PoMo real estate round-up, comparisons
Got a couple of million bucks? Less? See sample listings and anomalies below!
Note: If the St George home above is sold in the $2M range or above with the intention of building multi-family housing, it is extremely unlikely affordable units will result given acquisition, re-zoning, and building costs.
For a price similar to the St George home above, these can be yours in West Vancouver.
Back closer to home …
Below, no OCP/zoning changes on city map.
1935 Clarke Street, 2019 assessment: $1,664,900 (2015: $696,000)
1940 St Johns Street, 2019 assessment: $1,663,900 (2015: $682,200)
Finally, empty sub-divided lots:
See MCCA post Vanishing Moody Centre
Link for images below: https://www.zolo.ca/out-of-area-real-estate/2705-st-george-street/lot-b
2707 St George, 2019 assessment (large lot, un-subdivided): $1,425,800 (2015: $633,400)
2705 St George, 2019 assessment (large lot, un-subdivided): $1,242,000 (2015: $748,000)
The original idea of lot subdivision was to incentivize heritage protection.
The new standard does not require heritage protection. Arguments for allowing lot subdivision included allowing “gentle density” as well as — in theory — providing an opportunity for more affordable housing due to smaller lot size.
There are many more interesting pricing variances in Port Moody; the above is just a snapshot.
Official Community Plan (OCP) and/or zoning changes — impacts in Port Moody
OCP and/or zoning changes have had profound impacts on home assessments. In Moody Centre the re-colouring of OCP maps has produced a speculative frenzy. This is also true in Coronation Park (though less has actually happened there than Moody Centre), and a few fringe areas such as “Westport” comprising part of Moody Centre and west of Moody Centre’s boundary of Albert/Barnet. As shown above, assessed values can be unrealistic and not reflective of what a property might actually sell for, especially in a market down-turn.
Many people who haven’t owned/occupied for 10 or more years (or unable to defer taxes), are in a difficult situation, due to skyrocketing assessments which impact on annual taxes. This affects people who may have bought well before the OCP changes were on the table, and planned to make this neighbourhood their home. It also affects tenants who aren’t owner-occupiers; they can be in danger of losing ‘their’ homes if the taxes become too much for the property owner. This is driven by the decisions of council (OCP and zoning) and by developers who have recently paid well in excess of assessed value with plans to apply for rezoning (and variances such as Marcon’s ask for 6 storeys in place of 3 on St George Street, which council approved).
All of this might be more palatable if there were more housing options in the city. What were once considered affordable homes are now out-of-reach, and affordable housing is almost non-existent in Port Moody.
One obvious partial solution would be for all assessments to be based on “actual” use, not “potential” use. Once an application for a zoning change is approved, then “potential” value could kick in. This means involvement by the provincial government. The city could play a role as well, notably to lobby the province.
Port Moody’s OCP process, and events that have happened since then (many major amendments), and the decision-makers, did not appear to consider these unintended consequences.
A few years ago council approved a request to convert many rental townhomes (e.g., Shoreline Circle) into strata units for sale, resulting in displacement — people moving out of the city to find housing within their budget and that suited their needs. At the time, the thought on council seemed to be that the tenants would want to acquire the units they currently rented, without considering people’s different needs, such as renting because they can’t afford to buy, or not wanting to buy real estate for various reasons (other investment strategies, mobility reasons, etc.).
Port Moody real estate, and notably Moody Centre, is full of strange anomalies. Policies provide little protection for people with low to average incomes. The affordability problem is growing at a rapid pace.
Decision-makers, take note!
The Moody Centre Community Association (MCCA) welcomes your comments.
News article, related:
Dan Fumano: Property values and implications for Vancouver’s city-wide plan
Vancouver Sun, updated Feb. 22, 2019
“When the city implements a community plan for a neighbourhood, they’re meant to be “road maps” in the city’s words, providing “clear but flexible frameworks to guide positive change and development in neighbourhoods.”
But community plans also make neighbourhoods appealing to developers, Yan said.
“It’s where speculation occurs before a stick of housing goes up … Property values go up first before the buildings,” Yan said. “Overall, it may be a windfall for property owners. But it’s a hurricane for commercial and residential renters.”