How the mighty have fallen.
In assessed value, that is.
It turns out that even the world of infinity pools, curated wine cellars and heated driveways is not immune to market forces. Those who occupy the homes with such features may just worry about it less than others.
Top assessments on the North Shore – while still stratospheric by most earthly standards – are down this year again, for the third straight year.
Two and three years ago, the top three assessments in West Vancouver all clocked in at over $30 million in assessed value. Not anymore.
This year, the North Shore’s top assessment once again belongs to 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 assessed at $26.5 million – down 11 per cent from its value last year of $29.8 million and down almost 25 per cent since its $35.2 million assessment three years ago at the height of the real estate frenzy.
The second highest assessed property – a $24.3-million Chartwell mansion at 1690 Marlowe Place – was also down 14 per cent in assessed value from last year’s valuation of $28.2 million and down 22 per cent from its height of $31.2 million three years ago.
The third highest assessment – another West Vancouver Hollingsworth-designed Dundarave waterfront mansion, at 2588 Bellevue Ave., is valued at just over $23 million after falling 14 per cent from $26.9 million last year.
Other neighbouring mansions in areas of West Bay and the British Properties round out the top 10 assessments in West Vancouver, ranging from a $17.5 million value to a $21 million assessment – a dip from last year’s assessments.
“Down,” of course, is relative.
While lesser mortals might worry about a $9-million drop in their property value, it’s likely the jet-setting global citizens who own such homes aren’t losing sleep over it.
Homes at the highest end of the luxury real estate market don’t tend to change hands that often, said Brent Eilers of Remax Masters Realty in West Vancouver. Last year, only five properties sold for amounts over $8 million in West Vancouver.
And those who have the means to own such homes are likely to have enough money to cushion real estate shocks, said Eilers.
Assessed values are meant to provide a snapshot of value as of July 1 each year. But those assessments don’t always reflect the potential sale price of a property.
Last year, four out of the five top sales in West Vancouver went for prices above their assessed value – although also for considerably less than the original asking price.
The top sale, a 4,700-square-foot four-bedroom five-bathroom home at 3150 Travers Ave. – described as a 17-year-old West Coast contemporary house with an oceanfront jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen, steam room and wine cellar – sold for $9.95 million, above its current assessed value of about $8 million, but below its most recent asking price of $11.8 million.
Another top sale, a modern waterfront 6,600-square-foot home near Whytecliffe Park at 7270 Arbutus Road, sold for $8.62 million – below both its most recent assessed value of $9.1 million and its asking price of $9.99 million.
In the District of North Vancouver, the top assessment was a secluded 14-acre compound in the woods above Deep Cove, at 2250 Indian River Cres., assessed at $11.46 million – down six per cent from $12 million last year.
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.
Many of North Vancouver’s other top assessed properties continue to be found in a neighbourhood on the Dollarton waterfront, on Beachview Drive and Lowry Lane, ranging in value from $8.29 million to $9.62 million.
One of those – a 7,000-square-foot home with a private elevator at 688 Beachview – is currently listed for sale at $9.68 million, more than $1 million over its assessed value.
One new addition to the top 10 list in North Vancouver is a single-storey 1949 home on a property at 440 Mountain Hwy., which has seen its assessed value go from just under $1 million five years ago to $8.2 million – thanks to the rise in value of neighbouring parcels, including a property next door now worth over $16 million.
In the City of North Vancouver, sky-high condos are king when it comes to top assessments.
All of the city’s top 10 assessments are for waterfront condominiums, ranging in assessed value from $4.45 million right up to over $7 million.
The top assessment in the city was a penthouse suite in a waterfront condominium tower at 1301-199 Victory Ship Way, assessed at $7.67 million.
A neighbouring highrise at 175 Victory Ship Way on the North Vancouver waterfront was home to eight of the top ten assessed condos in the city.