Condo Market at odds with Recent BC Property Assessments

Condominium owners in Metro Vancouver are opening up 2019 property-assessment notices showing increases in value from a year ago. But much has changed in property markets since B.C. Assessment set those values on July 1.

Across most of Metro Vancouver, condo prices are down 6.4 per cent since July to a benchmark prices $664,100, according to figures released Thursday by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. The benchmark is based on the average price, adjusted to reflect “typical” condos among those sold.

That is in contrast to B.C. Assessments’ July 1 appraisals that showed average increases from July 2018 of anywhere from six per cent in the city of Vancouver to as much as 23 per cent in Whistler, while assessments on less affordable detached homes were down four per cent in Vancouver and North Vancouver and as much as 12 per cent in West Vancouver.

"Since then, the numbers suggest a broader decline in the market,” said Bryan Yu, deputy chief economist with Central 1 Credit, with sales and prices for condos trending lower along with detached homes.

“This year, when (municipal property) taxes roll around, you’re going to see condo owners take a little more of a hit in terms of their taxes, relative to single-family,” Yu said.

Yu said sales figures show that the condo market became “red hot” in 2016 as detached-home prices soared out of the reach of many buyers, pushing them into the strata-property market. That trend lasted through 2017 and into 2018.

Now, factors such as higher mortgage interest rates and stiffer mortgage-qualification rules have reduced the spending power of buyers and cooled demand at all levels of the market, Yu said.

“In terms of the overall Lower Mainland, our view, at least for benchmark prices, is that they’re already down six per cent (for condominiums),” Yu said. “We see another up to four or five per cent more decline in the broader market (in 2019).”

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Thursday that 24,619 sales were recorded through MLS for all of 2018, a near 32 per cent decline from 2017. Within that, condo sales represented 12,771 transactions, a 30 per cent reduction.

And since July, in Metro Vancouver submarkets, benchmark condo prices have declined as much as 14 per cent in Squamish (now $455,900), 10.3 per cent in Port Moody (now $627,300), 6.3 per cent on Vancouver’s east side (now $538,000) and seven per cent on Vancouver’s west side (now $783,700), according to real-estate-board figures.

For the B.C. Assessment Authority’s assessors, such changing markets don’t create a big challenge, said regional assessor Tina Ireland, because their task is to provide a snapshot of property values on July 1.

“The reason why we do that is so the same market conditions apply to everyone’s assessment,” Ireland said, “to determine a property owners’ share of property taxes in their community.”

However, Ireland said it can be “a bit more of a challenge” explaining assessments to property owners who might be opening their assessment notices and saying “my property is no longer worth that.”

B.C. Assessment took about 1,000 calls from the public on Wednesday, the authority’s first business day since assessments were made public Dec. 31, which is a 60 per cent increase from 2017, Ireland said, but it is difficult to know how big a factor the declining market values is in those inquiries.

For those homeowners who have questions, Ireland suggested consulting the authority’s website for more information about their assessments. It also has tools to compare assessments.

If homeowners have more questions, Ireland said they can call B.C. Assessment for an explanation, and if they are still not satisfied, have the right to appeal their assessments. The deadline to file an appeal is Jan. 31.

No comments

Post Your Comment:

* indicates required fields.
Your Name: *
Please note, your email will not be shown publicly
Your Email (will not be published): *
Comment: *
Please type the text as it appears above:

What is the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) & How Can I take Advantage of It?

March 13th, 2009

The Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)

·         Implemented in the 2009 Federal Government Budget

·         Is a non-refundable tax credit for work performed or goods acquired in respect to an Eligible dwelling?

·         An Eligible Dwelling is one’s principal residence, a cottage or summer home occupied personally.

·         A property you own that family members reside in during the time period from January 27th, 2009 to February 1st, 2010. 

·         Eligibility is family based.  A family is an individual and his/her spouse/common law partner including children less than 18 years of age by the end of 2009.

·         If 2 or more families own and occupy the same residence, then both families will be eligible for their own separate tax credit.

·         Eligible expenses must fall between $1,000 and $10,000.  The maximum tax credit is $1,350 (15% of $9,000).

·         The Tax Credit is ONLY for the 2009 Taxation year. 


What Qualifies as an Eligible Expense?


·         Expenses incurred with respect to a renovation must be of an enduring nature and integral to the home.

·         This includes cost of labor, professional services, building materials, fixtures, rentals and permits.

·         You MUST have documentation to prove this.  Agreements, Contracts, Invoices, or Receipts.

·         The type and quantity of goods purchased or services received must be listed.

·         The Contractor’s name, business address, gst/hst registration number as well as the address where the work was performed must be on the Documentation. 

·         Proof of Payment must be noted as well.


Eligible Expenses:


·         Renovations to a Kitchen, Bathroom or Basement.  *(appliances are not eligible nor is renovations to a tenanted basement suite in your principal residence)*

·         New Carpets or Hardwood Flooring.

·         Building of an addition, garage, deck, shed or fence.

·         Painting of the exterior and interior of your homeRe-shingling of a roof.

·         A new furnace, woodstove, boiler or water heater.

·         A new driveway or the re-surfacing of an existing one. 

·         Laying of new sod.

·         Swimming pools both in ground and above.

·         Costs of permits, equipment rentals and incidental expenses related to the renovation.

·         *If you own a condo and a special levy is approved for the upgrading of a Common Area and a special assessment is passed for this levy, you would be eligible for a tax credit based on your unit entitlement.*  Please check with your Strata Management Company, Accountant and Lawyer for specifics. 

·         Expenses are not eligible if the work performed or the goods acquired are provided by a person not dealing at arm’s length. For example, if your brother-in-law helps you re-shingle your roof and is not registered with gst/hst and you pay him in cash or cheque, then you can’t claim the expenses.

·         Renovations that qualify for the Medical Expense Tax Credit (METC) is an eligible expense and one can claim both the (HRTC) & (METC).

·         Eligible expenses will not be reduced by other qualifying Government grants or Tax Credits.


Please note that the above information is just a guideline and for complete details or information, please contact the CRA Canada Revenue Agency, or speak to your Accountant prior to renovating. 


If you or anyone you know are thinking about Selling and wish to renovate prior to doing so, please call me for a no obligation consultation of which renovations will increase the property’s value more than others. Also, should you hear of anyone thinking of buying or selling real estate, please keep me in mind as I am never too busy for any of your referrals!






Robert Britch


Tel:  604-240-5813

Quality Service since 1993!




Not intended to Solicit Properties Already Listed for Sale.


The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.