Saanich boasts some of Island’s priciest homes

Three homes along Ten Mile Point among 25 highest property assessments on Vancouver Island

With an assessed value of $7.02 million

With an assessed value of $7.02 million

What is an ocean-front view of the Cascades and the Olympic Mountain Range worth these days?

For the owner(s) of 3051 McAnally Rd., about $7.026 million, according to a list of the 100 highest assessed homes on Vancouver Island, based on figures from B.C. Assessment released earlier this year.

Perched at very edge of Ten Mile Point Ecological Reserve, the property is one of four Saanich residences that rank among the 25 most valuable properties on Vancouver Island.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see why. The Y-shaped building resembles an oversized glass pavilion offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and nearby mountain ranges. Interior shots of the home available on the Internet reveal an open concept design featuring high ceilings, glass and plenty of marble. Residents can relax near an indoor waterfall or step onto a private beach.

The fact that the property appears in the real estate section of The New York Times points to the high-powered clientele who might be interested in purchasing the property.

Surprisingly though, it is not the most valuable Saanich property on Vancouver Island. Ranked 25th overall on Vancouver Island, it ranks fourth among high-end local properties. 2795 Seaview Rd. valued at $7.08 million (24th overall on Vancouver Island), 1063 Gardenwood Court valued at $7.09 million (23rd overall on Vancouver Island) and 3911 Smugglers Cove Rd. valued at $8.08 million (17th overall on Vancouver Island) eclipse the exclusivity of 3051 McAnally Rd. when it comes to real estate in Saanich.

This said, it is a relative bargain compared to beachfront properties elsewhere in the region including nearby Oak Bay, Victoria and beyond.

“Globally, we’re still very, very good value,” said Marilyn Ball, one half of Ian Heath and Marilyn Ball, a local real estate firm offering high-end properties.

In fact, Saanich homeowners do not have to have a private beach or indoor waterfall to benefit from the region’s attractiveness. For all the teeth-gnashing over higher property assessments, interest in Saanich real estate is a rising tide that lifts the boats of all homeowners, especially if they have happen to include water views. “That is a very strong market,” said Ball.

Sales data shows that 204 homes sold in Saanich with list prices of more than $1 million over the past year, compared to 115 homes in the previous year.  Of those 204 sales, 82 properties were built in the year 2000 or later. “That means that 122 homes were not new, and yet made their vendors millionaires,” she said. “That is a nice return on investment, indeed.”

Breaking down numbers, 23 of those sales were waterfront properties, five of which sold for over their list price or full value, she added. Fifty-six were waterview sales, not waterfront.  When looking at the 80 sales in Saanich for listings between $1-1.2 million in 2016, the average list price was $1,129,662 and the average sold price was an over-list price of $1,141,322.

“This means that there were many competitors for the same property,” she said.

Looking ahead to 2017, Ball does not expect that things will slow down in light of low inventory. As for the higher property assessments, Ball said she and her partner offer a complimentary market evaluation with a report on comparable homes sales to anyone who has concerns about rising taxes. The appeal deadline is the end of January. This said, it is not inevitable that homeowners will see their taxes go up, she said. Low inventories coupled with higher assessments could actually be a plus for would-be sellers, she said.

“The moral of the story is that many homeowners who sold last year did not realize what a “golden egg” they were sitting on, in terms of realizing a profit in their home equity,” she said. “All of a sudden, their nice, but not million-dollar, homes were selling at a million dollars or more. I predict that this trend will continue due to supply and demand, especially given the great lifestyle that this beautiful…region provides.”