Property Assessments in Whistler and Pemberton

January 8, 2020
Housing Whistler

Property Assessments for Whistler and Pemberton are now available and should have already reached your mailbox. To the surprise of some, our area has bucked the trend of falling values seen throughout most of the province this year. This has occurred despite a significant reduction in sales activity similar to the rest of British Columbia.

So, how does activity fall but values rise?

Are Whistler and Pemberton insulated from the larger regional and provincial real estate trends or is it a bit more complicated?

The answer is, there are several storylines to consider:

Whistler Property Assessments 2020

In Whistler, the marketplace has multiple and very defined sectors, both value-wise and in character. Each sector behaves uniquely from the others due to supply and demand, and as they have unequal weights in the overall market, they impact overall statistical analysis differently. However, when combined into a single number they create a conclusion that often does not accurately describe what happened for individual properties during the assessment period.

For example; the condominium market was a top performer in terms of appreciation during the time period used for assessments (up until July 1 in the prior year). Value increases were fueled by high levels of interest in acquiring properties that could generate income, permitted short term rentals and were deemed attractive as a result of  Whistler’s tourism and the ability to have occasional personal use. In fact, average sales value increased well in excess of 10% over the 12 months.

By comparison, townhouses saw a significant drop in sales value as a result of a limited number of listings, primarily in a very defined price range. When combined, these two opposing trends largely canceled each other out and due to the greater number of condominium transactions, we ended up with an overall increase of 5% in the assessed values of medium density properties. This, however, is not readily applicable to individual situations, particularly with townhouses.

BC Whistler Assessment

Pemberton Property Assessments 2020

In Pemberton, despite a significant drop in the number of transactions, average values increased in all categories. Why? Firstly, Pemberton continues to be the most affordable place to buy a home in the Sea to Sky corridor and has become increasingly well known for its outdoor lifestyle, scenery, and friendly nature. Demand for property in Pemberton has grown steadily over the last few years.

Secondly, Pemberton currently has very few opportunities to purchase in any category of the marketplace. Essentially, we have a high demand to supply framework that is supporting growing prices despite lower levels of activity.

To conclude, the takeaways for you are as follows:

  1. Check your assessed values at Many properties and neighborhoods did not follow the larger trend. Townhouses in Whistler being an example.
  2. If you are concerned about your assessed value, use the tools available to check comparables and see if they are legitimate. Call your realtor if you need help. Remember the time period in question is from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
  3. If you feel the assessment authority has got it wrong, file an appeal before January 30, 2020. Make sure you have objective evidence to support your case.
  4. Finally, remember that the change in assessed value may not affect your tax bill; as both The Village of Pemberton and Resort Municipality of Whistler have approved property tax increases for 2020.

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