Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson's waterfront property in Vancouver valued at – take a deep breath – $78.8-million has topped the list of the most expensive residential properties in British Columbia for the fifth consecutive time.
The former chief executive officer of the yoga-wear retailer saw a one-year rise of $3,016,000 in his estate's assessed value, or a 4-per-cent increase, according to data released on Tuesday by BC Assessment for the period from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017.
On July 1, 2017, the assessment on Mr. Wilson's 15,694-square-foot house rang in at $26.1-million while the land value registered $52.7-million.
By Vancouver standards, it marked a notable slowdown in price growth. His total property value of $75.8-million in mid-2016 had jumped 18.7 per cent from $63.9-million in mid-2015.
Mr. Wilson's two-storey mansion along scenic Point Grey Road in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood is worth significantly more than when it was assessed on July 1, 2013, at $54.2-million.
Tuesday's statistics showed mixed results for Greater Vancouver detached properties, which ranged from slipping 5 per cent in value to climbing 25 per cent, said BC Assessment. For the Vancouver region as a whole, the latest assessments for detached houses showed the market cooling off compared with the previous one-year period's soaring values of roughly 15 per cent to 50 per cent.
While most of the detached market slowed, assessed values for condos and townhouses rose 5 per cent to 35 per cent, depending on the neighbourhood, in Greater Vancouver. For all types of residential housing, the average value went up 5.6 per cent in the region.
BC Assessment is the provincial Crown corporation that estimates values annually on behalf of B.C. municipalities, which use the data to help determine how much homeowners will pay in property taxes.
Analysts are watching Vancouver closely for clues on what to expect in 2018, noting that governments and regulators are continuing to seek ways to cool down prices, notably in the Vancouver and Toronto regions. "When looking at the Canadian housing and mortgage market, we think looking at the Vancouver market can be important when thinking about what may happen in the future in other parts of Canada," RBC Dominion Securities Inc. analysts Geoffrey Kwan and Scott Robertson said in a research note in December.
Housing prices slumped for several months after the B.C. government introduced a foreign-buyers tax in the Vancouver region in August, 2016, but began rebounding in early 2017.
The price of detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver in November averaged $1,733,899, up 7.5 per cent from $1,612,469 in the same month in 2016, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. But industry observers point out that price changes vary widely, depending on the neighbourhood.
Price gains for detached properties sold in Greater Vancouver have been relatively modest since BC Assessment compiled its data, while it has been a robust market for condos and townhouses, with prices for multifamily units reaching record highs recently.
In the City of Victoria, assessed values climbed 16.3 per cent on average from mid-2016 to mid-2017 for all types of housing, while they rose 11.4 per cent in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey.
Residential values in rural British Columbia, however, have decreased in several resource-based communities. They tumbled 17.9 per cent in Kitimat in the northwest, where proposals remain stalled for building terminals to export liquefied natural gas.
Assessed values increased 4.7 per cent in Prince Rupert, though the assessment date of July 1, 2017, was shortly before Pacific NorthWest LNG announced the cancellation of its nearby proposal on Lelu Island.
Values declined 9.3 per cent in Fort St. John in the northeast, where natural gas drilling has decreased.
On the luxury end, earning a spot on the list of British Columbia's 500 most expensive properties is getting harder. The lowest-valued home on the latest list is $12,635,000, up 3.7 per cent from $12,184,000 on July 1, 2016.
Mr. Wilson, who owns his top-valued property through 3085 Point Grey Road Holdings Ltd., has numerous neighbours within five kilometres on the top-tier list. The runner-up on the new provincial list is a property at 4707 Belmont Ave. in Vancouver. That home, owned by Pisonii (PTC) Ltd., increased 3.8 per cent in value to $71.8-million.