Metro Vancouver homeowners face home assessment ‘sticker shock’ as real estate market poised to cool further

Click to play video: 'Real estate predictions for 2017'
Real estate predictions for 2017
WATCH: Thousands of homeowners across Metro Vancouver are receiving their assessments and discovering the value of their property has skyrocketed. Some experts have been predicting a "correction" for years and now, it’s looking like 2017 will be the year it happens. Ted Chernecki reports – Jan 2, 2017

Sticker shock of a different kind is setting in across Metro Vancouver as many homeowners check their B.C. Assessment property valuations and discover the assessed value of their home has skyrocketed.

The assessments comes at a time when a long-predicted housing correction may actually become a reality.

Prices for single-family homes in Metro Vancouver have not moved up overall since May/June and are probably down on average 15 per cent. Other forecasts suggest 2017 could see another double-digit price drop across North America, although one can never be sure when it comes to Vancouver.

“There’s nothing typical about Vancouver’s real estate market. I think we’ve witnessed that and I think we’ve come to a realization that it doesn’t perform alongside other markets,” Royal LePage Realtor Adil Dinani said.

READ MORE: Full coverage on the real estate market in B.C.

B.C.’s assessments are now available online and, as we were warned, the assessed value of many properties are up 30 to 50 per cent. But the recently-released assessment numbers aim to indicate property values as of July 1, 2016, weeks before Premier Christy Clark announced a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax which appears to have had a cooling effect on the real estate market.

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“Now you have the investors and speculators on the sidelines because the market direction is uncertain so they’ve decided to wait and see what happens. So now it’s largely an end-user market which is why properties are not trading hands as quickly,” Dinani said.

But if the Canadian dollar falls – some economists say it could go as low as 65 cents U.S. – foreign buyers may start pouring back in.

But Dinani said a “bottoming out” phase is likely on the way.

“Personally I don’t see a V-shaped recovery where prices will resume,” Dinani said. “I think we’re going to see a bottoming out phase and then it will really be determined on supply levels and inventory and, as we know, supply and demand will dictate the direction of the market.”

– With files from Ted Chernecki

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