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'Signs of a softening market': Property values decline in Metro Vancouver

Last Updated Jan 3, 2020 at 4:23 am PDT


Property assessments for single-detached homes expected to decline across Metro Vancouver

Overall values are down across the province according to BC Assessment

University Endowment Lands and West Vancouver to see biggest drops at 16 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Lower Mainland homeowners may want to brace themselves for more than just Christmas bills, as property assessments make their way to mailboxes.

A drop of 10 per cent or more will be the norm for most homeowners, especially those with detached homes, throughout the region, according to BC Assessment.

“Overall values are down across the province,” Tina Ireland with BC Assessment said. “Individual markets are still seeing increases and some areas are stronger than others, but in the Lower Mainland particularly, that’s where we’re seeing the cleanest signs of a softening market.”

The biggest drop in assessed values are on the University Endowment Lands and West Vancouver, where detached homes will generally see drops in the range of 16 per cent. Richmond homes could drop by as much as 14 per cent, while Vancouver, North Vancouver, Coquitlam and Port Moody could all see 11 per cent decreases.

Surrey saw more modest declines of just three per cent for detached properties.

“What’s really important to property owners is how their assessment changes compared to others in their community,” Ireland said.

Condominium and strata values will also drop by between four and 10 per cent across the region.

At the same time, the values in the resort community of Whistler and nearby Pemberton rose five per cent, while Vancouver Island saw modest reductions and some notable gains.

The values of single-family properties in Terrace and Kitimat in northern B.C., where the massive LNG Canada project is being built, rose 20 and 41 per cent respectively.

B.C.’s priciest home, owned by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, is valued at $73.1 million, down $5 million from last year.

The assessments are based on the market value as of July 1, 2019.

The Lower Mainland region’s total assessments have gone down from about $1.48 trillion in 2019 to about $1.41 trillion this year, according to BC Assessment. A total of $18.6 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and rezoning of properties.

B.C.’s NDP government brought in measures to cool overheated markets, including a speculation tax on vacant homes, and Housing Minister Selina Robinson says she’s encouraged by the assessment figures.

Meantime, one Vancouver councillor says it’s too soon to say if today’s assessment numbers will help or hurt renters.

Melissa de Genova says she plans to ask city staff to look into whether affordability for renters will be impacted.

-With files from Hana Mae Nassar and The Canadian Press