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Luxury condos top Victoria and Esquimalt home values

A penthouse suite in Bayview One, in the Songhees neighbourhood on Saghalie Road in Vic West, has been assessed as the most expensive residence in Victoria. - Sharon Tiffin/News staff
A penthouse suite in Bayview One, in the Songhees neighbourhood on Saghalie Road in Vic West, has been assessed as the most expensive residence in Victoria.
— image credit: Sharon Tiffin/News staff

The latest B.C. Assessment valuations reveal a minor market correction in the Capital Region, but property values in Victoria remain stubborn.

The average home assessment in the city is $542,000, down 0.9 per cent from the 2011 average.

The drop represents the first time in a decade that property values have contracted, said Reuben Danakody, B.C. Assessment lead for the Greater Victoria region.

“During 2011, we started to see some stabilizing of pricing. This year, in 2012, we start to see the market taking a bit of a breather,” he said.

The property with the highest potential price tag crowns Bayview Residences at 100 Sagalie Rd. in Vic West.

Assessed at $4.092 million, the penthouse suite’s value dwarfs that of most single-family residential dwellings in Victoria.

Esquimalt’s most expensive property value is also a penthouse condo, situated in the Swallows Landing development on Dunsmuir Road, worth about $2.6 million.

The fact that condos trump single-family homes makes sense when looking at the market share, said Leslee Farrell, a real estate agent who deals primarily with luxury homes.

“It isn’t illogical when you think of the fact that the land that the developer has to purchase is limited for rezoning,” Farrell said.

Because official community plans tend to restrict the placement of high-density housing, luxury condos are more rare than luxury single family homes, she said.

Owners and buyers are in a holding pattern, waiting for a market correction that has yet to play itself out after nearly five years, Farrell added.

Those sellers who are at the top end of the real estate market have been “shocked” by the lack of sales activity recently, she said.

“The sale prices that were achieved in 2006 to 2008 just cannot be achieved today,” Farrell said.

“If you purchased then and you want to sell now, you will have to allow for some drop. Most of these people are just holding.”

Victoria’s most affordable property value is on Princess Avenue, a single-family home valued at $142,000, said Gerry Marolla, deputy assessor with B.C. Assessment.

Esquimalt assessments follow regional trend

The average valuation in Esquimalt, meanwhile, dropped to $512,000, down 1.5 per cent from $520,000 in 2011.

Reasons for the Swallow’s Landing suite’s assessment include its commanding waterfront views and the quality of the building, said Farrell, who has sold the property in the past.

“I think the stigma about Esquimalt is going away, because at the end of the day, (in determining) value in real estate, south exposure is considered one of the highest points of valuation,” she said.

Of the two penthouse owners, one hails from eastern Canada, while the other is a foreign buyer from the U.S., Farrell said.

The lowest assessed residential dwelling in Esquimalt is an old cabin on a sliver of township land at Work Point, ringing in at $11,000, according to Danakody.

To compare assessments or to find out how to contest your home's valuation, visit bcassessment.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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