Assessment notices were mailed out by the City of Airdrie a few weeks ago and, according to assessor Val Cottreau, residents can expect to see decreases in assessed values – similar to what neighbouring municipalities have seen in the last few years.
“Depending on what area of the city you live in, they’ll increase or decrease at different rates,” she said. “And it depends on the sales that we had to work with last year. The majority of our homes are coming down, except for our higher-end properties.”
Cottreau said a “persistent oversupply” of homes for sale within Airdrie, combined with the province’s “sluggish economic climate,” has led to a decrease in the assessment values of residential properties – around five per cent, on average. The non-residential market remains consistent, she noted, with a slight increase to some rental rates.
The drop in residential assessment echoes what Cottreau has seen reported from communities like Strathmore, Okotoks and even in Calgary.
“Everybody is universally right around that five per cent,” she said. “Other municipalities surrounding Airdrie are experiencing the same decline.”
However, Cottreau did note this is the largest decline Airdrie has seen in the last 10 years – though she attributes this to the slightly lower price-point for homes within the City’s boundaries, as compared to its municipal neighbours.
“We didn’t experience the decline like they did,” she said. “Just this year, it caught up to us.”
The City’s assessed property values are determined based on economic conditions as of July 1 the previous year, Cottreau said, and the physical condition and characteristics of the property as of that Dec. 31.
“It’s not a sale price, per se, not what your property would necessarily sell for, but it’s based on what the typical is for your location, for the size of your home – if it’s a two-storey or a bungalow, if you have a walk-out, if you back onto green space,” she said. “All those characteristics of your property are taken into consideration.”
Assessing properties is a year-long initiative, according to Cottreau. The department looks at Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other technology to acquire the most accurate information possible – and provides residents with a detailed look at the characteristics that informed their assessment by visiting the City’s website.
“We are encouraging residents to check their information that we have online – do we have you in the right structure type? Do you have a walk-out? Do you have a finished basement?” she said. “The data, overall, is very accurate.”