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Stability in B.C. - Real Estate: Property Assessments Indicate Balanced Home Values

Stability in B.C. - Real Estate: Property Assessments Indicate Balanced Home Values

In the recent housing assessment report for British Columbia, a softening trend is evident across residential property markets in the province, raising concerns about affordability in the upcoming year. Analysts attribute these concerns to the potential decrease in interest rates later this year, which could stimulate homebuying activity amid limited housing supply, consequently driving up prices.

Chief economist Bryan Yu from Central 1 Credit Union notes, "There are a lot of buyers on the sideline right now. Once that certainty arises that rates are stabilized or are falling, we do expect to see that more buyers are going to come back and look into purchasing."

BC Assessment's latest findings indicate that the Okanagan experienced a typical 2024 valuation for a single-family home within a five-per-cent increase or decrease in price. This represents a notably less volatile scenario than the region has witnessed in recent years. No communities in the Okanagan or Greater Victoria surpassed five per cent in growth.

Despite inflation and the rising cost of living since 2022, the fact that property values are holding or slightly increasing suggests that BC homeowners are adjusting to economic challenges while maintaining property ownership. Davidoff suggests that, when conditions become more favorable, prices may resume an upward trend.

BC Assessments play a crucial role in determining homeowner grants, offering relief on property tax bills for homes valued under $2.15 million. However, the lack of new housing starts and potential declines in construction may contribute to affordability challenges in the coming years. Some express concern about a potential decline in housing starts over the next year to two years, setting the stage for another surge in home prices and a further deterioration of affordability in BC.

Jez Nichols
CIR Realty Shuswap
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