Langley Times file photo

Condo values skyrocket in the Langleys

Property assessments for 2018 show biggest surge in strata condominiums and townhouses

Homeowners in Langley — particularly condo owners — can expect to see a significant increase in their property values when they receive their 2018 assessment notices in the mail this week.

According to BC Assessment, strata condos in Langley City have gone up as much as 36 per cent in the last year, with a typical condo skyrocketing from $242,000 in 2017 to $329,000 in 2018.

In Langley Township, strata condos have increased around 33 per cent, and strata townhouses around 13 per cent, with a typical townhome surpassing the half-million mark at $553,000 in 2018, compared to $490,000 in 2017.

Single family detached homes, by contrast, have not increased by as much as they did in 2016-17 when assessments jumped 30 to 50 per cent. This year, detached homes in Langley City have typically increased by 8 to 10 per cent, and in Langley Township, by 6 to 10 per cent.

READ MORE: Langley home values skyrocket

These values reflect the overall trend in the Fraser Valley, where residential single detaches homes have changed in value from -5 per cent to 25 per cent, residential stratas from 10 to 40 per cent, commercial from 5 to 35 per cent and light industrial from 5 to 30 per cent.

“The majority of residential home owners within the (Fraser Valley) region can expect an increase, compared to last year’s assessment,” said assessor Laura Schwagele in a Jan. 2 press release.

“This year, we have seen a strong demand in our residential strata market and this has resulted in a larger increase compared to the residential single family detached homes.”

Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2017 and physical condition as of Oct. 31, 2017.

At this point, it is too early to tell just how much these assessments will impact property taxes, but Karen Sinclair, director of finance for the Township, suspects condos owners will see an increase this year.

“Tax rates for 2018 will take into consideration the average increase for the residential category as a whole, which includes single family residential, townhouses, condos and a few other categories,” she said.

“Municipalities start out the tax rate-setting process by lowering their residential tax rate to raise the same amount of revenue as they raised the previous year.

“This, in effect, nullifies the impact of the average assessed value increase on the residential category as a whole.”

The City of Langley is still in the process of downloading the new property assessments into their system, but have already seen a range of increases in strata unit values from 25 to even 50 per cent.

“In 2018, the strata properties are seeing an increase higher than the single family homes, which is reversing a trend that we’ve been experiencing over the last three or so years. Previously, strata properties were not increasing — and even decreasing — compared to the single family homes, which were shouldering a bigger portion of the property tax increase as a result,” said Darrin Leite, City director of corporate services.

“But in general, I would say, yes, there would be a reversing of the trend over the last three years in the sense that there will be an increase (in property taxes) for strata property owners versus a decrease or even a slight increase. They will have a bigger increase this year.”

Across the entire Fraser Valley, assessments increased from $430.1 billion in 2017 to $492.2 billion this year, and almost $10.6 billion of that is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties, according to BC Assessment.

The most expensive residential property in the Township is a 29.4 acreage at 19683 0 Ave. valued at $17,218,000. It’s the second highest valued property in the Fraser Valley, with a 19-acre property at 17146 20 Ave. in South Surrey taking the top spot at $30,026,000.

To find out more about your home’s assessed value, visit bcassessment.ca.

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