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Home values drop significantly in Lake Cowichan area

Value decrease comes after years of increases
House and property values in the Cowichan Lake area dropped this year after years of significant increases, according to the latest report from BC Assessment. (Gazette file photo)

Single-family homes that are not waterfront properties in Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake saw their values drop 16 per cent from last year, according to the latest figures provided by BC Assessment, the largest drop in the Cowichan Valley.

The average value of a home in those two communities decreased from an average $629,000 to $530,000 as of July 1, 2023.

In January, 2023, BCA reported that the value of an average home in the two communities rose 24 per cent from the previous year, among the highest increases in the region at the time.

The value of most homes and properties have risen significantly in previous years across Vancouver Island and B.C., particularly in the western areas of the Cowichan Valley, but that trend has cooled this year with drops in values across the province, with some of the largest in the Cowichan Lake area.

The rural areas north of Cowichan River had the next largest drop in value in the area, at 13 per cent this year, dropping from $938,000 to $813,000.

The average waterfront properties in Youbou, which rose 28 per cent last year, dropped 12 per cent this year; from $2,032,000 to $1,792,000.


The Town of Lake Cowichan saw a decrease of nine per cent in value of an average home, dipping from an average of $642,000 down to $587,000, as of July 1, 2023.

Last year, Lake Cowichan saw its house values rise 23 per cent.

Youbou, which had an increase of 12 per cent last year, saw its values drop eight per cent this year; from $603,000 to $557,000.

Waterfront properties in Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake, which rose 26 per cent last year, dropped five per cent this year; from $1,710,000 to $1,619,000.

In other parts of the Cowichan Valley, home owners in the City of Duncan saw their values drop six per cent, from an average of $591,000 to $557,000.


The Municipality of North Cowichan and the Town of Ladysmith tied at minus four per cent, seeing house values drop to an average of $705,000 in Ladysmith and $727,000 in North Cowichan.

Owners of nearly 400,000 properties throughout Vancouver Island can expect to receive their 2024 assessment notices within the coming days.

“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.

“Homeowners throughout Vancouver Island will generally see somewhere in the range of minus five to plus five per cent 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 more than $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 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 find valuable information on our website, including answers to many assessment-related questions,” Butterfield said.

“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.”

Butterfield said that if a property owner is still concerned about their assessment after speaking to one of BC Assessment’s appraisers, they may submit a Notice of Complaint (Appeal) by Jan. 31, for an independent review by a Property Assessment Review Panel.

The PARPs, which are independent of BC Assessment, are appointed annually by the provincial government, and typically meet between Feb. 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.”

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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