The assessed value of an average single-family home in North Cowichan has risen seven per cent, from $459,000 to $489,000, over the last year, according to the latest figures by BC Assessment.
In fact, all regions of the Cowichan Valley saw home assessments rise on average over the last year in BC Assessment’s valuation of homes across the province, which is based on what was happening in the real estate market as of July 1, 2020.
The City of Duncan saw a five per cent overall rise in value, from $370,000 to $388,000; the Town of Lake Cowichan had an eight per cent increase, from $340,000 to $368,000; and the Town of Ladysmith saw a seven per cent increase, from $445,000 to $476,000.
In the coming days, owners of about 378,000 properties throughout Vancouver Island can expect to receive their 2021 assessment notices.
The most valuable assessed property in Vancouver Island in 2021 is James Island, located close to North Saanich, which has been valued at $57,980,000.
“Home values across Vancouver Island have appreciated this year due to strong demand combined with limited inventory for sale,” said Vancouver Island assessor Tina Ireland.
“For most communities, the assessed values of single family homes are up moderately about five to 10 per cent, while residential stratas are generally showing less of an increase.”
Assessed values for condos and townhouses in 2021 are not listed specifically for Cowichan Valley communities in the assessment, but most communities on the Island have seen some increase in value, other than the District of Saanich which is reported to have seen no increase in values of these properties in 2021.
The City of Campbell River is reported to have an eight per cent increase in value of condos and townhouses, the highest on the Island.
Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2019 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January.
If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of BC Assessment’s appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint [Appeal] by Feb. 1, for an independent review by a property assessment review panel.
The property assessment review panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and typically meet between Feb. 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.
BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca includes more details about 2020 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2020’s top valued residential properties across the province.
The website also provides self-service access to a free online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2020 property assessments for anywhere in the province.
New in 2021, the province is taking over full administration of the Home Owner Grant program to ease the burden on municipalities.
The province already administers the grant for rural homeowners, but now, homeowners in all municipalities will submit their applications directly to the province instead of through their municipal office.
Similar to previous years, applications will open in May when a majority of property tax notices are received.
As in previous years, homeowners are reminded to keep their property assessment notice from BC Assessment or property tax notice from their municipality.
They will need their roll and jurisdiction number from their notice to apply for the Home Owner Grant with the province.
The grant amounts for 2021 for homeowners in the Valley and other areas outside of urban areas are up to $770; and up to $1,045 for homes in rural areas where the homeowner is 65 years or older, or the homeowner is a person with a disability.
Homeowners may also be eligible for property tax deferment if they are 55 years or older or are financially supporting a dependent child.
Some low-income seniors, veterans and people with disabilities can also apply for a supplement that replaces any grant amount they lose due to the value of their home being over the threshold.