District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood property values jump 11 per cent for 2021: BC Assessment

The district remains “relatively affordable” compared to neighbouring Fernie

Median property values in Sparwood have increased 11 per cent for 2021 according to BC Assessment.

In a presentation to district councillors, Sharlynn Hill of BC Assessment said that the median value for a single family dwelling in Sparwood had been assessed to be $298,000 in 2021 – an 11 per cent jump over 2020 values of $267,000.

Compared to the rest of the valley, Sparwood is “still relatively affordable compared to its neighbours – it’s still a little bit above Elkford but quite a bit less than Fernie,” said Hill.

Single family dwellings in Fernie were estimated to have a median value of $606,000 – a 10 per cent jump over last year when it was $551,000. Fernie is home to the most expensive homes in the entire Kootenay region according to BC Assessment.

Elkford retains the lowest median values in the Elk Valley at $256,000 – having jumped only three per cent over 2020.

Property assessments will inform property taxes due later this year.

The real estate market had a wild ride in 2020, with home sales in the wider Kootenay region falling to as little as 40 per cent of the pre-COVID baseline between March and April, but picking up significantly through to the end of the year.

“Everything ground a halt there in terms of sales and building starts, and then everything just shot right up,” said Hill, who added that the market trends seen in Sparwood and the wider Kootenay region were the same across the rest of B.C. and Canada.

“September was really hot in the valley – lots of closed sales,” said Hill.

Within Sparwood, BC Assessment data showed that 108 units came on the market in 2020, down from 112 in 2019, but the total volume of sales was up to $28 million from $25 million, reflecting the increase in values overall.

Buyers were quicker on the draw in 2020 too, with the average number of days on the market for properties in Sparwood falling to 103 in 2020 from 122 in 2019 and 184 in 2018.

The average sold price across the market was $259,000 for the district in 2020. A month into 2021, the average sold price so far is well up to $298,000.

For the entire district (including industry, commercial and farmland), there is almost $750 million in taxable real estate value. Residential property (of which there are 2,106 properties) makes up the lion’s share, at over $476 million. ‘Major industry’ (28 properties) which includes mining operations contributed to $137 million worth of taxable value.

READ MORE: What’s in a brand? Sparwood logo turns 10

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