2017 Vancouver Assessment Data

Visualizing the latest land value gains.

Jens von Bergmann

7 minute read

The friendly folks at Vancouver Open Data just updated their property assessment data with the fresh 2017 property tax assessments. Time to run the script to update the Vancouver Assessment Map with the new data, just like we did last year.

For now we just updated our standard visuals and computed some overall statistics. We will take a closer look at the data over the coming days.


By now we have a variety of maps that highlight different aspects of Vancouver real estate, and after running the import scripts they automatically serve the newest data. Our basic interactive assessment map offers a variety of ways to slice and display the data. It’s mostly focused on functionality, some of which we described in last year’s post, as well as other posts like the one on twiddling thumbs vs working.

We also have interactive views focusing on how real estate prices varied over time, for example the houses and dirt map that separates out (inflation adjusted) values of the structures and the land, and also allows to filter by type of housing, to animate changes over time.

For people that like simpler maps we also have a plain total (nominal) value over time map that allows to interactively step through the years and see how single family house values in Vancouver changed over time. Here we also added the ability to visualize year-over-year value changes, which also hints at how BC Assessment changed their valuation algorithm over the years.

The Data

The data originates with BC Assessment, which estimates land and building values of each property based on recent sales of comparable properties. The values are pegged at July 1 of each year, with the the most recent available now being July 1 2016. The estimates for the values do not reflect changes in the market since then. Moreover, the estimates can be quite off on an individual property level, but are unbiased. That means that any statistics derived from a large subsample should fairly accurately reflect actual market conditions for July 1st. Lastly, the assessed values will still change a bit as some will be successfully appealed.

City of Vancouver, as well as the City of Surrey, make this data available for general use through their open data portal, which allows us to create these maps. The format of the data the municipalities are giving out through their open data portal is different, so lazy me is only importing data from City of Vancouver. Sadly, BC Assessment does not make this data generally available province wide for us to make province wide maps.

While BC Assessment makes this data available on their eValue website for browsing individual properties and also provides it in bulk to researchers, the attached license does not allow the thematic mapping of individual properties.

The motivation behind the map was to understand the building stock, so in the maps as well as the summary statistics below we filter out parks and some other properties.

The new city dataset does not include the 2017 tax levy, so our maps still only show the 2016 tax levies until CoV updated their dataset.


In the spirit of last year’s post we ran some quick summary statistics to break down the numbers by neighbourhood. Instead of listing the most recent land and building value increases by neighbourhood we stuck everything into an interactive graph for the entire time span between 2006 and 2017 tax years. Use the dropdown menus to drill down into city neighbourhoods, view values for all properties or just residential properties and display as total value or year-over-year percentage change.

The last year again saw an huge increase in property values. For the City of Vancouver land values were up 35% and building values 10%, with the land value increase setting a record for the timeframe for which we have data. The increases become even more pronounced when we zero in on residential property only.

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