Property values are going up in Nova Scotia, but the overall increase is the smallest in five years.
This year, the increase is 1.55 per cent. In 2013, the increase was about four times that — 5.99 per cent.
According to Property Valuation Services, the provincial Crown corporation responsible for assessments, "the assessment base reflects a flattening market, with some residential pocket areas and neighbourhoods increasing in value and others decreasing."
The latest property assessment figures were released Friday to coincide with the mailing out of assessment notices to about 600,000 property owners in Nova Scotia. It includes both residential and commercial assessments.
Overall, homes and businesses across the province are valued at $103 billion, with residential properties accounting for $80 billion.
Municipalities use the value of homes and businesses as a basis to set tax rates. Your tax bill is determined by multiplying the assessment value by the tax rate.
Residential properties that qualify for the provincial assessment cap will have their value increases capped at 0.3 per cent, matching the consumer price index.
Some properties drop in value
The value of homes along the South Shore to Yarmouth and around to Digby are seeing a drop this year overall. Assessed values for that southern section of the province are down 0.6 per cent.
In other parts of the province, the residential values have all increased:
- Central region: 2.05 per cent
- North/west region: 1.04 per cent
- East region: 1.08 per cent
Individual property assessments are affected by new construction, renovations or demolitions, and by the amount homes and businesses are selling for in any particular community.
Commercial property value changes
Provincewide, commercial property values have increased by almost 2.3 per cent over last year. The biggest increases are in the Halifax region where assessments are up 3.7 per cent overall.
The commercial increases in other regions are smaller, and in some cases, negative:
- North/west region: -0.05 per cent.
- South region: 1.44 per cent
- East region: 0.30 per cent
Property values in 2016 are based on the real estate market conditions as of Jan. 1, 2014.
Nova Scotians who wish to appeal the assessed value of a property have until Feb. 8 to do so.