Headlines highlighting how the values of almost one million homes in the Lower Mainland have dropped in the past year will likely hand worrying news to those who just bought a place, a mixed message to longtime homeowners and good tidings to the many desperate to purchase a dwelling for the first time.
This second downward year in a row in Metro Vancouver prices — after more than two decades of fast-rising values — suggests new B.C. government taxes aimed at limiting foreign and domestic property speculation are having an impact, even while the Lower Mainland’s population continues to grow through in-migration.
The B.C. Assessment Authority will send out notices to Greater Vancouver households in the next few days informing them that the estimated values of their detached houses have dropped significantly, especially in high-end neighbourhoods like Vancouver’s Shaughnessy and West Vancouver’s British Properties.
The 2020 assessments, which reflect market values based on July 1 of last year, are down about 11 per cent overall in Vancouver, which means the average value of a detached house is now $1.7 million and a condo runs around $686,000.
Values have also dipped by about 11 per cent in Burnaby, Port Moody, the City of North Vancouver and Coquitlam, as well as by 14 per cent in Richmond and by 16 per cent across posh West Van, where the average price still hovers at a king-sized $2.4 million. This year, unlike last year, values also declined in many Fraser Valley cities, with Abbotsford dipping by four per cent.
Meanwhile, condo prices in each region generally depreciated by a few percentage points less than detached homes.