It's January 4, 2011. And there's already news about what a great time it is to own real estate in Victoria.
BC Assessment released property assessments online yesterday and you'll be getting paper values in the mail this week if you're a homeowner.
What should you do with them? Well, if you plan to stay in your home you should dispute the assessment to get it lowered so you pay marginally less property tax. They've got assessments up this year on average around 4%, but that's very unlikely reflective of true market value which is arguably up twice as much year over year. You'll probably not gain much, and all you'll lose is your time if you do dispute your assessment, but keep in mind BC Assessment values July to July, not January to January.
And if you think you might sell this year? You might want to seek a higher assessment. Especially if your assessment is outside of 10% of what you think your home should sell for. Nothing puts a buyer off more than seeing a home assessed for $400,000 with an asking price of $650,000. Except maybe a salesperson who suggests that will save them on the property tax bill ;-).
In case you were looking for a riddle to answer:
VREB reports that the value of all properties sold through their MLS system in 2010 was down 14% from 2009, yet "The overall average price for single family homes increased by nearly 8.5 per cent; the average price for condominiums rose over four per cent and the average price for townhomes rose over three per cent."
How could this possibly be? You guessed it, volumes down, prices up, see real estate in Victoria can only go up, even when fewer people want to get some!
Anyway, just having a little fun on this rainy winter day.