The value of Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson’s Vancouver waterfront mansion has fallen 11 per cent to about $65-million, a high-profile example of the downturn in the city’s housing market.
Mr. Wilson’s property, owned through 3085 Point Grey Road Holdings Ltd., still tops the list of British Columbia’s most-expensive properties for the seventh consecutive year.
His detached home’s assessed value on July 1, 2019, compares with $73.1-million on July 1, 2018, according to data released on Thursday by BC Assessment. The provincial Crown corporation provides annual 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.
Mr. Wilson, the former chief executive officer of yoga-wear retailer Lululemon, has seen his property’s assessed value drop nearly 18 per cent from the peak of $78.8-million in mid-2017, although still above the $63.9-million valuation in mid-2015 and far higher than the $35.2-million assessment in mid-2012.
In the city of Vancouver, the median value for detached properties fell to $1,568,000 in mid-2019, down 10.7 per cent compared with $1,755,000 in mid-2018, BC Assessment said in its latest annual review. The median value for condos slipped to $686,000 within Vancouver’s city limits, down 7.3 per cent from $740,000.
In the past six months since BC Assessment’s valuation date, Vancouver’s housing market has been flat.
The former BC Liberal government implemented a 15-per-cent tax on foreign home buyers in the Vancouver region in August, 2016. 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.
Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, welcomed what she described as a “moderating trend” in the Vancouver region. “This is a positive sign that our government’s efforts to make housing more affordable for more British Columbians are having a real impact,” Ms. Robinson said in a statement on Thursday.
In the Vancouver suburb of Port Moody, the median value for detached properties dropped to $1,192,000 in mid-2019, down 11.2 per cent compared with $1,342,000 in mid-2018.
On the luxury end after Mr. Wilson’s property, the runner-up on the new provincial tally is a home at 4707 Belmont Ave. in Vancouver. That home, owned by Pisonii (PTC) Ltd., decreased 10.3 per cent in value to $58.7-million.
James Island placed third with a valuation of $56,747,000, a relatively small drop of $10,000 from the previous assessment. The private island, owned by U.S. billionaire Craig McCaw, 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 12.5 per cent to $36-million.
On the list of British Columbia’s 500 most expensive properties, the lowest-valued home on the latest tally is about $10.2-million, down more than 12 per cent from $11.6-million on July 1, 2018.
Property values typically decreased as much as 15 per cent for detached houses in the Lower Mainland.
By contrast, some parts of northern B.C. boomed. In the district of Kitimat, the median value for detached houses soared 41 per cent to $332,000 in mid-2019, compared with $235,000 in the previous assessment. Prices jumped after Royal Dutch Shell PLC-led LNG Canada announced plans in October, 2018, to forge ahead with construction of an $18-billion terminal to export liquefied natural gas from Kitimat.
Median values in nearby Terrace rose 20 per cent to $373,000.
“Resource communities like Kitimat and Terrace ebb and flow with what’s happening with the resource sector,” said Tina Ireland, a regional assessor. “In the Lower Mainland, it looks like more of a stable and balanced market, and of course it really depends on where you live.”
After the initial buying frenzy in Kitimat and Terrace, speculation over the housing market has subsided in recent months, said Sheila Love, managing broker of Re/Max offices in the region.
Ms. Love said prospective buyers have come to realize that while there will be thousands of construction jobs, fewer than 400 permanent workers will operate the Kitimat terminal when its first LNG shipment goes to Asia by early 2025.
Instead of trying to fetch $400,000 for a detached property, motivated sellers in Kitimat lowered their expectations in the autumn of 2019 owing to a jump in listings compared with the scarcity in late 2018.
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