Homeowners across B.C. saw their 2022 property assessments go through the roof.
In Nanaimo, single-family home assessments are up 34 per cent from a year ago on average – and that’s pretty much the norm on Vancouver Island. The reason for the higher values, according to B.C. Assessment, is the robust housing market that we know all about.
Higher assessments don’t necessarily come with a corresponding tax hike. If property values had shown a dramatic decrease, it would not mean taxes would have been reduced. Assessment values are a factor in calculating property taxes, but more important are local government budgets as determined by city council and the regional board.
Still, assessments provide information worth studying. B.C. Assessment bases its values on the selling price a property would have had as of July 1 in any given year. This in turn is based on real estate sales. The higher assessment values this year indicate that home buyers were willing to pay significantly more for houses last year than the year before.
This is good news for those looking to sell a home and downsize, but not so much for those looking to move into a larger home, or for first-time homebuyers who may find themselves priced out of the market in their home towns.
House prices are stressing cities and economies in foreseen and unforeseen ways, as rental costs swallow up household budgets and make it harder for certain segments of workers to live and work here.
Assessments tell us a little bit about our tax bill and a lot about a housing crunch that can’t possibly be sustainable. If our taxes are a little higher, here’s hoping a chunk of that goes toward housing solutions.