EDITORIAL: Assessing assessment

No sooner has Canada Post completed its Christmas rush of deliveries when the anticipation of that daily visit to the mailbox started all over again.

Property assessments were mailed this month.

You likely already have yours.

If you live in New Westminster, assessments this year are five per cent higher on average than last year.

An example in the Queen’s Park neighbourhood showed a jump of 10 per cent to more than $1.1 million.

In Burnaby, some assessments dropped by as much as five per cent while others increased by 10 per cent.

Single-family homes in areas like Buckingham, Kensington and Forglen are worth more than $1 million.

Your home is likely the single biggest financial investment you’ll ever make.

Everyone likes to see their investment paying off.

Overall, the assessment notices highlight how out-of-touch real estate in Metro Vancouver is with the reality of people’s bank accounts.

The top-valued residential property in Surrey, worth $14.1 million, would rank 64th in Vancouver.

The most expensive house, in Point Grey, is assessed at $39.3 million.

In 2010, the median total family income in British Columbia was $66,970. According to the Royal Bank’s affordability index, the cost of owning a detached bungalow in Metro Vancouver consumes 86 per cent of a household’s pre-tax income.

That doesn’t leave much for the other necessities of life—like food, transportation, clothes—let alone some of its pleasures.

It’s a good thing we live in such beautiful surroundings.

At least walking along the beach, hiking a trail, playing in a park are still free.

For now.


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