Housing
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Some observations from every B.C. resident’s favourite annual piece of mail

The 2018 B.C. property assessments made headlines recently, mostly because residential estates in Vancouver fell after years of big gains. Observers attribute much of that change to new restrictions on real estate from the NDP government. But throughout the rest of the province, downturns in value weren’t really the story. And the devaluations didn’t extend to commercial or industrial properties: non-residential estates enjoyed another year of gains across the board. Overall, assessments across B.C. rose by 1.07 percent.

Here’s what else we learned from the province’s real estate breakdown. Keep in mind that the assessments reflect market value as of July 1, 2018.

  • The community with the highest uptick in single-family residential properties? The village of Sayward. According to the 2016 census, Sayward has a population of 311. It’s located on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, about an hour north of Campbell River. Sometimes statistics in a smaller community can be thrown off by an outlier or two, but the 44-percent increase seems to have affected the area somewhat equally.
  • Other small Vancouver Island communities like Tahsis (30 percent) and Cumberland (27 percent) saw massive surges in single-family assessments, too.
  • The lowest increase in single-family assessments on Vancouver Island came from Saanich, which was separated into two jurisdictions measuring 4 and 6 percent.
  • It’s not the same story in Greater Vancouver, where six regions saw a loss for single-family properties. Among them, Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver each took 4-percent hits, while West Vancouver saw a 12-percent decline.
  • However, all regions in Greater Vancouver saw a rise in the assessed value of strata residential properties, with the lowest gain coming from Vancouver (6 percent). Whistler saw the highest such rise, with 23 percent.
  • Other than single-family residences in Richmond and White Rock (both down 2 percent), Fraser Valley property owners mostly got good news. Strata holders in Abbotsford (a 28-percent gain), Langley (27 percent) and Chilliwack (23 percent) did particularly well for themselves.
  • The lowest percentage uptick for strata owners in the Fraser Valley came from Delta’s 7 percent. Not bad.
  • Northern B.C. mostly saw single-family residential gains between 8 and 11 percent, with a few exceptions, notably increases in Kitimat (31 percent), 100 Mile House (20 percent) and Kitimat (20 percent).
  • However, there was a 23-percent drop in single-family residential assessments in the northeast corner of the province. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, which includes Fort Nelson, saw values plummet. Maybe not the best place to have an investment property.

What were your takeaways?