Province's priciest homes see millions wiped off assessed value

Chip Wilson’s home on Point Grey Road is the most valuable home in B.C. according to B.C. Assessment Authority figures.
Mark van Manen  

The board also reported on statistics for December alone, in which Metro Vancouver home sales plunged year-over-year by 46.8 per cent to 1,072 units.

"It's been a long time since we've had declining assessments", said Tsur Somerville, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.

BC Assessment released numbers on the market trends for single-family residential properties by geographic area.

"It's softening across the board actually", he added. MacLean-Talbot said, "Property owners can find a lot of information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions, but those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2018 or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact B.C. Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January".

Its assessments are based on the estimate of a property's market value on July 1 of each year and its physical condition on October 31.

The top six highest-valued properties in the province saw exactly the same ranking as past year, and there was just one newcomer in the top 10 (3489 Osler Street, Vancouver, ranked ninth). But Surrey, Delta, Langley, Port Moody and Coquitlam saw increases of four to five per cent on an average.

In Duncan, the average single-family rose from $310,000 to $349,000 this year, while in Nanaimo assessments increased from $434,000 to $490,000 for similar properties. The list is based on how much the home was worth as of July 1, 2018.

"Since the summer, we have definitely been flat, though there have been slight decreases in some areas and slight increases in others", he said. "Fine, you'll move over to condos", he said.

The agency forecasts condominium values will increase by up to 20 per cent across B.C. this year. However, it's 16.5 per cent lower than the active listings of November this year.

Tighter mortgage qualification rules, a variety of government measures and higher interest rates weighed on the market. However, some non-urban areas' detached markets remained relatively robust, primarily the Sunshine Coast (+5.8 per cent) and Bowen Island (+5 per cent). The price of detached homes was down 7.8 per cent.

It was the lowest volume of annual home sales the area saw since 2000, when Greater Vancouver's population was about 20 per cent smaller than it is today.

According to BC Assessment, that 8% translates to an increase of $780,000 to $842,050 for an average single-family residential property in the district.

"The good news is we're still building and we haven't seen these kinds of numbers since the 1970s", he said.

"So what is the downstream implications for businesses in terms of commercial and industrial properties going up?"

Changes to assessments can vary considerably though, said deputy assessor Keith MacLean-Talbot.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.