Whistler real estate up for first time in four years 

B.C. Assessment releases notices across province

For the first time in four years the majority of Whistler homeowners will see an increase in the assessed values of their properties.

According to B.C. Assessment, property values have jumped in the range of 5 to 15 per cent in the resort.

“Most homes in Whistler are worth more on this year’s assessment roll than they were on the 2007 assessment roll,” said area assessor Jason Grant. “For example, increases of five to 15 per cent for single family homes and condominiums are very common.”

That is bucking the trend in recent years, which saw Whistler with stable to declining real estate values while values across the province soared.

“Clearly Whistler is starting to move again,” added Grant.

The province as a whole saw increases in assessed value in the range of 16 per cent this year.

Examples provided by B.C. Assessment show a single-family home in Creekside, assessed at $882,000 on July 1, 2006 was assessed at $965,000 on July 1, 2007.

Likewise, a one-bedroom townhouse in the Blackcomb Benchlands assessed at $737,000 last year has now been assessed at $780,000.

The changes in assessed value are indicative of price movement in the real estate market.

Pat Kelly, owner of The Whistler Real Estate Company, cautioned that while the general trend is a strengthening in prices in the marketplace, it’s not true across the board.

“Some sectors have performed better than others,” he said.

“There are some places where prices haven’t gone up.”

Condo/hotel units are one of those sectors, explained Kelly. Among other reasons he said it’s because the net income for the owner/investor hasn’t been particularly wonderful.

As for the wider market, he agrees that values have increased for single-family homes and the larger townhouses.

“There seems to be a real focus in the marketplace for family-oriented product,” said Kelly.

Pemberton’s assessed values also climbed, though on a slightly smaller scale to Whistler.

“For example, increases of five to 10 per cent for single family homes and condominiums are very common,” said Grant.

His example shows a single family home in Pemberton valued at $391,000 last year is now valued at $419,000.

Squamish had the biggest increases overall in the corridor, with assessed valued increasing 10 to 20 per cent over last year.

A single family home in Garibaldi Highliands valued at $480,000 last year is now valued at $517,000.

Overall the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s assessment roll, or the value of all properties in the resort, increased from $10.12 billion to $10.7 billion. That growth not only reflects the changing market values in properties but also roughly $87 million of subdivisions, rezoning and new construction.

Kelly predicts the trend of increasing values in Whistler to continue until past 2010.

B.C. Assessment sends out its assessment notices at the beginning of each year. Property owners can get more information about their assessment at www.bcassessment.ca. The service has been enhanced this year with more information about individual properties.

Owners can appeal up until Jan. 31 for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.

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