It is going to be an unfamiliar sight for many Metro Vancouver detached home owners when they open their B.C. Assessment letter in January, learning that home values have gone down. For the first time in recent memory, the real estate market is showing signs of moderation, according to the assessed value of people’s homes.
The latest B.C. assessment shows that home values in Vancouver, the North Shore, South Surrey, White Rock, South Delta and Richmond have, on average, gone down between five and 10 per cent.
“We have been having a number of years of increases on our assessed values,” said assessor Tina Ireland.
“I think the markets are showing a bit more signs of stability than what we have seen in the past, but no real surprises.”
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The rest of the province should expect increases of between five and 15 per cent for single family home assessed values. This includes homes on Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and the North. Parts of central and northern Vancouver Island are seeing value increases closer to 20 per cent.
Another area where values are not cooling is the strata market. The value of condos and apartments across the entire province is expected to go up, indicating that as people are being priced out of Metro’s detached home market, they’re looking for something less expensive.
Overall, condo and commercial real estate values will be up between 10 and 20 per cent.
“We have seen a healthy increase over the last number of years and assessed values are still showing an increase trending in line with previous years,” Ireland said.
One standout area looks to be Kitimat, where home values are increasing far more than expected because of activity within the resource sector.
Home values are based on assessments done on July 1. The rates are used by municipalities to determine property taxes.
The provincial government has made a concerted effort to target the values of homes by implementing measures ranging from an increased foreign buyers tax to the passing of legislation for a speculation tax.
“I personally was hoping for a soft landing in the real estate market, and hopefully that is what is happening,” said Attorney General David Eby. “When you look at what is happening in the real estate values of detached homes, it’s fairly predictable because of some of initiatives that have been taken at the federal level and our level.”