Property values inch down for second year

John Gleeson/Staff Writer / Staff writer
January 10, 2014 01:00 AM

Total assessed property value on the Sunshine Coast has dropped by about one per cent from last year, according to BC Assessment figures released on Jan. 2.

Total assessed property value on the Sunshine Coast has dropped by about one per cent from last year, according to BC Assessment figures released on Jan. 2.

The 2014 assessment roll for the Coast fell by $95 million to $8.96 billion - down from $9.06 billion in 2013 and $9.26 billion in 2012.

The figure includes the total value of subdivisions, rezoning and new construction (non-market change) that rose to $115 million from $93 million last year.

On average, residential assessment dropped by three per cent in Sechelt and 1.35 per cent in Gibsons, while commercial property values rose by 1.91 per cent in Gibsons and 1.15 per cent in Sechelt.

Examples provided by BC Assessment that reflect market trends show the value of a non-waterfront, single-family dwelling in Gibsons rose by $5,000 to $396,000, while a waterfront home fell by $6,000 to $711,000.

In the Sechelt examples, the assessment for a non-waterfront home fell by $27,000 - more than eight per cent -to $301,000, while a waterfront home rose by $6,000 to $663,300.

Deputy assessor Grant McDonald noted the relatively large price drop for the non-waterfront example in Sechelt does not reflect an average price in that category.

"These are reasonably typical properties in that particular market," McDonald said.

In general for the Vancouver Sea to Sky region, he said, assessments have been stable, varying between minus five per cent and plus five per cent. One exception was Lions Bay, where residential assessment fell by 12.17 per cent.

Last year's overall property assessment for the Coast fell by 2.2 per cent from 2012, the second biggest drop in the Vancouver Sea to Sky region after Whistler.

Despite the two consecutive drops in assessment, real estate sales on the Coast "have held up pretty well," McDonald said.

One Sunshine Coast property made BC Ass-essment's list of the 500 highest valued properties in the province. Valued at $12.6 million, 230 Pasley Island West Shoreline in West Howe Sound ranked number 104 on the list.

Meanwhile, year-end statistics for the Sunshine Coast compiled by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver showed an overall 2.8 per cent drop in median price (from $360,000 to $350,000) and a four per cent drop in unit sales (from 626 to 601).

For the local real estate market, the slightly lower sales volume and median price "represent more of the same," said Gary Little, a realtor with Royal Lepage Sunshine Coast who posts the local data at

"What it means is less activity, which is bad for sellers, but it's not so different that it makes a huge difference," Little said.

The 2014 assessment figures were based on a valuation date of July 1, 2013 -which makes them "a bit out of date, because the last six months were a lot stronger than the first six months," Little added. "December was a really strong month."

Little said he was hopeful the upturn in sales that came later in the year will continue into 2014.

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