News

Property values stable in Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows

While values dipped for the pricier properties in Vancouver, the market is Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows though is showing minimal movement. - The News/Files
While values dipped for the pricier properties in Vancouver, the market is Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows though is showing minimal movement.
— image credit: The News/Files

Are you going to be on the down side of the real estate bubble as it slowly deflates to more realistic prices?

You’re OK for this year at least, according to B.C. Assessment, which announced the mailing of its annual notices this week.

“Things have remained relatively stable,” in Maple Ridge, said deputy assessor John Green.

While values dipped for the pricier properties in Vancouver, the local market is showing minimal movement.

“Most homeowners throughout the Fraser Valley will see minimal changes in the value of their properties,” he added in a news release.

In Maple Ridge, a single family home valued at $441,000 in 2012 is dropping to $438,000 in 2013, less than a one-per-cent decrease.

In Pitt Meadows, a single family home valued at $503,000 in 2012 is dropping to $492,000 – a two-per-cent decrease.

Green pointed out assessments are set each year based on the market value on the previous July 1. When property prices in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows between July 2011 and July 2012 are considered, there’s little difference. Most people, when they open their envelopes containing their assessment notices, will see little change.

What happens next year, though, could be a different story.

“It really depends on what happens between now and July 1 next year. If the market continues to soften, then yes, values would come down. If the market recovers, then values and assessments would follow what happens in the market.”

However, he said housing markets in the Lower Mainland are starting to soften, particularly in west Metro Vancouver, in particular Vancouver. “I can say that in the east, we’re seeing less signs of that.”

Whether that trend of dropping prices will move east, however, remains to be seen.

“It would be really tough to try to guess what’s going to happen in the marketplace.”

Green said he didn’t know why some cities were showing reduced values or prices, only that that is what they noticed when the prices come into their office.

Drops of as much as five per cent and gains of up to 10 per cent are typical for single detached houses in Surrey, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities, as well as many other parts of the region.

White Rock was one of the areas where drops were more likely, with changes from 10-per-cent reductions to increases of five per cent, according to the assessment authority.

Significant decreases were also more common in Whistler, Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast and Bowen Island.

“For the first time in many years, a significant number of properties in the region are actually decreasing in value,” assessor Jason Gratl said of Vancouver Sea-to-Sky region changes.

Anybody who thinks their property is inaccurately assessed only has until the end of the month to challenge the valuation. Otherwise, the taxes will be applied based on the home’s assessed value.

“Property owners who feel that their assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2012 should visit www.bcassessment.ca for answers to common questions or to find comparable sales and assessment information,” said Green.

Other services available on the website include a customer service survey and a list of 2013’s most valuable residential properties.

Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said it was good to have some stability in the marketplace and checked his own home’s value, which he found was down by about $5,000.

Overall, the Fraser Valley’s Assessment Roll increased from $87.5 billion last year to $89 billion this year. Most of this growth was due to subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Interactive map: Lower Mainland's priciest homes

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