VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Property assessments are in the mail and depending where you live, there could be bad news on the way if you’re planning to sell your home.

The BC Assessment Authority says a significant number of property values in the Vancouver Sea to Sky Region are down for the first time in years, notably in Whistler, the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver’s West Side.

A 33-foot single-family lot on Vancouver’s West Side is down more than $70,000 on average to $1,256,200.

UBC Real Estate expert Tsur Somerville says it’s a bit surprising.

“When you look from July to July or June to June, other price indices for the Lower Mainland remain flat for the region as a whole,” he explains.

Meanwhile, values throughout the rest of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley are fairly stable. But Somerville says a slowing housing market has likely contributed to declining numbers in some areas.

“Housing prices peaked in about April or May of 2012,” he points out. “They were flat going into that and as a result, you’ve got some slight price declines. But even if you were to take from the peak price point of late spring 2012 to now, prices are down from three to six per cent, depending on where you are.”

“I was expecting overall, for the entire Lower Mainland, on average for them be flat,” he adds.

Somerville says even if your assessment dropped, the amount you pay in property taxes won’t, as long as municipal governments keep spending.

Overall, the Vancouver Sea to Sky Assessment Roll increased by about $11 billion, nearly half of which includes subdivisions, rezoning, and new construction.

Click here to see a list of assessments.