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There have been many articles from various sources saying that Vancouver real estate prices will come crashing like many other parts of the world. As I have noted in past blogs, we are different. We have cultural diversity and international recognition; economic and political stability; quality health care and education; moderate climate year round; spectacular mountain and water vistas; central transportation hub by land, air, and sea; abundance of fresh water and air; a relaxed west coast lifestyle. While we are not a tropical paradise, I believe we are the envy of the world. Many will say we are spoiled and that is why the world continues to flock here. With immigration, real estate values will continue to rise in the long term, regardless of the world economic situation.  The sales of high end goods continue to grow. Along Terminal Avenue a new flagship Mercedes Benz dealership (165,000 sq. ft.) is under construction on 3 acres. Immediately next door will be a new, 14,000 sq. ft., Porsche dealership also under construction.  Audi will be opening a new 56,000 sq. ft. store later this year. Nordstrom’s will be opening a 230,000 sq. ft. store by the spring of 2015 in the downtown core. These are just some of the big players named of many more to come. Some may believe that I’m an eternal optimist with a bias on real estate because it is what we do; however, are all these big brands heavily investing without some thought on where we are headed?

 

 

--Arthur Ng

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BC HpuseAt the beginning of every year in January all homeowners in British Columbia receive their property assessments in the mail. For many homeowners, this document is believed to be what their property is worth today. For 2013, a number of homeowners were shocked that their assessments have increased even though the sales and prices have dropped in their area. Meanwhile others have received reduced or same values as previous years, myself included.


One family member was outraged when his assessment increased by $50k and expects that his taxes will be increasing accordingly. If he were selling, he would not be as concerned. I tried to explain that it’s just a piece of paper for reference but I had to end the discussion because I wanted to keep the peace. :)

 

For clarification, the BC Assessment Authority is a provincial Crown corporation. As quoted on their website, “Each assessment reflects an estimate of what properties would have likely sold for on a uniform date of July 1, 2012.” Thus, without the property actually having sold in the open market, the assessment is just that--an estimate formulated about 7 months ago.  If the market were static there may have been more validity. For a better estimate of value today in your marketplace, you need to consult with a Realtor® who has the current information.

 

The real estate market in BC has seen fluctuations in values up and down, depending on the area. However, for the most part, prices have dropped overall in the last 6-8 months. These numbers can be validated by actual reported sales from the respective real estate boards. The BC property assessment is generated by mathematical formulas and assumptions used by a group of appraisers, without viewing the condition or location of the properties to establish a starting point.

 

Would you feel that you had a “deal” if you bought a property below the assessed value? And would you feel you paid “too much” if the price was over assessed value? The same applies if you were a Seller. Understanding how these numbers work along with the knowledge from your local Realtor® would make you feel better on either side.



--Arthur Ng

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.