In the case where every lot and every home on a street are the same, both BC Assessment (BCA) and the Realtor’s® value will be similar. Differences occur in neighbourhoods where lots are different shapes and sizes, where each home’s architecture is unique and every view is distinct.
Also, if you as a property owner make changes such as renovations after July 1st that BCA has not yet taken into consideration, and you ask a Realtor® for an assessment later on in the year, then the Realtor’s® assessment would also be higher. BCA uses the market value of a property as of July 1st of every year. The main difference in assessments occurs when the market fluctuates quickly. For example, if the market should suddenly heat up from July 1st to December, your Realtor’s® assessment will typically be higher than the BCA. On the other hand, should the market take a downturn, then the Realtor’s® assessment may also be lower.
This is most likely not the case right at this moment as Jason Grant, Area Assessor, Vancouver Sea to Sky region notes “Most homes will see increases in the 5%-15% range” as property values have increased since July 2010. Although having said that, the current market values are edging even higher as interest rates are still very low and the current inventory of properties is very low, which creates a demand therefore resulting in higher property values.