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BC Assessment data

Dataset name BC Assessment Data Advice and Inventory Extracts
Permanent URL
Data access rules Restricted to researchers currently affiliated with SFU, UBC, UNBC, and UVic


BC Assessment data in Abacus is currently restricted to SFU, UBC, UNBC, and UVic users, but other institutions may have access to the data in other forms. Contact your university library for more information.

Tips for working with BC Assessment data

Joining tables

Most users will need to join tables to access the data that interests them. Beginning in 2022 the Data Advice product comes as six CSV tables which can be joined to each other on the FOLIO_ID field. Data from the Residential Inventory Extract and Non-residential Inventory Extract (formerly Commercial Inventory) do not have folio IDs but can be joined to Data Advice tables using ROLL_NUMBER and JURISDICTION fields.


Roll numbers are unique within a jurisdiction but may be repeated across jurisdictions. When joining on roll number also join on jurisdiction to avoid unintended results.


Some folios have more than one address, which can result in unexpected duplication when joining tables. Use the true/false PRIMARY_FLAG field in the address table if you need only one address: for any folio there will be only one address where PRIMARY_FLAG = T.

Sales data

The bca_folio_sales table contains data about the three most recent sales for each property, regardless of when they occurred. The CSV file for a given year includes most sales for that year but it does not necessarily provide a complete picture for previous periods. Each sale is assigned a CONVEYANCE_TYPE, a code that identifies the type of sale. The Data Advice user guide does not include information about conveyance types but the list below was provided by a BC Assessment employee via email (June 2022).

  • Conveyance Type 4. Applied when more than one property is sold at the same time, multiple properties together.
  • Conveyance Type 5. Applied when the sale transaction does not meet the analysis criteria. To ensure valid and comparable, only sales in a competitive market without undue influence are included. Reasons for a sale to be excluded include related parties, partial ownership, estate sales, or multiple properties sold together.
  • Conveyance Type 7. Applied when a property sold has an improvement (building) on it.
  • Conveyance Type 8. Applied when a property sold is vacant (no improvements).


When analyzing sales data exclude transactions where CONVEYANCE_TYPE is 5

Assessed property values

The bca_folio_gnrl_prop_values table contains assessed values for each folio, split into land value and improvement value. In the COMP and REVD files released in a given year, these represent the assessed value of the property and improvements on July 1 of the previous year.

Some folios have more than one entry in the values table (each with a different GEN_PROPERTY_CLASS_CODE, for example). Consult the documentation and ensure your analysis accounts for multiple entries.

Historical BC Assessment data, 2016-2022

Data Advice files from 2016 to 2022 were distributed by BC Assessment in XML format only. To make the large XML files more accessible to researchers, UBC Library converted each to a series of CSV files and a SQLite database that includes the corresponding inventory extracts. Both the original files and the transformed versions are available in Abacus at

The SQLite database is recommended for most users. For those interested in the file conversion, the process to create the SQLite database from the original XML and TXT files is outlined in these files:

Using the SQLite databases

The open source DB Browser for SQLite is a good cross-platform tool for exploring and querying the SQLite version of the BC Assessment data:

The database consists of 12 tables. Table and field names correspond to the XML elements and CSV fields described in the BC Assessment user guides available from


All fields in the BC Assessment SQLite databases use the "text" data type by default.

With the SQLite browser it's easy to filter tables and export to CSV, but SQL queries are the most efficient way to extract a subset of the data that fits your parameters. If you are new to SQL the W3Schools SQL Tutorial is a good place to learn the basics.

abacusBCA package

The abacusBCA R package created by Jens von Bergmann facilitates data access and basic processing of BC Assessment data hosted on Abacus for research purposes. It has the ability to conveniently download the data and open a local sqlite connection. Users will have to specify their own abacus API token as environment variable to use this.

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