Courtenay saw the largest change of average assessed values for single-family residential properties at 22 per cent.

Property assessments, home prices on the rise in the Valley

With Vancouver Island 2018 property assessment notices posted, values have risen in the Valley, but not to ‘sticker shock’ levels of last year, says one local realtor.

Following an increasing trend in nearly every community across the Island (with the exception of Zeballos, which saw a downturn of four per cent in assessed values), Marty Douglas of Re/Max Mid-Island Realty notes the increase is relative considering the jump in values in 2016.

“It’s like comparing the second-highest mountain to the highest mountain. This time last year, there was definitely sticker shock.”

According to BC Assessment, the majority of residential homeowners within Vancouver Island can expect an increase in their assessment in the 10 to 25 per cent range as compared to last year’s assessment.

Within the Comox Valley, Courtenay saw the largest change of average assessed values for single-family residential properties at 22 per cent compared to the village of Cumberland at 20 per cent; the town of Comox at 14 per cent and the Comox Valley Regional District at 15 per cent.

The average price in 2018 (with a valuation date of July 1, 2017) compared to 2017 assessments are: $440,000 for the City of Courtenay (compared to $360,000 in 2017); $444,000 for the Town of Comox (compared to $392,000); $361,000 in the Village of Cumberland (compared to $302,000) and $453,000 in the CVRD (compared to $395,000).

While Douglas says there have been around a seven per cent drop in sales in the Valley, home prices have continued to rise. He explains the key to the increase in cost is directly related to the availability of land.

“Cumberland has an open mind for development, and has surged past (other Valley municipalities) – they have shown the way with the lower cost of land,” and adds homes to the north in Campbell River are between $75,000 to $90,000 less than homes in the Valley.

He says this is a factor when it comes to families moving to the Valley with fixed budgets and those in the military, as many are settling with the commute to the region for a less expensive home.

Overall, Douglas notes Cumberland has added to its housing stocks, while Courtenay has seen some new construction of townhomes and stratas, but not enough single-family homes (along with Comox) to affect prices.

According to Douglas, in 2008, there were 10 sales of a single family dwelling of more than one million dollars; in 2016 that number increased to 19, and last year, jumped to 29 sales.

“We will continue to see prices escalate – I don’t think sales will increase … but supply is so low, prices will continue to go up.

When contacted by The Record, officials at the individual municipalities said they had not had the chance to examine the numbers as of Tuesday afternoon, and would not comment on their respective markets until they have had a chance to examine the report. (The report was originally posted online Dec. 31.)

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