New Year, New Property Assessments


January brings many things – resolutions, opportunities for new beginnings, and your residential property assessment notice.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the notice of assessment can be a valuable piece in your homeownership toolbox. The information contained in your assessment is very important for potential homebuyers and sellers as it can determine the affordability of your home.

Having trouble understanding your assessment and what it means for you? Your REALTOR® can help you understand it and its potential impact on buying or selling property.

 How properties are assessed

Approximately 630,000 assessments are conducted by the Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) in Nova Scotia each year. This year’s assessments reflect the market value of your home as of January 1, 2019.

Did you know? Factors that influence a home’s market value include location, building and lot size, living area, age of the property, major renovations or additions, whether properties have water frontage, and more. PVSC uses a variety of sources to gather information on these characteristics and assess homes, including sales data from the previous year, resources from the registry of deeds, maps, and more.

Legislation in Nova Scotia places a CAP on the amount that your residential property assessment can increase year over year. When a home is purchased, however, the CAP be lifted and the new owner’s property taxes will be based on the assessed value of the home, unless it is purchased by a family member.

Your property assessment

Your residential property assessment notice includes the assessed market value of your property, the Capped Assessment value, your property tax information, and a PIN number to access your online property account for more details.

If you disagree with your assessment, you can file an appeal within 31 days of the date on your assessment. Your appeal must present evidence regarding your property’s market value, which could include a recent property appraisal, sales information for your community, and photographs of your home.  

A great place to start, if you have concerns about your assessment notice, is PVSC. PVSC can answer questions about your assessment and the process to they used to determine your home’s value. Your REALTOR® is also an excellent resource for any information you may need to file an appeal, like sales information from the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS® MLS® System, the current value of your home, as well as how property assessments may impact the potential sale or purchase of your home. Understanding how properties are assessed in Nova Scotia is important no matter what stage of the homeownership process you are in and your REALTOR® can help.