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Assessments show sharp spike in property values in Langley, up to summer

Assessments don’t capture weakening real estate market over the fall
Bryan Murao, deputy assessor with BC Assessment. (BC Assessment/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

The assessed value of Langley homes has gone up sharply this year – but because of the rocky real estate market , numbers released this week may no longer reflect the market price of a home.

According to BC Assessment, in Langley Township, the average assessed value of a single-family home rose by 15 per cent in 2022, hitting $1,337,000, up from $1,162,000 the year before.

In the City, it was an eight per cent increase, reaching $1,424,000, up from $1,319,000.

Strata properties – a category that combines both condos and townhouses – rose in value even faster.

The average condo or townhouse was up 13 per cent in Langley Township, to $767,000 from $676,000, while in the City, assessed values shot up 20 per cent, from $459,000 to $550,000.

However, those prices reflect the value of the home as of July 1 of each year.

“Despite the real estate market peaking last spring and showing signs of cooling down by summer, homes were still selling notably higher around July 1, 2022 compared to the previous year,” says BC Assessment Assessor Bryan Murao.

Across B.C. and most of Canada, home prices began shooting up in 2020, a few months into the pandemic. Langley and the Fraser Valley area in particular saw sharp increases for more than two years, as people working from home sought more space, while interest rates for mortgages hit record lows.

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But this spring, as interest rates began rising in an attempt by the central bank to fight inflation, sales slowed. Prices peaked in Langley around April and then began dropping.

By July, although prices had dipped, they were not down that much compared to the increase over the previous year. But prices have continued to fall through the summer, fall, and into winter.

According to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, by November 2022, the benchmark price of a home in Langley was about $1.5 million, while the average selling price was just over $1.32 million.

Murao also noted that a big jump in assessed value does not mean a big jump in property taxes.

“It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes,” explains Murao. “As noted on your Assessment Notice, how your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”

In other words, if the value of your home rose by about the same as the average for its type, your taxes will stay much the same, give or take any tax increase approved by the local mayor and council.

If assessed value rises faster than average, that can mean a tax increase. If it rises slower than average, that can actually mean lower taxes.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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