Setting valuations

Under both the Rating Valuations Act 1998 and the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, the Council is required to value all properties for rating purposes.

A rating valuation (or capital valuation) reflects the property's market value on the date of the valuation. It does not include chattels (e.g. carpets, drapes, light fittings), stock, crops, machinery or trees.

Valuations are made up of :

  1. Land value – the probable price that would be paid for the bare land. It includes work such as drainage, excavations, and retaining walls.
  2. Improvement value – this is simply the difference between the overall Capital Value and the vacant Land Value.  It represents how much additional market value has been added by the improvements, but it does not indicate the actual cost or insurance value of the buildings or landscaping.

Our valuations are done for us by Quotable Value(external link), a specialist valuation firm which provides valuation services to most local councils across the country.

2016 rating valuations

Rates are currently based on actual market values as at 1 August 2016.  If you build a new house now, its rating valuation will still be based on 2016 market prices to ensure that the rates system is fair (ie. so you do not pay extra just because of house price inflation since 2016).

We must update our rating valuations every three years - the current 2016 values will be used for rates from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2020.

Importantly, Rating Valuations do not affect how much we collect in rates - they only affect how much of our total rates income is paid for by each property.  For example, a large investor owning (say) 2% of the whole District should pay around 2% of our total rates;  if market values change over time so that the same investor now owns (say) 3% of the whole District, they should now pay around 3% of our total rates and everyone else should pay a bit less.

The total amount of rates income we need is set each year through our Annual Planning process, and is not related to any changes in market valuations.

2016 rating valuation map

The map below shows how Rating Valuations changed between the old 2013 values and the current 2016 values.  Below the map are some frequently asked questions about how we calculated our 2016 rating values.

  • The map has separate layers for residential, business, lifestyle and rural properties - because value changes can differ by sector even for properties in the same area.
  • The changes shown are an average Capital Value change between our 2013 and 2016 rating valuations, for that area. Individual properties may differ from these averages.
  • While we do our best to ensure information is correct and regularly updated, errors in the data and its completeness may occur. If you find a problem email us on
Map Listing

General questions

My property has gone up 15 per cent in value, does this mean my rates will go up 15 per cent?

No. The new 2016 valuations change how Council’s total rates requirement is shared out between properties. If your property’s value increases by more than average then your rates bill will go up by more than average. If your property’s value increases by less than average your rates bill will go up by less than average. How much the Council needs in rates, and how much you will actually pay in rates, won’t be known until the Council sets its budget through the Annual Plan in June 2017.

If you don't look inside a house, how do you know what it is worth?

Rating Valuations are a fit for purpose method used to help councils set rates fairly. Your value is based on actual market sales prices for similar properties in your area at the time of the revaluation (1 August 2016). Councils store details on every property in New Zealand such area, floor area, age of building, condition and location. Properties with similar attributes are grouped together. QV then uses relevant sales to determine a value trend and apply it to the different groups of properties. Some properties are also inspected throughout the year to make sure details are updated where changes have occurred. QV is notified about changes as part of the building consent process.

What if someone has done renovations without the need for a building consent?
There is a lot of work that can be done to a property without a building consent, such as modernising a kitchen or bathroom, reroofing and landscaping etc. Generally, this type of work will increase the value. Owners should tell QV about the work to ensure it is captured in the new or updated rating valuation.

What information is used for commercial rating values?
Market estimates are used for commercial industrial valuations, not the actual lease details for a property. QV requires information from property owners to help establish rental levels and yields so it sends out questionnaires to properties that are known to have been leased or sold to help establish 'fair market value’. The more information QV receives, the better. Legislation requires owners to give QV this information. Any known damage to buildings is also considered when assessing the value of commercial property.

How can a house have a Rating Value if it was not built at the time of the valuation?
The new 2016 rating values will form the basis of the Council’s rates charges from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2020. All properties built or renovated after 1 August 2016 must be valued at whatever market price they would have sold for had they existed in their current form on 1 August 2016. This ensures that everyone’s rates are charged on the same basis, without anyone being charged more or less just because of subsequent property market movements.

The objections process

What should I do if I disagree with the Rating Value on my property?
As a property owner, you have the right to object to your 2016 Rating Value from now until the closing date of 31 January 2017. This is an integral part of the whole process, as objections allow valuers to assess individual factors that the mass-appraisal process did not consider. Objections can be made online at QV's website(external link) or by calling 0800 787 284 to discuss further or request an objection form. The closing date for objections is important as objections cannot be lodged outside of the objection period.

What is the process for objecting to my valuation?
The new 2016 rating valuations will be online from 29 November 2016 and publicly notified from 2 December 2016 and all owners will be sent a notice by mail. Owners have until 31 January 2017 to lodge an objection. Quotable Value, the independent contractor that carries out valuations on behalf of the Council, will assess your objection. For further information visit the QV's website link), or call 0800 787 284. If you disagree with QV’s assessment of your objection, you then have 20 working days from the date you receive the decision to lodge an application with the Land Valuation Tribunal. There is a $50 filing fee. If your application proceeds to a hearing, District Court fees may be payable.

More information is available on the Ministry of Justice's website.(external link)(external link)

If I object, will QV carry out an on-site inspection?
Every objection requires a recent on-site inspection. This may, or may not, be an interior inspection depending on what the objection issues are.

What happens if my valuation changes after my objection?
Where an objection sees a change to your capital value, your rates will be updated (and backdated if necessary), and the updated value will be applied to your rates from 1 July 2017.

Questions on reporting damage

Why did the way QV deals with unrepaired earthquake damage changed since the 2013 revaluation?

QV followed the standard rating revaluation legislation in Christchurch in 2016. This means unrepaired earthquake damage affects a property’s Rating Value. For the last revaluation in 2013, the Government passed a special Order in Council to value Christchurch properties as if earthquakes had not damaged them. This legislation only applied to the 2013 revaluation.

If a property was damaged, how did QV reflect it in the value?
Capital value is the likely sale price (excluding chattels) on 1 August 2016. If a property’s damage was enough to significantly reduce its sale value (compared with a similar undamaged property), then its valuation for rating purposes may be reduced. Sales of similar types of properties with similar building damage will be analysed to assess the value. Rating Valuations must be based on actual sales of similar properties, in the same way as undamaged properties are valued.

How does QV define damage?
The unrepaired damage QV asked property owners to tell them about was damage that was significant enough to have an impact on the sale price. Generally, there was no need to report minor damage or deferred maintenance. QV asked people to report damage they were unsure about then reviewed this information to decide if the extent of unrepaired damage was likely to affect the property’s market value.

How did QV find out about damage, did they rely entirely on self-reports?

Self-reports were an important part of the process. QV also identified damage through reports of “as is where is” sales of damaged properties, the Council's rates remission list and information the Council holds from the building consents process, for example when consents have been applied for to repair damage but then the work is not completed. Valuers also make visual observations during the spot site inspections that are part of the revaluation process. QV carried out a higher percentage of physical inspections by valuers in areas of the city that sustained higher levels of earthquake damage

What happened if people with unrepaired damage did (or didn't) report it? What might it mean for them?
Rating valuations are a fit for purpose valuation that is used as the basis of what the Council charges in rates. If you did report unrepaired earthquake damage then your new rating value (an estimate of its actual sales value on August 1, 2016) and your rates from July 2017 will be lower than a comparable undamaged property. If you do not report unrepaired earthquake damage and it was not picked up in other ways (see above) then your new rating valuation may be above your property’s actual market value, so your rates may be higher than they need to be from July 2017.

Could people report unrepaired land damage?
QV was only seeking reports of unrepaired earthquake damage to buildings.

I’ve reported my damage, why do I have to wait until July 2017 to pay less rates?
Rating valuations are updated every three years – we are currently paying rates based on values from 2013. The general revaluation process is a major project, with rules set by government legislation and audited by the Government’s auditor (Office of the Valuer General). QV will send formal revaluation notices to all owners in early December 2016. If you think the value is not right, you have the right to object and the objection period closes on 31 January 2017. QV will then review this and make any changes needed before the final values are applied to rates from 1 July 2017.

I've had unrepaired damage since the earthquakes, can I have a refund on my rates?
No. Legislation specifically required the Council’s 2013 rating valuations to exclude the impact of earthquake damage – damaged properties had to be valued as if they were undamaged. This was a practical decision at the time, as the lack of available information and the number of damaged buildings made it too difficult to undertake the 2013 general revaluation under normal valuation rules. The 2013 approach of effectively ignoring earthquake damage was considered a fairer approach than the alternative, which was continuing to base rates on old 2007 valuations (previous legislation delayed the scheduled 2010 general revaluation after the September 2010 earthquake). In 2013, there were very few “as is where is” sales – most damaged properties were selling with the insurance entitlement attached, for prices only slightly below comparable undamaged properties.

I've got unrepaired damage that I didn't report earlier but I'd like to report it to QV now, what do I do?
If you have unrepaired damage that is significant enough that it is likely to affect what your house would sell for – the market value of your home - that you have not yet reported, you can report it on QV's website during the objections period from 5 December 2016 (after you get your new RV) until 31 January 2017. Minor cosmetic damage (for example small cracks in paintwork from a recent quake) or deferred maintenance is not worth reporting. If in doubt, you can report it anyway and their valuers will make a decision.


Christchurch-specific questions


How were properties in the residential red zone valued in 2016's rates revaluation? 
Residential red zone properties were looked at individually, and the individual characteristics of each property were considered. As for all other properties, the objective is to estimate what each property would sell for in a normal market sale on 1 August 2016.

My property is affected by natural hazards, did this affect my RV? 
Any valuation takes a snapshot of the property market. All attributes for a property are taken into consideration, including issues such as flooding, mass land movement, liquefaction and coastal hazards. Where these issues impact on property prices in a particular area, the valuation reflects that impact.

My property has been identified as having increased flooding vulnerability (IFV) or increased liquefaction vulnerability. Did this affect my RV?
QV holds general hazard information for all areas of the city, including flood vulnerability, geo-technical risks, red zone and technical category “TC” classifications. Values are assessed based on sales in the locality and will reflect any known local issues such as flooding and liquefaction vulnerability. However, QV does not have access to site-specific EQC information.

My house has been demolished and I have not yet started to rebuild on my section. How will the revaluation affect my rates?
Rates will continue to be based on land value only until the house has been rebuilt. If the value of your land has changed between 2013 and 2016 your new rating valuation will reflect this.

My house has been demolished and rebuilt. Does this mean I can expect a big jump in valuation?
This is not necessarily the case. All rebuilt properties prior to this 2016 revaluation were valued at 2013 market prices as soon as possible after construction was completed. Rates charges are adjusted once this valuation has been done. The revaluation will reflect actual market sales for a comparable house in your area. The difference between your 2016 and 2013 rating valuations will reflect actual changes to the market value for similar properties in your area over the last three years.

Valuations and insurance

Rating values should not be used to calculate replacement value for insurance purposes. An estimate of replacement value usually  includes demolition and consent costs associated with rebuilding. Such costs are not included in a rating valuation.