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Sticker Shock and Looking Forward to 2017

The BC Assessment notices that homeowners have seen likely came as shock to some. But what needs to be understood is that a large increase in your property assessment will not automatically translate into a big increase in your property taxes.

Property taxes are actually affected by comparing the average change in your city to your home’s assessment. Homeowners whose assessments rose by less than the average can expect a break in their property tax.

Also, the BC government provides a $570 grant to homeowners to help lower property taxes on principal residences priced up to $1.6 million. Above that level, the grant is reduced $5 per $1,000 value. There is also an appeal process and, for seniors, the opportunity to defer property taxes.

We will likely see adjustments in next year’s assessments, because some homes are being listed now below the 2017 BC Assessments, which were based on prices in the white-hot market of June 2016. The combined residential price in Metro Vancouver was down 2.2% as of Q4 2016 as compared to the first half of the year, though prices for townhouses and condominium apartments were slightly higher.

Looking forward

Lower prices relative to mid-2016 are just one of the changes we will see in the Metro Vancouver housing market this year. We believe 2017 will see more inclusive zoning and planning to meet the needs of urban families. There is a greater recognition, for example, of the market demand for three-bedroom stratas by families in the Metro region. The inclusion of such larger townhouses and apartments are being seen near urban hubs from Yaletown to Richmond Centre and east to Brentwood and Lougheed. Other options to keep young families in the Metro area include infill and Laneway houses, plus more duplexes and triplexes.

Dramatic government intervention changed Metro Vancouver’s residential real estate environment in 2016. Buyers and sellers have been adjusting to taxation on foreign purchasers, tougher mortgage regulations and the new B.C. government program to support first-time buyers with down payment loans.

Faith Wilson Group has decades of experience in the Metro Vancouver market and our team is up to date with all the changes. We look forward once more to helping buyers find the home of their dreams and helping sellers achieve the maximum value for their homes in the least possible time. Our team backs up their professional service and advice with our exclusive Peace of Mind Guarantees. This is your assurance of confidence, regardless of market conditions. Overall, 2017 should see a return to a more balanced housing market where the headlines will not be about frothy speculation, but on the success of families and young people in finding a home of their own.

Warmest Regards,

Faith

 

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