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North Shore real estate sees 'modest' assessment growth

Whether it's a single-family home or a condo, if it's on the North Shore, it's value probably went up last year.
Mansions nestle in the forested mountain slopes of West Vancouver. | Getty Images

Property assessments for single-family homes on the North Shore were up about 6.6 per cent in 2022, according to the latest provincial data, while multi-family homes like condos or townhouses saw 9.3 per cent growth.

BC Assessment released its annual valuations, which are used by municipalities to set tax rates, on Jan. 3. Assessments are based on sales data as of July 2022.

On the North Shore, the City of North Vancouver saw some of the sharpest growth in residential property values, with single-family homes leading the way. The typical detached house in the city was valued at $1.95 million – up 10 per cent from $1.78 million the year before. Multi-family units in the city, meanwhile, were also up 10 per cent, with the average condo or townhouse unit valued at $840,000. That remains the cheapest option for getting into the housing market on the North Shore.

The District of North Vancouver saw its single-family housing values grow by six per cent, on average, putting the typical single-family residence over the $2-million mark for the first time, according to BC Assessment data. Multi-family housing in the district saw even greater growth at 11 per cent compared to the year before. The typical condo or townhouse in the district hit $929,000 in 2022.

The District of West Vancouver remains one of the most expensive places to own residential property in all of B.C., with single-family homes assessed at $3.11 million, on average. That’s up four per cent over 2021’s average of $2.99 million. Only the University Endowment Lands came in higher, where the average home is more than $5 million. Multi-family homes in West Van were assessed seven per cent higher in 2022, with the average condo or townhouse valued at $1.42 million.

Increases across the North Shore are a fraction of what they were in 2021, when the pandemic shifted buying patterns and assessments shot up more than 20 per cent in some neighbourhoods, said Aaron Rossetti of Re/Max Rossetti Realty in North Vancouver.

“That is much more modest and more, I would say, typical,” he said.

The city outpacing its district neighbours in growth of single-family assessments may be related to council’s 2021 decision to rezone a swath of detached properties between St. Andrews and Ridgeway avenues from single-family to duplex, Rossetti said.

“That, right off the bat, changes the game a little bit,” he said. “More density, prices go up.”

As for the District of North Vancouver leading the way in growth of multi-family home prices, Rossetti said it is likely a function of a lot of new condos coming online in developments in the Lynn Creek and Lions Gate town centres.

“And just being newer, they are therefore more expensive,” he said.

With comparatively few new condos coming online in the years before, prices had been a bit stagnant, he added.

But Rossetti added July 2022 was an epoch ago in real estate terms. Since then, interest rates have gone up and inflation has forced both buyers and sellers to adjust their expectations accordingly.

“The last year was really unique in that the market started off really strong, with just incredible demand and really limited inventory, so we saw some sensational growth in prices for the first three months of the year, and then everything kind of started to normalize after that,” he said. “I think moving forward, we’re going to see true values, and when places sell we’re going see them at or maybe even below assessed value.”

The total value of all the real estate in the Lower Mainland, which includes everything from Hope to Sechelt, hit $1.94 trillion in 2022, up 11 per cent from the year before. Almost $23 billion of the region’s updated assessment is from new construction, subdivisions and the rezoning of properties, according to BC Assessment.

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