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Single residential property assessments

What is a single residential property?

A detached, or semi-detached duplex, residential dwelling unit which has been designed and built to accommodate single family use. The residential dwelling unit is designed or occupied as the living quarters for one household and is usually equipped with cooking, bathing, toilet, and heating facilities. 

The assessment & tax cycle

Property Assessment is the determination of a value for a property for taxation purposes.

  • Assessments of single residential properties are completed annually. 
  • Your municipal property tax is calculated by multiplying your yearly assessment by the Council approved tax rate.

Learn more by visiting Determining your fair share of City services.

How are single residential properties assessed?

As required by provincial legislation, a property assessment reflects the market value of property on July 1 of the prior tax year (valuation date) and the physical condition and characteristics of property as of December 31. Market value is the amount a property might be expected to realize if it sold on the open market by a willing seller to a willing buyer.

Most residential properties are assessed using the sales comparison approach to determine their market value.

Once assessed values are prepared, we then analyze the adjusted sale price against the assessed value to obtain the assessment to sale price ratio (ASR). Analyzing the ASRs of a range of comparable properties confirms that the assessed values accurately capture market value.

A new analysis is completed each year because properties are sold each year. Last year’s assessment is not used as a starting point for this year’s assessment. 

Assessors also factor in your property’s: 

Note: The cost approach, which adds the cost of land to the cost of construction and subtracts the depreciated value to equal the final assessed value, is used in limited circumstances. 

Sale price vs. assessed value

A sale price is the amount a specific purchaser agrees to pay, and a particular seller agrees to accept, under the circumstances surrounding a unique transaction.

In contrast, the assessed value (market value) is the value determined by the collective actions of the market. A single sale does not determine market value. Properties are assessed using mass appraisal, which means that The City reviews multiple sales to determine an estimate of market value. This is why owners may see a difference between their sale price and their assessed value.

To learn more about real estate market trends, our valuation methodology, and residential sales transactions please download the Residential Market Trend Report. 

Assessment Search is our online resource for property and business owners to access more detailed information about their assessment and property details.