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Market value vs Assessed Value: 2016 tax notices are out

Posted by on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 at 2:21pm.

It’s no surprise to Mr. and Mrs. Average Calgarian that the City of Calgary has devalued residential homes in Calgary.

The 2016 tax assessments are being delivered to Calgary residences this week and the effects of our sour economy are evident in overall residential values.

The median assessed value for a single-family home, which is different than the average value, is actually up from 2015 by $5,000.  Condominiums are down by $10,000 to $280,000.

The bulk of Calgary’s residential homes remained relatively stable, however the assessed value of Calgary luxury homes dropped dramatically according to Nelson Karpa, city assessor.

Comparing 2016 to 2015, Nolan Hill in Calgary’s extreme North West has been hit the hardest for an assessment increase of 9.27.  Million dollar properties in Currie Barracks experienced the largest drop at 12.15% in assessed property values.

The 2016 Calgary Tax Assessments are determined using market values of the property as of July 1 of the previous year.  This year’s tax roll came in at $309 billion, which is a $1 billion more than last year.

Calgary Real Estate Board economist Ann-Marie Lurie told reporters in Calgary recently that it’s important to keep property values, both assessed and market, in perspective.  Values are still higher than they were three years ago in 2013 and still higher than in 2007 so any gains that have been made haven’t been lost.

In crunching the numbers, about 93% of Calgary tax bills will stay relatively unchanged; within 10% of last year’s tax bill, plus or minus.  About 50% of home owners will see a slight increase while 50% will see a decrease in their annual tax bill, due June 30, 2016.

Every year, right after Christmas, property owners receive their annual tax assessment and it often presents confusion.  What the City believes your property is worth and what the real estate market says your property is worth seem to be two different things.

What is assessed value?

Municipalities must base property tax on the value of the property.  They consider the age of the home, size of the property, location, construction materials and improvements. They consider the market value, and in Alberta the benchmark date for identifying this value based on current statistics has been legislated to be July 1 of the previous year.  The assessed value is the tax value.  It has nothing to do with the market price if you were to sell your property today.

What is market value?

The price of your home should it go up for sale is the market value.  It’s determined by what properties in your vicinity have sold for, or are listed for at the present time.  Several factors can drive prices up, like inventory, renovations, curb appeal and multiple offers on properties which drive the final selling price sky high.  Buyers help set the market value.  Assessed values are often way behind what the marketplace dictates.

How does a real estate professional determine the value of your property?

A Realtor® has access to Calgary’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and can pull all sorts of statistics together to compare your property with recent sales in the vicinity of your property.  A walk-through of your property combined with his or her experience is what buyers want, need and will pay top dollar for will help establish a fair price.  Differences in similar properties in similar neighbourhoods can’t be calculated in a spreadsheet.

Contact us if you'd like to know exactly what your home is worth.

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