Double digit increases for assessed values in Whistler 

Local property values rose 11.7 per cent over 2015

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Property assessments in Whistler rose significantly for the first time in years in 2016.

According to BC Assessment, local property values rose 11.71 per cent overall for 2015

"These are certainly the most significant increases for Whistler that we've seen in a number of years," said Jason Grant, regional assessor for BC Assessment.

This year's assessment comes after a six-per-cent increase in 2015 and a 1.2-per-cent increase in 2014.

Grant said it was single-family homes that led the percentage gains in Whistler.

"For instance, about two-thirds of the almost 3,300 single family homes are going up by more than 10 per cent... (and) you have about 50 per cent of the strata properties going up between zero and 10 per cent," Grant said.

"So if you kind of look at that Class 1 grouping of properties, or that residential grouping of properties, clearly the single family dwellings are moving the most."

Single-family dwellings accounted for dramatic gains across the Lower Mainland.

"In North Vancouver and surrounding communities, you're looking at gains of 15 to 25 per cent for single family dwellings, with Whistler in that sort of 10-to-20 per cent range," Grant said.

"And really the rest of the province outside of the Lower Mainland and Whistler you're talking about zero to 10 per cent, so that just gives you a little bit of a picture of where Whistler fits."

Overall, Whistler's assessed roll for residential properties increased from $8.85 billion in 2015 to $9.98 billion in 2016.

The assessed roll for commercial properties in Whistler increased from $1.21 billion in 2015 to $1.29 billion in 2016.

The assessed value of residential property in Squamish also saw a dramatic jump, from a total assessed roll of $3.1 billion in 2015 to $3.7 billion in 2016.

"Squamish residential properties performed at or near the top of the percentage gains for even the Lower Mainland," Grant said.

Commercial gains in Squamish were less dramatic, going from $725 million in 2015 to $776 million in 2016.

In Pemberton, the assessed roll of residential properties jumped from $351 million in 2015 to $379 million in 2016, while commercial properties rose from $116 million to $123 million.

"The overall changes in Pemberton were actually about 6.27 per cent, so although they're about half of what the overall average change for Whistler was, they're certainly still showing an upward trend," Grant said.

The total number of real estate transactions in Whistler was higher in almost every month of 2015 when compared to 2014, according to numbers provided by Anne Chiasson of Re/Max Sea to Sky Real Estate Whistler.

"I saw last year as kind of an interesting year, because prior to that we didn't have a ton of sales in 2014," Chiasson said.

"It was a really low year, and so when you have an increase in sales then obviously sales start creating new price points, and price points start creating new assessments."

But Whistler offers a unique market in relation to the Lower Mainland, Chiasson said.

"We don't have the $64 million properties," she said, referring to the priciest property in B.C., Lululemon founder Chip Wilson's Kitsilano home.

"Our average condo pricing and things like that have not gone anywhere near what Vancouver's been doing, and our house sales kind of cap out at $3 million. That's not the case in Vancouver. So we've had more sales in that range than we've had above that."

Whistler's market value will likely go up in pockets as opposed to a resort-wide increase, Chiasson added.

This year's assessment reflects market values as of July 1, 2015, "and it's possible the market in a number of communities has changed since then," Grant said.

"It's also important to remember that a change or an increase in property assessment does not automatically equate to a corresponding change in property tax," he added.

"It's all going to depend on how your property performed relative to the average in your community, so if you're significantly above the average change, for instance, of 12 per cent in Whistler, then you'll very likely see a tax increase. If you're below that 12 per cent it's possible you could see a tax decrease."


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