Bowen Island is no stranger to the rise in provincial housing assessments this year.
Estimates for 2022 were released earlier this month showing residential property values rose by double digits in every lower mainland municipality. On Bowen the final tally was a 25 per cent jump in assessed value.
In 2021 the median value for an island home was assessed at $1,019,000. This year that’s up to $1,271,000. That means half of homes are valued above 2022’s number, and half below.
“British Columbia’s real estate market remains highly active and that means most property owners can expect higher assessment values for 2022,” BC Assessment deputy assessor Bryan Murao said in a statement. “The widely reported heighted demand among homebuyers during the COVID-19 pandemic is reflected in the upward movement of property values across the province.”
One important question on people’s minds was whether increases in assessed value are directly tied to increases in property value. This isn’t necessarily the case.
“It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes,” Murao added. “How your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”
For Bowen, that generally means if your assessment was less than a 25 per cent increase, your property tax is likely to go down. If your value rose more than 25 per cent, it’s likely to go up. An assessed value equal or close to 25 per cent likely won’t result in any change.
Other tax factors can affect a person’s final property tax change, however in most cases these examples should prove accurate, according to the assessment agency.
The District of Hope saw the biggest jump percentage wise in the lower mainland at 45, with median prices hopping from $428,000 to $620,000. The University Endowment Lands had the smallest increase at 11 per cent, however they were already by far the most expensive properties on the market. Median value went from $4,923,000 to $5,461,000 for 2022.
Climbing up the rankings
Another sign houses are becoming more valuable on Bowen is the presence of four island homes in B.C.’s top 500 assessed values overall. It’s the first time Bowen has had this many on the list.
Topping the count is a Lighthouse Lane address on the west side of the island. Built just last year, the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom house is worth $8.48 million. The nearly 10 acres of land, stretching from Cape Drive to the water, is worth another $5.3 million, bringing total property value to $13.78 million. This ranks 317 in the province.
Bowen’s second most valuable property is the lone one not in the southern half of the island. The Smugglers Cove Road home shares the trait of being on the waterfront though. The 1982 build, with five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, is worth $6,356,000, while the more than 23 acres of land are assessed at $7,192,000. Together at $13,548,000 the property places 339 in B.C.
The final two Bowen properties in the top 500 claim nearly all their assessment in land value. Number 419 in the province is a (relatively-speaking) modest three-bedroom, four-bathroom Eves Road home built in 2008, worth $1,593,000. But the 100 acres it sits on is worth seven figures, at $10,898,000. The total assessed value of $12,491,000 is 87.25 per cent land.
And coming in at 430 overall is the largest property size-wise on the list, at just more than 111 acres. Located along the south shore between Georgia Strait Drive and Fairweather Road, the land is now assessed at $9,248,000. Combined with a $3,148,000 home, built in 2004 and containing three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the property reaches a final tally of $12,396,000.