Home values skyrocket in Vancouver area

Home values in the Vancouver region skyrocketed in the latest BC Assessment data, with the snapshot from mid-2016 capturing the housing market before it cooled off.

Assessments for single-family detached houses jumped 30 per cent to 50 per cent in value from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016. For example, a typical detached home on a lot with a width of 33 feet (10 metres) on Vancouver’s west side soared 41 per cent in value, BC Assessment said Tuesday.

The provincial Crown corporation estimates values on behalf of B.C. municipalities, which use the data to determine how much homeowners will pay in property taxes.

Condo and townhouse values in the Vancouver region rose 15 per cent to 30 per cent during the latest assessment year, said Jason Grant, the corporation’s acting vice-president of assessment.

He emphasizes that the valuation date is important because the housing market in the Vancouver area has slowed down since mid-2016. The amount that homeowners pay in property taxes will hinge on how their increase in value compares with the average in their taxing jurisdiction.

“Dramatic increases in property assessments do not translate into a corresponding increase in property taxes. It’s going to depend on how your property performed relative to the average change in your community,” Mr. Grant said in an interview.

The valuations reflect the state of the real estate sector weeks before the B.C. government implemented a 15-per-cent tax on foreign home buyers in Metro Vancouver on Aug. 2.

“We’re historically used to the assessment being lower than what the home’s market value is, and now you have this reversal,” said Vancouver real estate agent Steve Saretsky, who specializes in condos. He estimates typical condo prices downtown have slipped 5 per cent since June.

Sales volume peaked last March, while the average price for detached homes sold in the area called Greater Vancouver hit record highs that surpassed $1.8-million during the first quarter of 2016, according to real estate board data. The price for Greater Vancouver detached homes averaged $1.61-million in November, down 8.6 per cent from $1.76-million in July.

One group of owners facing higher property tax bills are those having homes with assessed values above $1.2-million. For assessments above $1.314-million, a provincial grant worth up to $570 will be eliminated.

Assessed values in the City of Vancouver have risen 30.6 per cent on average for all types of housing.

The price for detached homes sold within Vancouver’s city limits recently averaged more than $2.6-million.

Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson’s Vancouver waterfront mansion topped the list of the most expensive residential properties in British Columbia on July 1, 2016 – the fourth consecutive time that his home has been No. 1 in the province for an assessment year.

Mr. Wilson, who owns the property through 3085 Point Grey Road Holdings Ltd., saw his home’s assessed value jump to $75.8-million, up 18.7 per cent from $63.9-million on July 1, 2015, BC Assessment said.

A property at 4707 Belmont Ave. in Vancouver placed second on the provincial most-expensive residential list. That home, owned by Pisonii (PTC) Ltd., increased 21.3 per cent in value to $69.2-million.

In the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay, assessed values climbed 29.1 per cent on average for all types of housing.

Values in rural British Columbia, however, have decreased in several resource-based communities. They fell 4.2 per cent in Kitimat in the northwest, where proposals have stalled for constructing terminals to export liquefied natural gas. Values slipped 4.1 per cent in Fort St. John in the northeast, where natural gas drilling has diminished, while coal-dependent Sparwood in the southeast saw a 9.8-per-cent decline during the latest assessment year.

 Referenced at:

Brent Jang

Globe & Mail

Simon Fraser
Market Update

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