Will my property drop in value in a Heritage Conservation Area?


The Value of Heritage in our Community

Welcome to the New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society’s new blog series that examines what it means to preserve heritage sites in New Westminster – from an economic, aesthetic, community and/or historical perspective. At least once a month we will present information that helps contribute to informed opinion and constructive discussion around a subject that is vital to the enrichment of heritage structure in the Royal City.


There is no evidence that the value of property will drop when a Conservation Area is established – but there is considerable evidence the value will remain or increase.

Over the years there have been several studies looking at what happens to the value of protected heritage properties.  One of the largest studies, by Robert Shipley (Heritage Designation and Property Values) from the University of Waterloo, showed that heritage values tended to increase faster than other properties when the market increases – and when the market turns, heritage properties retain their value better than other properties.

Other researchers such as Donovan Rypkema, the Victoria Civic Trust and Heritage BC among others, have shown similar results to Shipley – throughout North America.

BC Assessment has, on several occasions said heritage designation did not detract from the value of the property – but frequently increased the value of the property, particularly if it is situated in a heritage neighbourhood.