Is being close to water such as an ocean, river, stream or lake, a benefit or a liability?
It depends on whether the area has a floodplain map and if the area has ever had a flood, according to research from Ebbwater Consulting, The Impact of Flood Hazard on Real Estate Values.
Decrease in property value because of flood hazards
Price reductions after a flood diminish as time passes, and homes regain value between one and seven years after a flood.
Flooding in your neighborhood – who’s protecting you?
Not all BC municipalities have updated their flood mapping.
Find your region using BC’s floodplain maps by region.
- identify areas that have had floods from rivers, lakes, streams, and ocean; and
- provide information on the spatial distribution of flood construction levels.
BCREA leads the way
More than a decade ago, BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) began lobbying the BC government to create much-needed floodplain maps.
BCREA brought attention to the catastrophic risks flooding poses to BC’s economic vitality, safety, and environment.
In 2021, BCREA received funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to conduct research jointly with the University of British Columbia.
The result was a BC Floodplain Maps Inventory Report which identifies maps created or updated from 2015 to 2020. The report provides insights into how local governments and First Nations use floodplain maps, and the challenges communities experience with floodplain mapping projects.
As a result of this advocacy, BCREA convinced the government that floodplain mapping can assist REALTORS®, their clients, and the BC government. The government responded by creating floodplain maps.
Flood risk management in the Lower Mainland
You can find information on flood risk management in the Lower Mainland at floodwise.ca.
Dike management and safety
Dike operation and maintenance were moved to municipalities from the provincial government in 2003.
Since then, both local governments and the provincial government have responsibilities to inspect, monitor, repair and replace dikes.
If a new dike is to be constructed, the construction will only be approved if the local government agrees to become the diking authority, and become responsible for ownership, operation, and maintenance of the dike.
More information about dikes in your neighbourhood.
There are more than 100 dikes throughout the province that aren’t the responsibility of any level of government. Many of these dikes were built years ago during an emergency and aren’t actively maintained by a diking authority. They also don’t meet provincial standards.
Although many of these dikes are located on private property, some are still regulated, meaning they can’t be modified or disturbed without prior approval under the Dike Maintenance Act.
For example, the three-kilometer Southlands Dike, below SW Marine Drive in Vancouver, protects multimillion dollar estates and horse barns from flooding.
The provincial government provided funding to the Fraser Basin Council to coordinate and manage a risk assessment for the orphan dikes. Read the Fraser Basin report (opens 161-page pdf).
Environmental impacts of flooding
The Fraser Basin Council has also prepared a Flood Hazard Management Guide (opens 77-page pdf), analyzing flood management practices and policies related to environmental impacts caused by flooding.
Source of Text: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver