2019 property assessments will reflect BC's shifting housing markets

UBC economist says there's no risk in appealing a property assessment if you believe its inaccurate

But Surrey, Delta, Langley, Port Moody and Coquitlam saw increases of four to five per cent on an average.

Nationally, experts have said higher interest rates and a new mortgage stress test have also had an impact on property prices across the country.

The number of home listings in Metro Vancouver also fell by 1.9% compared to the previous year - from 54,655 listings in 2017 to 53,614 listings in 2018 - and 6.9% decrease compared to the 57,596 listings in 2016. Whistler saw the highest overall condo increases, with its total value up a whopping 23 per cent (more municipal breakdowns here).

December's sales of 1,072 homes were 46.8 per cent below the year-earlier total, and 33.3 less than November's.

"There are some exceptions to this such as Kitimat where owners will see increases of 20 per cent or greater". That's down 31.6 per cent from almost 36,000 in 2017 and 25 per cent below the region's 10-year average.

Crown property assessor B.C. Assessment recently released its property assessments for the Greater Vancouver area.

In the city of Courtenay, a single-family residential property was listed at $385,000 in 2018 as compared to $450,000 this year, a 17 per cent increase.

With buyers gaining control, home prices slid a little further downwards in December.

The group's benchmark price for all types of homes, which is adjusted for variations in properties, fell 2.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,032,400.

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"As the total supply of homes for sale began to accumulate in the spring, we began to see downward pressure on prices across all home types throughout the latter half of the year", said Moore.

Looking at our most immediate neighbours, Quesnel's average value went up eight per cent and Wells went up 11 per cent, to the south; Vanderhoof went up three per cent and Fraser Lake up 17, to the west; McBride dropped by one percent but Valemount jumped 18 per cent, looking east; while Mackenzie and Chetwynd both held even, to the north. "It's a snapshot of July, but the existing market suggests housing prices have flatlined", said Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilder's Association. Townhomes have increased 1.3 per cent since December 2017, but have decreased 5.3 per cent in the last six months.

The benchmark price of a townhouse rose 1.3 per cent year-over-year to $809,700, while the benchmark price of a condominium gained 0.6 per cent to $664,100.

Some 535 condo units traded hands across the region in December, which is a 34 per cent decrease compared to the 1,028 sales in December 2017 and 34 per cent lower than November 2018.

"In order to build homes on [speculation] you have to have affordable land", Edge said.

The top six highest-valued properties in the province saw exactly the same ranking as past year, and there was just one newcomer in the top 10 (3489 Osler St., Vancouver, ranked ninth).

Edge agreed, though he was quick to suggest home prices could see a drop in the near term.

The priciest properties on the North Shore have dropped the most in assessed value.

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