B.C.’s annual property assessments have been released, and they show condo values now firmly leading the growth in the Lower Mainland.
The figures, collected by B.C. Assessment, reflect home values as of July 2017. They also show detached home prices beginning to level off.
Notices are being mailed to about half a million home owners, and are also available online.
In Metro Vancouver, the agency says some detached homes actually declined in value this year.
The average change for urban parts of the region ranged from a drop of five per cent to a jump of 15 per cent, while rural areas saw a drop of five per cent to a jump of 25 per cent.
Compare that to strata units, where changes in value in urban areas of the Lower Mainland ranged from jumps of five to 35 per cent, while rural areas saw a growth of five to 25 per cent.
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That growth in condo values appears to be a symptom of would-be buyers priced out of the detached home market, according to B.C. Assessment assessor Tina Ireland.
“It very well could be because the single family market is getting unaffordable for some, but there’s definitely an increased demand in the strata market,” she said.
Farther away from the downtown core, Ireland said the detached housing market appears more robust.
“So move out to Coquitlam even, or greater into Surrey and Abbotsford, we see the single family market up 10 to 20 per cent.”
Many Lower Mainland detached home owners saw property value increases in the range of 30 to 50 per cent last year.
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B.C. Assessment does not provide an average of property values, but it does allow for a snapshot of the market by looking at individual properties, where changes at the luxury end of the market were particularly noticeable.
In West Vancouver’s tony Tower Hill Crescent, some 3,000 and 4,000 square-foot homes saw massive drops in land value.
Where last year one of the homes was assessed at $4.7 million, this year it’s $3.9 million. Another assessed at $4.3 million this year was at $5.15 million last year.
In Vancouver, a new 5,000 square foot home on West 20th near Granville — an area that has recently seen high year-over-year growth — saw a less substantial drop of about $200,000, down from last year’s $4.7 million assessment.
A sample East Side Vancouver lot provided by the agency saw just a one per cent growth from $1.338 million to $1.35 million.
By contrast, example strata units on both sides of the city saw growth in the $70,000 to $80,000 range.
One 2002 low-rise west side unit went from $827,000 to $906,000 while a 2003 high-rise unit in East Vancouver went from $486,000 to $557,000.
In the Victoria area, values are also settling down after a large increase last year, with an increase of about 12 per cent, down from about 24 per cent last year.
That’s welcome news to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps who says she hopes it will help keep people from moving to the suburbs.
“When you add in all of the costs including of housing and including of transportation people will start to see that living out of the core isn’t necessarily any less expensive when you add in the transportation costs.”
Helps says the region is still seeing an influx of people from the Lower Mainland.
Overall, real estate values in B.C. increased by 12 per cent compared to last year.
-With files from Liza Yuzda