Property Assessments: No Big Surprises in 2013

Real Estate Weekly
January 4, 2013


The envelope please...

It's the new year and that means homeowners get to see their new assessment. The valuation you'll receive by mail from BC Assessment actually reflects what your home was worth last yearJuly 1 of last year, to be exact.

Unlike last year, when property assessments in some parts of Metro Vancouver jumped by 10 to 30 per cent, the real estate market was much more subdued in 2012, and assessments are reflecting that relative calm.

"I think the majority of people when they open their assessment notice this week, they're going to look at it and go 'Hmm, I'm within five per cent of where I was last year,'" said Grant McDonald, deputy assessor for the Vancouver Sea to Sky region. He added that values can vary greatly, but the Vancouver region saw an overall two per cent increase in the value of residential homes.

As happened last year, though, real estate values dropped in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, with "significantly" lower assessments in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast also saw declines.

Across the rest of the Lower Mainland, assessment changes will be modest.

In the North Fraser region, Zina Weston, Deputy Assessor says, "Most single family home owners will see modest changes in the -5% to +10% range. Most strata residential properties have changed in the range of -10% to +10%." "We have seen some increases such as Maillardville and Burquitlam in Coquitlam, along Clarke Road and St. Johns Street in Port Moody, Capitol Hill area in Burnaby, the Queens Park area in New Westminster, the development lands in Burke Mountain, and the Agricultural Reserve Lands in Port Coquitlam," added Weston.

In RichmondDelta, "Home owners in Delta can expect moderate changes in the range of -5% to +10% for both single family dwellings and multi-family strata buildings. In Richmond, the changes are similar in the -10% to +5% range for single family dwellings while multi-family strata properties are in the -5% to 0% range," according to Craig Barnsley, Deputy Assessor for the South Fraser Region.

In Surrey and White Rock, Deputy Assessor Chris Danchuk says, "Most home owners will see modest changes in their assessments in the range of - 5% to + 10% for single family dwellings. Residential strata buildings will see assessments moving from -10% to +10%. In White Rock both single family and strata property valuations will see changes in the -10% to +5% range."

And John Green, Deputy Assessor of the Fraser Valley region, covering Langley to Hope, says "Most home owners throughout the Fraser Valley will see minimal changes in the value of their properties."

Total Values of Residential Properties

Here's a quick look at the changes in total values of residential properties around the Lower Mainland. These figures represent the value of any new residential properties added to the local inventory, as well as changes in the value of existing properties.

  • North Shore, Squamish Valley, up 3.63 per cent
  • Vancouver, up 2.30 per cent
  • Burnaby, Tri-Cities, New Westminster, up 4.10 per cent
  • Richmond, Delta, up 0.53 per cent
  • Surrey, White Rock, up 5.14 per cent
  • Langley to Hope, up 0.84 per cent

Most Expensive Neighbourhoods

The most expensive neighbourhoods in each area were:

Vancouver Sea-to-Sky:

Vancouver's west side dominated the top-valued list for the area that includes the City of Vancouver, North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island and Sea-to-Sky corridor. If you combine Point Grey in Vancouver West with its seaside extension, Point Grey Road in Kitsilano, that's where you'll find 39 of the top 93 assessments... and they are jaw-dropping. A house on Belmont Drive is assessed at $39,269,000. Shaugnessey and the University Endowment Lands each had 13 entries on the list, and West Vancouver had 14. The top-valued property that wasn't on the west side of Vancouver came in at number 8 on the list: a $23,571,000 house on Radcliffe Drive in West Vancouver. Number 93 on the list was on the University Endowment Lands, assessed at a mere $12,897,000.

BurnabyTri-CitiesNew Westminster:

Burnaby's Buckingham Heights features huge, custom-built homes with great views. It had eight of the top ten highest-assessed properties in the region, and 55 of the top 100. All single-family houses, they ranged from $2,435,000 to $9,763,000

SurreyWhite Rock:

Fabulous views over Boundary Bay draw the wealthy to Ocean Park. In 2011 this area saw quick run-up in prices, and now $3$5-million-dollar homes are common. In fact, there are 65 single-family houses in that range in the top 100 list for the region. There are 74 Ocean Park properties altogether on the list, ranging from $3,552,000 to $9,854,000. The highest value for a single-family home was $9,534,000.

Langley to Hope:

South-West Langley is big homes on acreage, spread out along the US border. The homes look out on rolling meadows, and it feels like being out in the country. The equestrian area, High Point, features a lot of pricey new homes. This area had nine out of ten of the most expensive properties in the region from Langley to Hope, including number one, an acreage valued at $7,659,000. The highest-priced single-family residences in South-West Langley ranged from $1,466,000 to $2,503,000.

Visit the BC Assessment website for details, videos, and loads of statistics on property values around the province.

See also:

What's the Real Value of Your Home?

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market: December 2012

Fraser Valley Real Estate Market: December 2012

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