Strong Real Estate Market Indicates Economic Growth--Southern Region

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

June 14, 2001 3:22 PM

Nova Scotia’s strong and growing real estate market is once again
evidence that overall, the province continues to prosper,
according to preliminary assessment figures from Service Nova
Scotia and Municipal Relations.

Proposed assessments for 2002, based on January 2000 market
value, show values are up by $946 million or an average of two
per cent. Residential property values are up by $782 million or
2.5 percent and commercial property values increased by $165
million or 1.3 per cent.

Overall, the real estate market in the Southern Region has
experienced some growth, particularly in the residential
assessment. Proposed assessments for this region show a
residential increase of more than $156 million or 3.8 per cent,
and an increase in commercial assessment of $11 million or 0.8
per cent.

"We use internationally accepted standards consistently across
the province to ensure fairness and accuracy,” says regional
manager Vernon Oakley. "Assessments are valued using market data
like real estate sales, building permits and information provided
by property owners.”

“We continue our dialogue with property owners throughout the
year, especially when we release the formal assessment notices in
January, and the proposed assessment notices approximately mid-
year,” he continues.

Approximately 95,000 proposed assessment notices will be mailed
across the province today. The mailing goes only to owners whose
property assessment increase by three or more per cent over last
year.

“For the 2002 preliminary assessment, we analysed sales that gave
us the information needed to determine market value in this
area,” said Mr. Oakley.

The other biggest increase for residential property is in the
Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), where assessments are up
$486 million or 3.5 per cent. Commercial assessments for all
areas experienced little change with the exception of a 2.8 per
cent increase in HRM and a 1.3 per cent decrease in the Cape
Breton Regional Municipality.

The department started issuing proposed assessments in 1996 to
give property owners several months in which to ask questions.
Official notices go out in January.

"We encourage people to contact us to talk about their property
values," explained Mr. Oakley. "Since we introduced proposed
assessments five years ago, appeals of the year-end        
assessments have continuously decreased, even though property
values have been increasing for many areas."

Internationally accepted standards and principles are applied by
professional staff who carefully calculate property market values
every year. Annual assessments, coupled with proposed notices
like those issued today, deliver an assessment roll to
municipalities that is a fair and accurate reflection of market
values.

Assessment rolls are used by municipalities to determine property
taxes. Each municipality sets its own rate.

"This year''s proposed assessments reflect Jan. 1, 2000 market
data, including an analysis of all sales, building permits and
other information," said Mr. Oakley. "It''s important to note that
the real estate market differs from community to community across
the province and this data allows us to reflect those
differences."

Property owners are encouraged to call the department’s toll-free
information line regardless of whether they receive a proposed
assessment (1-800-667-5727 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday
to Friday) or contact their local assessment office to meet with
an assessor.

“The main question you should ask yourself when you receive an
assessment notice is, ‘Does this assessment reflect approximately
what my house could have sold for in January of 2000?’” explained
Mr. Oakley.

This year, market trend information is available on the
department’s Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr.


FOR BROADCAST USE

Nova Scotia’s real estate market is strong and growing.

     Proposed figures to be used in provincial assessments next

year show residential and commercial property values increased by

close to one billion dollars, or an average of two per cent, over

this year’s figures.


     Combined residential and commerical assessments for the

Southern Region are up just over three per cent.

     The largest increases in residential property values are in

Halifax Regional Municipality and the Southern Region.

     Service Nova Scotia assessment officials attribute the

growth to Nova Scotia’s strong economy.

     About 95-thousand Nova Scotians whose property increased by

three per cent or more will receive proposed notices.

     A toll-free number is available for anyone wanting

additional information -- 1-800-667-5727.

-30 -

Contact: Robyn McIsaac
         Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
         902-424-6336
         E-mail: mcisaarc@gov.ns.ca

Note to Editors:

A chart displaying the decline in assessment appeals and the
overall increase in assessed property values will be available
after 4 p.m. today at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/asmt/ .


kjd         June 14, 2001      3:15 P.M.