What is your neighbour’s house worth?

Finding out is easier (and cheaper) than you might think.

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Online only.

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Ever wondered if your neighbour’s house is worth more than yours? Curious about what the house across the street fetched when it last went up for sale? Wonder no more.

You might be surprised to hear that you likely have easy access to not just the last sale price and assessment value for your house, but for any other house you’re curious about. You can even look up how many bedrooms and bathrooms your boss has. How much information is available varies depending on the jurisdiction, but in general, residents of large metropolitan areas — and residents anywhere in Ontario — have access to municipal databases that reveal a wealth of historic sale prices and current assessment values. (You can find a full list of municipal property database websites at the bottom of this article.)

Usually the searches are free, but some jurisdictions charge a fee (around $15) to access the service. You simply log on using your roll number and your password — information found on your municipal property assessment notice.

In Toronto, for example, homeowners can go to the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) website and scroll over an interactive map, which provides information on 200 nearby properties. You can get more detailed information on up to 24 of them, such as the current assessed value, the last sale price, the year the home was built, square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

The information is provided to ensure transparency in the property assessment process. “It gives homeowners tools to gauge their assessment and determine the accuracy of their home’s value,” says MPAC’s Carmelo Lipsi. So if after checking out your neighbours, you think your home has been over-assessed, you may decide to request an appeal. Who knows? A little curiosity could pay off with a much lower tax bill.

 

Municipal Property Database Websites by Province

Province / Territory

Note

Alberta

  1. Edmonton
  2. Calgary
  3. Red Deer
  4. Fort McMurray

Lethbridge residents are required to fill out a form for property information requests.

B.C.

The ability to search for sold properties is only available from January 1 to March 15, each year. Properties will be listed if sold between January 1 and October 31 of the previous year.

Manitoba

  1. Winnipeg database
  2. Winnipeg property sales
  3. Rest of Manitoba

 

New Brunswick

 

Nfld. & Labrador

 

Nova Scotia

 

Nunavut

Not available.

N.W.T.

Not available.

Ontario

 

P.E.I.

 

Quebec

Only available in French.

Saskatchewan

  1. High-speed Internet
  2. Dial-up Internet

High-speed connection gives users the option to search for properties using both an interactive map and the text search feature.

Yukon

 

68 comments on “What is your neighbour’s house worth?

  1. Looks like a great tool, but it also looks like you have to be a home-owner to access it (at least the Ontario version). (Potential first-time buyers looking to research "comparables" wouldn't have an MPAC code, and thus wouldn't have access to the system.)

    Reply

    • Yes, you generally need to have a property tax roll number, so you need to own a property.

      Reply

      • Hi Joe,

        Sarah is right. For almost all the sites you will need to be a property owner (with a "roll" number) to access detailed information.

        That said, many of the sites will offer basic information if you just type in the address. Unfortunately, Ontario is not one of them. Instead, first-time homebuyers in Ontario have to rely on comparables from real estate professionals. Realtors should be able to give any homebuyer data on houses that have sold in the area, as well as the state of the housing market in that particular geographic area.

        Hope that helps.

        Reply

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