Assessed Value of Dartmouth Condos at King’s Wharf in Flux

—July 26, 2017
The assessed value of unsold condominium units in The Anchorage building of Dartmouth’s King’s Wharf development remains in flux, as the crown corporation in charge of assessing properties for tax purposes has appealed a utility board ruling that dropped assessed values by up to 25 percent.  At issue is the assessed value of 46 unsold condo units for 2015, and the assessed value of 26 unsold units remaining in 2016.

Developer Francis Fares had appealed the original assessments made by Property Valuations Services, Corp., arguing that the crown corporation based the assessments in part on valuations given to units King’s Wharf first building, The Keelson. Fares successfully argued that the assessed value of Keelson units were priced in at an exceptionally high rate because the units entered the market at the 2012 peak for condo sales in the greater Halifax-Dartmouth area. Thus, it would be unfair to apply those valuations to condos in The Anchorage.

Furthermore, other high end condos in King’s Wharf and surrounding area had entered the marketplace since the valuation of The Keelson, increasing the supply and serving to lower Dartmouth high-end condo prices. In fact, the price decline was so great that those remaining Anchorage condo units were withdrawn from the market and operated as rental units for more than a year.   

The developer’s argument also pointed out that Property Valuations Services had compared unsold Anchorage units to sold units, which neglected to factor in that the previously sold units came with much higher-end finishing touches, such as balconies and air conditioning. 

In agreeing with Fares’ arguments, a Nova Scotia Utility and Review tribunal board this spring cut 2015 assessed values of 46 unsold units by a combined 27 percent, and the combined assessed 2016 value of the remaining unsold units by 24 percent. Overall, many of the units saw their assessed values drop by as much as $100,000.

In what is considered a rare move, the Property Valuations Services Corp. this week filed appeal with the full Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board, seeking re-instatement of its original assessment for each unsold Anchorage units. According to the assessors, the market value of each condo unit is greater than the assessed value.

While Condo Nova realizes that property valuations are supposed to be based on market valuations, such valuation are under constant change. In fact, should Property Valuations Services be successful in its appeal, the market value of Anchorage units will undoubtedly fall. Of course, assessed values will take years to accurately reflect drops in market valuations.