Assessments in West Van falling fastest in Lower Mainland

Property assessments drop for second straight year across North Shore

The higher they rise, the further they fall.

Average assessments on the North Shore are down again this year, according to BC Assessment, reflecting patterns seen across the Lower Mainland.

Average assessments for both single-family homes and condos fell up to 15 per cent in Greater Vancouver between July 2018 and July 2019.

But assessments in West Vancouver – one of the most expensive real estate markets – fell further than almost all other areas in the Lower Mainland, sinking an average of 16 per cent over the past year.

That means a house worth about $2.8 million on July 1, 2018 was worth about $2.36 million on July 1, 2019, according to BC Assessment.

That’s on top of a 12 per cent average drop in assessment the previous year.

The only area with a similar decline was the University Endowment Lands, where similarly stratospherically valued properties also fell 16 per cent – from $5.9 million to $4.9 million in the past year.

“We are definitely seeing a reduction [in value] in the higher-end properties,” said deputy assessor Brian Smith.

Some West Vancouver neighbourhoods saw much bigger dips in value – of closer to 20 per cent.

West Vancouver Realtor Brent Eilers of Remax Masters Realty said it’s not hard to grasp why West Vancouver assessments have declined so sharply.

“Those price ranges have a lot further to fall,” he said.

Many people buying homes in areas like West Vancouver are “money savvy” said Eilers and will wait until prices fall to make their move. “They understand the market is slipping.”

Assessment declines in other areas of the North Shore were less extreme, with the value of single-family homes falling 11 per cent on average in the City of North Vancouver – so a house worth $1.5 million is now worth $1.35 million. In the District of North Vancouver, single-family residential properties fell an average of nine per cent in value, so a house that was worth $1.6 million is now worth $1.48 million.

The drop in house values in other areas of the Lower Mainland hovered at around 10 and 11 per cent.

Condo values also fell this year – just not as much as the value of single-family homes. But again, assessed values of West Vancouver condos were down the most – about 10 per cent on average. That means an apartment in West Vancouver worth $1.3 million last year is worth about $1.2 million this year. Condos in North Vancouver are also down in value – about nine per cent in the District of North Vancouver, so a condo that was worth $758,000 is now worth $693,000, and about seven per cent in the City of North Vancouver – while a typical condo went from $707,000 to $656,000 in value.

Assessments reflect values as of July 1, 2019.

Those who want information before receiving their notice can log on to BC Assessment’s website at bcassessment.ca to compare assessments for properties anywhere in B.C., as well as check a property’s value going back 10 years in value and monitor neighbourhood sales.

Eilers said it’s worth checking to see if your home is accurately assessed compared to similar properties.

“The main issue is are you paying the fair amount of taxes you should be relative to your neighbour,” he said.

Homeowners who disagree with their assessment have until Jan. 31 to file an appeal.

© North Shore News

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