Moncton’s tax base will increase as the town of Saint John, Fredericton property values outperform
Records compiled by the propertyize.ca website show that 11,158 valuation notices issued to Moncton property owners in the past week saw an increase of 15 percent or more, thousands more than any other New Brunswick community .
Saint John property owners received only 816 notices, which were large, and Fredericton only 676, although all three cities saw booming property markets last year.
However, according to Service New Brunswick, this is not evidence of differences in the way real estate is valued across communities.
“The SNB assessors are unbiased, highly qualified professionals and adhere to industry standards,” wrote Jennifer Vienneau, communications director for Service New Brunswick, in an email when asked about the differences in the three communities.
“Appraisers do not determine market value; they reflect the values set by buyers and sellers in local property markets across the province.”
Rating upgrades are common across New Brunswick this year, but the most significant jumps are packed in the Moncton area.
300 homes in the Moncton neighborhood around Candice Lane received notifications of 27 percent increases this week. (Pierre Fournier / CBC)
Al Meloche lives on Lonsdale Drive in north Moncton and received a 27.8 percent increase in his property valuation.
More than 300 other homes in Lonsdale and five other adjoining streets received the same or greater increments. Meloche said he wasn’t surprised considering what happened in the Moncton real estate market this year.
“I sat down first. I had a hunch it was going to go up,” said Meloche of his reaction to opening his property appraisal notice from Service New Brunswick. “It was a big time.”
But it could have been worse.
Valuations are designed to measure the market value of properties – what they would sell if listed – and those values have soared in Moncton this year.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average sales price of a single-family home in Moncton in August 2021 was almost 38 percent higher than in August 2020.
In Meloche’s Six Street Neighborhood, records have shown that 20 homes have sold at an average price of $ 93,800 – 56 percent – above their estimated 2021 values since January. Meloche said this made sense of the $ 49,800 valuation increase he received for his home.
“The price of the house is pretty good, which I would like if I sold it,” he said.
In Fredericton and Saint John, notifications of property valuation increases below 10 percent were more common to homeowners.
Forty-six properties in and around Topeka Street in Saint John have received valuation discounts to date. (Robert Jones / CBC)
This results in a slower growing tax base in every community, even though the property markets have been almost as hot as those in Moncton.
On Fredericton’s south side in the sprawling residential areas below Fredericton High School and above Fredericton YMCA, 35 properties have been sold since January at an average price of 34 percent above their 2021 estimate.
This is comparable to data compiled by the Canadian Real Estate Association, which showed home price increases in the Fredericton market area of 28 percent year on year.
Still, valuations – which are meant to reflect likely retail prices – have risen nine percent or less for most homes in these neighborhoods.
It’s similar all over Fredericton.
Valuation increases of less than 10 percent are also common in Saint John, where city officials have historically complained about Service New Brunswick’s undervaluation of property in the city. Many neighborhoods see jumps of five percent or less.
According to Vienneau, appraisals in New Brunswick are processed regionally by separate appraisers and offices, but she rejected the idea that different results are achieved in different communities.
“The regional model ensures that all New Brunswick communities, large and small, are represented by local appraisers who understand the local market,” she wrote.