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James Island remains Vancouver Island’s most valuable property

Most homeowners should expect numbers to be relatively flate BC Assessment releases latest values

James Island may not what it used to be, but it is still enough to once again top the assessment rolls as Vancouver Island’s most valuable residential property.

The acreage covering the entirety of James Island offshore of Sidney is valued at $57,934,000, down $3.3 million from its 2023 assessment, when it was valued at $61,239,000. It ranks as the 3rd most valuable property in all of B.C.

The 770-acre island itself makes up most of the assessment at $48,132,000, while the four-bed, five-bath home on it is valued at $9,802,000.

Second on the list is 1365 Dorcas Point Rd. Another waterfront lot, this one is nestled between Parksville and Nanoose Bay and is valued at $23,107,000.

$8,628,000 of that is the 5.86 acres of land, $14,479,000 the building, which include 6 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms within its 13,500 square-feet.

Like James Island, it’s assessment has also declined. It dropped a little over $4 million.

Number three and the most valuable private residence in Greater Victoria sits at 1850 Lands End Rd. in North Saanich, titled the Queen Mary Bay property, and it’s valued by BC Assessment at $17.5 million. That value, however, only ranked it at 159 in all of B.C.

The home itself is a modest 3,587 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, built in 1983. It’s decorated in a West Coast style with natural lighting from large windows and skylights. There is also a separate caretaker’s cottage, and 15 parking spots.

The real selling point, however, is the 24.57 acres of oceanfront property it sits on, with more 1,500 feet of ocean frontage. On these shores, of course, is a private dock.

“For 2024, most homeowners can expect generally flat values including a mix of small decreases or only modest increases, reflecting the softening real estate market,” said Vancouver Island deputy assessor Matthew Butterfield, in a news release. “Homeowners throughout Vancouver Island will generally see somewhere in the range of -5% to +5% change in assessment values. Some smaller North Island communities, however, will see larger increases as there continues to be demand in those markets with limited supply.”

BC Assessment collects, monitors and analyzes property data throughout the year.

Overall, Vancouver Island’s total assessments increased from about $385 billion in 2023 to over $386 billion this year.

About $4.86 billion of the region’s updated assessments is from new construction, subdivisions and the rezoning of properties.

BC Assessment’s Vancouver Island region includes all communities located within Greater Victoria, South Island, Central Island, North Island, the West Coast, Northern and Southern Gulf Islands and Powell River.

BC Assessment’s website at includes more details about 2024 assessments, property information and trends such as lists of 2024’s top-valued residential properties across the province.

The website also provides self-service access to a free, online property assessment search service that allows anyone to search, check and compare 2024 property assessments for anywhere in the province. Property owners can unlock additional property search features by registering for a free BC Assessment custom account to check a property’s 10-year value history, store/access favourites, create comparisons, monitor neighbourhood sales, and use our interactive map.

“Property owners can find valuable information on our website including answers to many assessment-related questions. Those who feel that their property assessment does not reflect market value as of July 1, 2023, or see incorrect information on their notice, should contact BC Assessment as indicated on their notice as soon as possible in January,” said Butterfield.

“If a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of our appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by January 31st, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel,” adds Butterfield.

The Property Assessment Review Panels, independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the provincial government, and typically meet between February 1 and March 15 to hear formal complaints.

“It is important to understand that changes in property assessments do not automatically translate into a corresponding change in property taxes,” said Butterfield. “As indicated on your assessment notice, how your assessment changes relative to the average change in your community is what may affect your property taxes.”

Total number of British Columbia properties on the 2024 Roll is 2,184,692, a 1% increase from 2023.

Total value of B.C. real estate on the 2024 Roll is over $2.79 trillion, an increase of 3% from 2023.

Total amount of ‘non-market change’, including new construction, rezoning and subdivisions is approximately $39.62 billion, an increase of over 18% from the 2023 Roll of $33.52 billion.

In B.C., approximately 88.5% of all properties are classified with some residential (Class 1) component.

Over 98% of property owners typically accept their property assessment without proceeding to a formal, independent review of their assessment. Assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2023 and physical condition as of October 31, 2023. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property’s market value, BC Assessment’s professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.

Real estate sales determine a property’s value which is reported annually by BC Assessment. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs this spring, will calculate property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.

BC Assessment’s assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise nearly $10 billion in property taxes each year.

This revenue funds the many community services provided by local governments around the province as well as the K-12 education system.

— with files from Black Press

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Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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