Commercial and industrial land is in demand in Maple Ridge and it’s pushing up property values.
B.C. Assessment staff told council Monday that values have jumped between five and 53 per cent across the district, that the Haney Bingo Plex property has increased in value by 18 per cent (up to $4.2 million) 2011 compared to 2012, and that lots that contain banks have increased between 46 and 72 per cent. Meanwhile, land-only values in the Albion industrial area have jumped by 55 per cent in the same time period.
The increase in the Albion area is based on a “number of significant sales in the last few years,” showing those values, said Vivian Thompson, senior appraiser with B.C. Assessment.
“We believe there’s such a demand for industrial land and there’s such a limited amount of industrial land in the Lower Mainland area. There isn’t vacant land that’s left there.”
Financial services general manager Paul Gill said he’d never seen such increases in his time with the district.
“It’s a good news story – all that interest out there.”
Mayor Ernie Daykin said he’s already heard from property owners who are concerned about higher property taxes that might accompany the higher values, but also told them they should look on the bright side, that their properties are going up in value.
But industrial property realtor Bill Hobbs said he hasn’t seen the number of sales to justify the Albion increase.
“I don’t think they can support that.”
One recent sale just showed a 12-per-cent increase.
He said he’ll tell any clients with such increases to appeal that valuation.
Nevertheless, Hobbs said this year is shaping up to be one of the busiest for industrial property.
Thompson said property owners facing steep increases in values get advance letters from B.C. Assessment, telling them what to expect. She added her office expects to hear from property owners who may appeal the assessments by the Jan. 31 deadline.
Another property that’s jumped in value (by 52 per cent) was Haney Place Mall, which rose from $19.7 million to $30 million, as of last October. The assessed value could increase again once the renovations underway at the mall are complete and Thrifty Foods moves in.
The spike in bank properties was prompted by higher leasing rates.
However, residential properties – the largest component in Maple Ridge’s real estate market – remained flat.
Thompson said the opening of the Golden Ears Bridge in 2009 also pushed up the assessed value of Maple Ridge properties.
“It certainly was felt a couple of years ago and that continues to influence the value.”
Large warehouse space in the Maple Meadows Business Park, though, dropped by four per cent in value.