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Property assessments up more than 40 per cent in some Vancouver Island communities

Total value of Vancouver Island assessments up 27.5 per cent to $343 billion
Once again, the privately owned James Island topped the list of highest assessed properties in the Vancouver Island region, according to data from BC Assessment, reflecting market value as of July 1, 2021. Its value stood at $54.7 million. (Sotheby’s International Realty photo)

James Island, off the Saanich Peninsula, and properties in Nanoose Bay, North Saanich and Oak Bay rank among the highest assessed properties on Vancouver Island according to new property assessment figures for 2022 showing a significant increase over 2021 assessment.

The assessed value of the approximately 382,000 properties that are part of BC Assessment’s Vancouver Island region rose to $343 billion this year, up 27.5 per cent from $269 billion in 2021.

James Island led the way with an assessed value of $54.7 million, followed by the acreage at 1365 Dorcas Point Rd. in Nanoose Bay, valued at just over $22 million; Samuel Island, valued at just over $19 million; 3160 Humber Rd. in Oak Bay, valued at $17.87 million; and 1850 Lands End Rd. in North Saanich, valued at $17.39 million.

Oak Bay is home to four out of the 10 most valuable properties on the Island.

Jodie MacLennan, deputy assessor for Vancouver Island, said in a release that the real estate market has increased in value across all property types over the past year in explaining the higher assessments, reflecting market values as of July 1, 2021. “Increases of 15 to 35 per cent are generally evident for single-family dwellings, strata homes, industrial and commercial properties throughout the Island with notably larger per cent increases in both central and northern Vancouver Island communities,” MacLennan said.

Looking across Vancouver Island, the increases appear especially notable in communities outside Greater Victoria and Nanaimo. The assessment of a typical single-family home in Port Alberni rose by 47 per cent to $470,000, up from $320,000. Port McNeill (43 per cent), Ucluelet (43 per cent), Tofino (42 per cent) and Lake Cowichan (42 per cent) also recorded significant increases, along with Port Hardy (39 per cent), Alert Bay (39 per cent), North Cowichan (37 per cent) and Lantzville (37 per cent) among a gaggle of mid-to-smaller-sized communities in the middle and northern parts of Vancouver Island. In fact, no mid-Island community recorded an increase of less than 34 per cent with Nanaimo and Parksville both recording that figure.

RELATED: Sooke’s 2022, real estate market is expensive with few options

These figures come with the proviso that absolute assessments vary significantly between the communities. In Tofino, the recorded typical assessed value for a single-family home is $1.35 million, up from $956,000 in 2021. In Port Hardy, a single-family home now has a typical assessment of $297,000.

Looking at Greater Victoria, Metchosin and the Gulf Islands respectively recorded increases of 35 per cent, followed by Sooke and Highlands with 34 per cent.

Saanich, Vancouver Island’s largest municipality, recorded an increase of 25 per cent, while the second-largest municipality in the region, Victoria, recorded an increase of 24 per cent. The typical assessed value of a single-family home is now just short of $1.1 million in both communities. That makes Saanich and Victoria two of six communities in Greater Victoria (as listed by BC Assessment) where the typical assessment of a single-family lies north of $1 million. Oak Bay ($1.52 million, up 24 per cent) leads this group followed by North Saanich ($1.31 million, up 32 per cent) and Metchosin ($1.15 million, up 35 per cent) with Highlands ($1.14 million, up 34 per cent) just out of the top three.

Comparing sub-regions within Greater Victoria, assessments on the West Shore outpaced other parts, as evident by the figure for Metchosin, as well as other municipalities. The typical assessment of a single-family home rose by 34 per cent in Sooke and Highlands, 29 per cent in Colwood, 28 per cent in Langford, and 27 per cent in View Royal, which fell just shy of the $1-million mark at $998,000.

But the western communities are also home to the most affordable community in Greater Victoria, as measured by assessments. A single-family home in Sooke now has a typical assessment of $749,000. Langford ($860,000) and Colwood ($881,000) are also still below $900,000.

On the Saanich Peninsula, North Saanich has the highest assessment followed by Central Saanich (up 28 per cent to $989,000) and Sidney (up 23 per cent to $897,000).

BC Assessment’s Vancouver Island region includes all communities located within south, central and northern portions of the Island, northern and southern Gulf Islands and (off Vancouver Island itself) Powell River.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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