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Cedar and Hammond Bay harbour Nanaimo region's highest-priced properties

This $2.7 million home overlooking Georgia Strait from its perch on Hinrich View is Nanaimo’s current top-valued luxury residential property and is ranked fourth highest in the Nanaimo region.   - CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin
This $2.7 million home overlooking Georgia Strait from its perch on Hinrich View is Nanaimo’s current top-valued luxury residential property and is ranked fourth highest in the Nanaimo region.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

If you’re looking for high-priced real estate, chances are you’ll find it in Cedar.

The Cedar neighbourhood on the southern border of the Regional District of Nanaimo tops the list for the 100 highest-valued properties in the region, according to B.C. Assessment’s annual report.

The neighbourhood has the highest concentration of expensive addresses and dominates half of the top 10 priciest estates.

An inland property at 3589 Juriet Rd., valued at $3.3 million, remains one of the highest taxable values in the region for the second consecutive year and a waterfront log mansion at 2358 Pylades Dr. has kept its seventh place ranking at $2.4 million.

Troy Gibson, a real estate agent with Re/Max of Nanaimo, said the values make sense with Cedar boasting some ‘beautiful’ acreages, custom homes and waterfront property that would ramp up assessments. But the neighbourhood is far from being the most coveted on the tax roll. That title falls to north Nanaimo, he said.

Hammond Bay ranks a close second for priciest properties this year, with spreads like the Old Beban Estate on Planta Road, worth $2 million. It’s followed by homes in lower Lantzville, Gabriola and Lost Lake/north Nanaimo.

“There are beautiful acreages ... out [in Cedar], but I think it’d be hard to find an actual sale in that price range out in that area, especially last year,” Gibson said of the million-dollar real estate.

A large percentage of the highest-priced property sales in 2013 – “probably 90 per cent” – likely took place in north Nanaimo’s Hammond Bay and Departure Bay neighbourhoods, he said, adding they are popular for city services, proximity to amenities and ocean views.

When people move to Vancouver Island, most dream of having views of the ocean associated with their homes, and north Nanaimo is known for that, he said.

In this year’s assessment roll, 21 per cent of the highest valued properties were located in Hammond Bay, which includes Stephenson Point, Planta Road and Sheriff Way.

Other luxury properties are in Nanaimo’s Arbutus Rock, a Rocky Point neighbourhood that hosts Nanaimo’s highest-valued house at $2.7 million and Benson Meadows. A Benson Meadows home on 3127 Northwood Rd. cracked Nanaimo’s top assessed homes at $1.8 million, but is reportedly being sold for more than $7 million.

Lower Lantzville also led with high-end properties like the $2.8-million waterfront mansion at 6970 Dickinson Rd., but the community’s presence in the top 100 was down overall by 34 per cent from 2012.

Acting assessor Bill Dawson says homes earned their way into the list with the right mix of location and appeal. People will take acerages over postage-stamp lots, waterfront over water view and land they can subdivide over land they can’t, he said, adding it all affects the worth of the land.

“What you have to remember is the assessments are reflective of the market value – any characteristics a property has that a potential vendor or purchaser may be looking for is going to add value,” he said.

“Based on historic perception you will find the average selling price and as such, the average assessment, of north Nanaimo is higher than south Nanaimo, most likely due to ... newer housing stock ... larger homes and homes with a view relative than not.”

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