There were two surprises for most B.C. homeowners as the year began; yet more snowfall after already enjoying a white Xmas, and a dramatic increase in their property value. In Vancouver itself the increase in property values was between 7-16% on average depending on whether you owned a condo or a house but as you moved out to the suburbs the increase was much more dramatic with 12-26% in Coquitlam, 18-34% in Surrey, 23-37% in Maple Ridge, 21-38% in Abbotsford and 40% in Chilliwack. Leaving the lower mainland it got even crazier with increases on the Island between 22-47%, in the Thompson Okanagan it was 17-42%, in the Kootenays it was 17-53% and in the North it was 6-58%.
The increase in property values is driven in large part by thousands of people leaving Vancouver for the hinterland to avoid the congestion and high prices but to also take advantage of being able to work from home. But is the grass really greener on the other side?
This past summer there were forest fires that ravaged the Interior for the 4th or 5th year in a row and many people lost their homes. Added to that was the smoke everyone had to put up with for weeks on end. Then to top things off this was followed by the torrential rains that washed out entire communities and all of the major roads in and out of the Interior.