This story has been amended since first posting.
Even in the world of heated driveways, curated wine cellars and infinity pools, homeowners in the upper ranks of the real estate world aren’t immune from changes in the market.
After rising ever skyward for the past several years, the highest assessments on the North Shore fell between July 2017 and July 2018.
Not that the international financiers, jet-setting global citizens and mining executives who tend to own such properties are likely to be losing sleep over it.
Topping the list of highest assessments is an 11,000-square-foot, five-bedroom waterfront mansion in West Vancouver, custom designed by architect Russell Hollingsworth, at 3330 Radcliffe Ave. Its value this year is listed at $29.8 million – down from last year’s assessed value of $35.1 million. The second highest assessment this year is a $28.2-million Chartwell mansion at 1690 Marlowe Ave. – down in value from $30.5 million last year.
The third-highest assessment is another West Vancouver Hollingsworth-designed Dundarave waterfront mansion, at 2588 Bellevue Ave., valued at $26.9 million after falling from $30.86 million last year.
Other neighbouring mansions in the West Bay, Sandy Cove, and Chartwell neighbourhoods round out West Vancouver’s top 10 assessments – which start at values of more than $20 million.
Those owners probably aren’t losing sleep over their potential tax bills or calling up the assessment office, said Realtor Brent Eilers of Remax Masters Realty in West Vancouver.
“It’s like buying a Mercedes and worrying about the gas prices,” he said.
The most exclusive enclave in North Vancouver remained a neighbourhood on the Dollarton waterfront, where six properties cracked the $10-million mark in assessed value this year. Three others clocked in between $8.3 million and $9 million.
The top-valued home in North Vancouver, however, was a secluded 14-acre compound in the woods above Deep Cove, at 2250 Indian River Cres., assessed at $12 million.
In November 2017, the property set a record when it was listed for sale for $36.2 million – the highest ever asking price for a property in North Vancouver.
It did not sell, however.
The property includes a 9,000-square-foot custom West Coast home built in the 1980s, a self-contained guesthouse, greenhouse, and a working barn and paddock big enough to hold 12 horses, as well as a pond and Japanese inspired garden.
In the City of North Vancouver, it was a tale of the old versus the new among the highest assessments, with roughly half of the highest assessments waterfront condominiums while several historic homes on the city’s heritage registry were also among the top assessed.
The highest assessment was for a condo at 1301-199 Victory Ship Way, a three-bedroom, four-bathroom 4,300 square foot penthouse that was assessed at about $8 million – $1 million more than last year and a massive increase from its assessed value of $4.4 million two years ago. It last changed hands in 2016 for just under $5.6 million.
Number 2 on the list was the Diplock Residence at 404 Somerset in Tempe Heights, assessed at more than $4.4 million. The heritage home was first owned by Arthur Diplock, president of Western Corp. and Seymour Lumber Co. before establishing his own real estate company. Originally built at a cost of about $10,000, the home was featured prior to construction in a 1912 Vancouver Province article, New Houses for North Vancouver. The house was later occupied by Dugald Donaghy, the mayor of the city from 1923 to 1925.
A nearby two-year-old five-bedroom house, at 355 Somerset St., in Tempe Heights was the third-highest assessment in the city at $3.77 million.
Other heritage homes with high assessments include the turn-of-the-century Hoare Residence at 387 Fifth St. East, assessed at more than $3.5 million, and 1904 Hamersley House at 350 Second St. East, assessed at about $3.57 million.
BC Assessment doesn’t usually include such heritage properties in its top-assessment lists, because the assessed value is based on “highest and best use” which assumes subdividing and developing the property – different from the current use.
A four-bedroom, five-bathroom 2,400 square foot penthouse at 168 East Esplanade with panoramic waterfront views came fourth on the list, assessed at just under $3.6 million. It sold for over $4 million in December 2017.
Other luxury condos on Esplanade, Second Street West, Victoria Park West and Victory Ship Way round out the list of the city’s top assessments.
Editor's note: This story has been amended to add more information about the properties, an interactive map and photos.