Skip to main content
real estate

Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson's mansion is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., in April, 2015. The home was recently assessed at $63.87-million, making it the most expensive in B.C.

Assessed values for single-family detached properties in large parts of Greater Vancouver have jumped at least 15 per cent over a one-year period as the region's real estate market booms.

The latest percentage gains for detached houses are among the highest in the past 35 years, from high-end properties to tear-downs where most of the value is in the land.

In dollar terms, the changes are records within the City of Vancouver, with many detached houses showing increases for the year in the range of $200,000 to $400,000, industry observers say.

Vancouver-area homeowners, who have watched their property values steadily rise over the past 15 years, will see sharp increases in their assessment notices being mailed this week, BC Assessment said on Monday.

The provincial Crown corporation estimates values on behalf of B.C. municipalities, which use the data to determine how much homeowners will pay in property taxes.

Increases in assessed values for detached properties in the City of Vancouver typically range from 15 per cent to 25 per cent for the year from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015, said Jason Grant, a regional assessor at BC Assessment. Suburbs with similar assessment hikes for detached houses include North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and New Westminster. Townhouses and condos have also gone up in value, in the range of 5 per cent to 10 per cent.

"Our valuation date is July 1, 2015, and the market for detached properties since then has kept on moving up by a significant amount," Mr. Grant said in an interview. "Any single-family house is in very high demand right now if it is in close proximity to Vancouver."

A notable example of the hot market is Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson's Vancouver waterfront mansion, which tops the list of most expensive residential properties in British Columbia. The assessment of his single-family detached home on July 1, 2015, rang in at $63.87-million. That's up $6.28-million or 10.9 per cent from $57.59-million for the previous year, according to data compiled by BC Assessment.

Mr. Wilson's detached house in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood rose to No. 1 in British Columbia's highest-valued residential properties on July 1, 2013, when it was assessed at $54.2-million. In the latest valuation, the house on Point Grey Road is pegged at $22.8-million and the land at $41.1-million.

On Vancouver's west side, a detached home on a 33-foot-wide lot climbed $365,000 in assessed value to $1.94-million, or a 23.2-per-cent gain, BC Assessment said. On the city's east side, a detached home on a 33-foot-wide lot surged $274,000 to $1.27-million, or a 27.6-per-cent increase. By contrast, the gains in the previous assessment were 7.5 per cent on the west side and 11.3 per cent on the east side.

Data from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show the average price for detached properties sold within the City of Vancouver hit a record $2.53-million in November. The median price for detached houses sold in November reached $3.1-million on Vancouver's west side and $1.31-million on the city's east side.

Statistics are being scrutinized as Vancouver garners international attention for attracting high-end home buyers from China to the city's west side. A sturdy B.C. economy, low interest rates and a limited supply of listings have also spurred the real estate boom. The buying frenzy is further fuelled by the geographic setting – the region is boxed in by the ocean, mountains, the border with the United States and protected areas collectively known as the agricultural land reserve.

Assessed values are also up in the sprawling and less expensive suburb of Surrey. In South Surrey, which is part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, one detached property had a new assessment of $790,000 for July 1, 2015, up 10 per cent from a year earlier.