Metro property values surge dramatically
Richmond leads with an increase of more than 17 per cent, while Whistler slipped two per cent
BY SCOTT SIMPSON AND BRIAN MORTON, VANCOUVER SUN JANUARY 4, 2011
Residential property values in Vancouver and its closest neighbouring municipalities increased substantially over the past year.
But in some other areas, including Whistler and the Okanagan, this year's assessment figures told a different story, with values either holding steady or even decreasing.
Richmond showed the highest increases, with average values jumping 17.14 per cent, according to estimates posted on the B.C. Assessment Authority website.
Residential market values increased 13.03 per cent in West Vancouver, 12.17 per cent in Vancouver, 12.07 per cent in Burnaby, 9.22 per cent in Delta, 9.12 per cent in Coquitlam, 9.11 per cent in New Westminster, 8.84 per cent in North Vancouver District, 7.58 per cent in Surrey, and 6.55 per cent in Langley township.
Even the Winter Olympics, however, couldn't stop residential values in Whistler from sliding an estimated 2.06 per cent.
A rise in a property's assessment does not always mean municipal taxes will increase. What typically makes the difference is if an assessment rises or falls beyond the average.
The Canada Line rapid transit route between Richmond and downtown Vancouver and Richmond's continuing popularity with buyers from Asia were factors in that community's substantial increase, suggested Re/ Max Westcoast realtor Anne Marie Kirkpatrick, a lifelong Richmond resident.
"That has made some difference -- the transportation," Kirkpatrick said in a phone interview.
"It seems that there is a lot of mainland China buyers and a lot of immigration from Asia, and Richmond seems to be one of their favourite spots. Other than that, it's great place to live. It's close to Vancouver, and the airport is here."
Kirkpatrick said she noticed a jump in demand for property that coincided with the opening of the Canada Line, known during construction as the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver (RAV) line.
Lower-priced "investment"-type condos in the Lansdowne mall area "were normally lower than similar condos more over in the Brighouse-Richmond Centre area. As soon as that line came in they increased [in price] instantly and it became the hot area.
"I had people say, 'Oh, that's where I want to be, I want to use the RAV line.'"
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