BC Assessment releases property assessments for Vancouver

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Home values are going up in northern B.C., and they are going up inside the City of Prince George.

"2017's 22,338 sales and the lowest total sales for the Fraser Valley since 2013.", read a release from the board.

But statistics released Wednesday by the Victoria Real Estate Board in its year-end review suggest the days of 20 per cent increases in value might be a thing of the past.

The total number of homes sold in Metro Vancouver a year ago fell to 24,619, marking the lowest total since 2000, according to data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

"Krantz said that the overall assessed value of northern B.C. property added up to about "$65.7 billion this year" which was a jump of more than $4 billion. The report says 1,072 homes sold last month, a 46.8 per cent decrease from the 2,016 sales in December 2017 and a 33.3 per cent decrease from November 2018, when 1,608 homes sold. In nearby Port Moody, the average assessed value jumped from $1.28 million to $1.34 million during the same period, representing a five per cent increase.

Commercial and industrial properties saw an increase of between 10 and 20 per cent across most of the province, with some markets around Metro Vancouver increasing up to 30 per cent.

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

The benchmark price (an industry representation of the typical home sold in an area) for detached houses sold last month on Vancouver's West Side decreased to $3,135,400, down 11.8 per cent from a year earlier.

The board says the benchmark price of a detached home fell 7.8 per cent from December 2017 to $1,479,000.

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A drop by up to 10 per cent on the estimated value of some homes in Metro Vancouver reflects a broad softening in a once hot market that is being affected by wider economic shifts, say two experts.

"We've had record building activity in recent years and many projects will complete soon", REBGV president Phil Moore said in a statement.

Eilers said new mortgage "stress tests" brought in by the federal government have had a huge impact on both first-time buyers and those already holding mortgages who want to move up in the housing market.

Condo prices started to fall mid-year, and are down 6.4 per cent since June, to an average of $664,100. The condo and townhouse segments had bucked the downward pressure until mid-2018, but have seen prices weaken over the past six months.

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

All of this could just be the beginning of a years-long moderation trend in Metro Vancouver's residential real estate market.

New Westminster is still a star performer in the condo market, with benchmark prices up 7.4 per cent year over year, followed by Tsawwassen (+6.5 per cent) and Ladner (+5.8 per cent).

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

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