BANFF – Overall residential property assessments in Banff have remained relatively steady, but those in the Banff Housing Corporation’s portfolio have seen a jump in value.
The residential property assessments, which were presented to Banff town council on Feb. 8, decreased about one per cent, or $8.25 million, from $1.902 billion to $1.893 billion.
“Value trends have seen the land values staying the same, with buildings down because of a slight amount of depreciation,” said Frank Watson, an independent assessor hired by the Town of Banff.
For all residential properties, excluding strata condos and apartment buildings, the assessments are based on a land and building value.
The land value is based on the size, zoning and location of the lot. The building value is based on the age, quality, and size of the home.
While the overall residential assessment was down less than one per cent, properties in the Banff Housing Corporation portfolio, particularly duplexes and row houses, were up four to eight per cent.
“Last year, those properties saw a decrease, because in 2019, those properties were selling for about 11 to 14 per cent below the appraised value,” Watson said.
“Going into 2020, the sales were showing that they were actually selling above the appraised values.”
Over the past decade, the biggest jump in residential assessment values came in 2018 and 2019 with increases of 16 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.
“That was when the land component really took off; the prices that were being paid for land was $1 to $2 million for a vacant lot,” Watson said.
“From 2019 to 2020, things levelled off,” he added, noting the values increased by 2.85 per cent that year.
Non-residential assessments, including hotels and downtown retail properties, have decreased 15 per cent from $1.338 billion to $1.138 billion – a reduction of $200 million. The total loss in value to all hotels specifically was $176 million.
Overall, Banff’s residential and commercial assessments combined are down about seven per cent, with assessed values dropping about $208.5 million from $3.239 billion to $3.031 billion.
Property assessments were mailed out to property owners the week of Feb. 8. There is a 60-day appeal period.
Chris Hughes, the director of corporate services for the Town of Banff, said property owners are encouraged to contact Watson’s office if they feel they’re assessments are inaccurate before going through a formal appeal process.
“Often times, misunderstandings can be corrected,” he said.
Hughes said there have been no assessment appeals heard by the review board in the past five years in Banff.
“There have been some that were submitted and then withdrawn,” he said.