The assessed value of Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson’s Vancouver mansion has fallen 7.3 per cent, part of the downward trend in the region’s market for detached houses.
The former chief executive of the yoga-wear retailer saw his property’s assessment decrease to $73.1-million for the valuation date of July 1, 2018, compared with $78.8-million on July 1, 2017.
The $5.7-million drop underscores the reversal of momentum in Canada’s most expensive housing market, which saw prices skyrocket from mid-2013 to mid-2016. Over the past six months, prices for detached homes have weakened further.
Mr. Wilson’s waterfront mansion, owned through 3085 Point Grey Road Holdings Ltd., still ranks as the most expensive residential property in British Columbia for the sixth consecutive year.
A property at 4707 Belmont Ave. in Vancouver placed second on the provincial list, valued at $65.5-million in mid-2018, down 8.8 per cent from $71.8-million in mid-2017. James Island is the lone private property in the top 12 not located in Vancouver, placing third with a valuation of $56.8-million, up 4.3 per cent from the previous assessment. The island is off the coast of Vancouver Island near Victoria.
The fourth spot on the highest-valued list belongs to the Vancouver residence of philanthropist Nezhat Khosrowshahi and her husband, Future Shop founder Hassan Khosrowshahi. Their property’s value has fallen 11.7 per cent to $41.2-million. In fifth place is Vancouver entrepreneur Jacqueline Cohen’s waterfront home assessed at $40-million, down 12.9 per cent.
To crack the B.C. list of the top 500 residential properties, the lowest assessment rang in at $11.6-million for mid-2018, compared with $12.6-million in mid-2017, according to data released on Wednesday by BC Assessment. The provincial Crown corporation provides valuations on a wide range of residential, industrial and commercial properties. B.C. municipalities use the data to help determine how much owners will pay in property taxes.
The former BC Liberal government implemented a 15-per-cent tax on foreign home buyers in the Vancouver region in August, 2016, a move that contributed to a decline in prices in the second half of that year. After a choppy recovery in housing prices in 2017, the BC NDP government raised the foreign-buyers tax to 20 per cent in February, 2018, and also expanded the tax to other urban markets in the province.
In the city of Vancouver, the median value for detached properties fell to $1,756,000 in mid-2018, down 4.1 per cent compared with $1,832,000 in mid-2017, BC Assessment said in its latest annual study. By contrast, the median value for condos climbed to $740,000 within Vancouver’s city limits, up 5.7 per cent from $700,000.
Detached properties on Vancouver’s west side have typically decreased by a steeper percentage in value than those on the less-expensive east side, said Tina Ireland, a regional assessor. “There are some nuances, but the higher-end properties are probably dropping more than the lower-end properties,” she said, noting some detached homes on the west side have assessments that are down 15 per cent year over year.
Economists forecast that sales and prices for detached houses, condos and townhouses will slip in the Vancouver region this year owing to the ripple effects of provincial policies designed to cool off the market, combined with a stress test federal regulators implemented at the beginning of 2018 that makes it tougher for prospective homeowners to qualify for a mortgage.
While Vancouver’s detached-housing market weakened, some parts of northern B.C. boomed. In the Kitimat District, the median value for detached homes rose to $235,300 in mid-2018 amid speculation about plans to export liquefied natural gas. That’s up 20.2 per cent from $195,700 in mid-2017. Prices have increased over the past three months after Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led LNG Canada announced plans in October to forge ahead with construction of an energy megaproject, including an $18-billion export terminal in Kitimat.
Vancouver Island benefited from attracting homeowners who cashed in their gains in Vancouver, with assessed detached values up in cities such as Victoria (8 per cent), Campbell River (16.2 per cent) and Courtenay (16.9 per cent).
In the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver, median values for detached homes rose 9.4 per cent in Abbotsford and climbed 9.7 per cent in Chilliwack, according to BC Assessment’s latest report.