 10 per cent, followed by Burnaby, Coquitlam, New Westminster, and North Vancouver District which all dropped by nine per cent, followed by Richmond with an eight per cent decrease.  

Assessments for detached homes were also lower, with West Vancouver again leading the way with a 16 per cent decrease. Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Vancouver all saw an 11 per cent decrease, while Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows each dipped six per cent.

Only three communities saw increases for detached homes: Whistler (5%), Pemberton (5%), and Squamish (0.3%).


For new construction or substantially renovated homes, the estimate is based on the physical condition as of October 31, 2019.


Property owners can also see a property’s assessment searching the address on BC Assessment’s (BCA’s) website.


Details include a photo, a property description (land and buildings), the total assessed value, the previous year’s value, the legal description, and property ID.


If property details are incorrect, property owners are directed to complete and submit an e-valueBC Data Validation Form.  Property owners can also compare neighbouring properties and sample sold properties to decide whether their property has been correctly assessed.  Deadline to appeal assessment is January 31, 2020.


Property owners who disagree with their assessment should do homework by:

  • comparing their assessment with neighbouring properties; and
  • contacting BCA at 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322), talking with staff who can make adjustments if there’s an obvious error, for example if BCA included a complete renovation when there was only a spruce-up or an upgrade for plumbing or electrical.

Property owners who decide to appeal their property assessment should review information on the Property Assessment Appeal Board website on how to prepare for an appeal and then complete a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) Form. 


Each year less than one per cent of BC property owners appeal their assessments.

Note: you can’t appeal your taxes. You can only appeal your assessment.

For information about BCA, visit their website or phone 1-866-valueBC (1-866-825-8322).


Read more about Greater Vancouver assessments.


Did you know?

  • BCA is a provincial Crown corporation. Since 1974, it’s been responsible for determining and reporting property value estimates.
  • For 2020 BCA reported the number of properties assessed in the Lower Mainland is 1,014,135 properties, an increase of 1% from last year.
  • Total value of real estate in the Lower Mainland in 2020: $1.41 trillion, down 5% from 2019.
  • In BC, 88 per cent of all properties are classified as residential (class 1).
  • BCA’s assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to levy property taxes each year which fund community services including the school system.

Property tax

Property taxation is determined by local and provincial taxing authorities after determining their budget needs and calculating property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.

Municipalities determine tax rates for each property class in the spring, once the assessment roll is finalized. Changes in assessment over the year don’t automatically translate into the same percentage changes in property taxes for any particular class of property or for any individual property.

Questions? Contact BCA.


Home Owner Grant thresholds drop

The Home Owner Grant a provincial grant which reduces the amount of property tax an owner pays. To qualify you must:

  • be the registered owner;
  • occupy the home as your principal residence;
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada; and
  • live in BC.

The Home Owner Grant threshold applies across the province. The amounts are:

  • $570 for the basic grant;
  • $770 if the home is located in a northern or rural area;
  • Up to $845 for home owners age 65 and more or a home owner with a disability; and
  • Up to $1,045 for home owners age 65 and more or a home owner with a disability where the home is in a northern or rural area.

The grant is available to owners of property assessed at up to $1.525 million in 2020, down from $1.65 million in 2019 to accommodate the decline in home prices.

The grant is reduced by $5 for each $1,000 of assessed value over $1,525,000. This means properties assessed up to $1,639,000 ($1,679,000 in a northern and rural area) can receive a partial regular grant.


In northern and rural areas, the basic grant fully phases out at $1,804,000 and the higher grant at $1,859,000.

Read more.

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If you haven't yet received your 2020 Property Assessment, you will shortly.  Whether buying, selling, or just home-owning, here are 5 important things to know:


(1) 2020 marks only the fifth time since B.C. Assessment’s inception in 1974 — and the first time in 20 years — that the province’s assessed values saw an overall decline. (B.C.’s overall assessment values also decreased in 2000, 1999, 1987 and 1983).


 (2) Just because your Assessment went down, it doesn’t necessarily mean your TAXES will decrease.  That’s because every municipality still needs to raise enough revenue to fund its annual operations.  Here’s a great article to read: https://bit.ly/36oXJp3


 (3) BC Assessment uses a mass appraisal system, which calculates property value by evaluating prices for homes sold in each neighborhood and then applies the information to arrive at an assessed value.  This information is typically obtained from MLS sales, not by visiting the properties in question.  BC Assessment has approximately 650 full-time staff positions in 17 offices throughout the province.  They can’t possibly visit every residence.


(4) The most important factor is the TIME at which a property is assessed.  A 2020 Assessment notice is BCA’s estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2019, which is 6 month’s prior to you receiving your assessment.  (and the reason why current Market Value can be different – as it reflects a more current state of the market).


(5) Good news – the Home Owner Grant threshold has been set lower!  This year: $1.525M  and last year: $1.65 M.


Bonus #1-

Here are the median price changes in North Vancouver, so you can see how your Assessment may not necessarily equal true, current market value:


                   July 2018 - July 2019                          Dec 2018 – Dec 2019

                   (Assessment period)                          (Year over year data)


Detached           down 9%                                               down 7%

Attached            down 9%                                               down 2%

Apartments       down 9%                                               up   9.5%


Bonus #2 –

Here is a service that you may find helpful – available now until March, where you can view details on a single property, compare neighbouring properties, and compare sales information. http://evaluebc.bcassessment.ca/

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