Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun, January 5, 2006
When you can afford to buy a house along the waterfront in West Vancouver, or in the tonier parts of Vancouver's Shaughnessy, or Whistler, you are rich.
Some of the people who already live in these areas are a little richer now, on paper at least, as the assessed value of their homes climbed by between 6.84 per cent and as much as 32.27 per cent during 2005.
A list of the top-20 assessed residential properties in B.C. compiled by Landcor Data Corp. shows that 3330 Radcliffe Avenue in West Vancouver was the most valuable piece of residential real estate in the province. BC Assessment set that address's 2006 assessment at $16.98 million -- almost $1.8 million, or 11.6 per cent, higher than it was in 2004.
That assessment almost equals the $17 million a mining entrepreneur bought 3330 Radcliffe for in 2004. However, the assessment is still less than the $19.8 million the new owner is asking for the home, which is listed with the prestigious West Vancouver realtors Hasman Angell & Associates.
A 24-per-cent increase in the assessed value of 2815 Point Grey Road on Vancouver's west side made its owners millionaires again some 2.8-times over. Its 2006 assessment was $14.5 million, compared with $11.7 million a year ago.
The owner of 3639 Osler in Shaughnessy, No. 16 on the list, saw an even bigger increase, as the property's assessment rose a whopping 32.27 per cent to $10.89 million, boosting the value by some $2.66 million.
The No. 3 property on the list, 3489 Osler, saw its assessment rise 16.7 per cent to $13.8 million.
And even in Whistler, where BC Assessment recorded an overall 3.7-per-cent drop in the total value of all real estate, 2177 Lake Placid Road saw its assessed value increase. That home was assessed at $13.67 million, up from $13.46 million a year ago.
Over all, eight of the province's top-20 highest assessed properties were in West Vancouver, nine were in Vancouver (including one in the University of B.C. endowment lands), and one each in Whistler and North Saanich near Victoria on Vancouver Island.
The most unusual entry on the list is Hernando Island, a small island off Cortes Island in the northern Strait of Georgia, which is assessed at $12.6 million.
The rising assessments of B.C.'s mansions, however, comes as no surprise to luxury realtor Manyee Lui of Macdonald Manyee Lui Realty. She noted that with Greater Vancouver land prices climbing and labour costs increasing, the sale prices of homes have to go up.
"And if sales price has gone up, government assessments will follow," she added.
Lui said the demand for high-end real estate in Vancouver is coming from offshore buyers, mostly from Asia, but with increasing numbers from Europe and the United States.
B.C.'S TOP-20 PROPERTIES:
Here are the most expensive homes in British Columbia, as ranked by the BC Assessment Authority:
1. 3330 Radcliffe Ave., West Vancouver, has seen an 11.55% increase in assessed value. Inset: House interior
2. 2815 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, has seen a 24.02% increase in assessed value.
3 . 3489 Osler Street, Vancouver, has seen a 16.17% increase in assessed value.
2177 Lake Placid Road, Whistler: +1.59%
3110 Travers Ave., West Vancouver: +16.36%
130 Oxley Street, West Vancouver: +13.95%
2588 Bellevue Ave., West Vancouver: +12.80%
4719 Belmont Ave., Vancouver: +8.08%
Hernando Island, Powell River area: +1.34%
5695 Newton Wynd, University Endowment Lands: +13.49%
4351 Erwin Drive, West Vancouver: +14.30%
1683 Drummond, Vancouver: +6.84%
670 Lands End Road, North Saanich: +7.56%
2531 Point Grey Road Vancouver: +13.25%
15. $10,919,000 6151 St. Georges Cres. West Vancouver: +10.51%
3639 Osler Street, Vancouver: +32.27%
4371 Erwin Dr., West Vancouver: +13.93%
4743 Belmont Ave., Vancouver: +10.82%
4147 Ferndale Ave., West Vancouver: +16.16%
1388 The Crescent, Vancouver: +14.95%
*All prices are 'assessed value'