The latest news in house prices is that the price for new homes (which means newly-built homes as opposed to resale homes) was up in October in Canada led by upticks in both Ontario (0.2 per cent) and Vancouver (0.1 per cent), according to numbers released by Statistics Canada. Compared to last October, new home prices in Canada are up 2.5 per cent, but only 1.9 per cent in Vancouver.

But what we all really want to know is whether our own home (a resale home) is up or down. We'll find out what the government thinks about that in a few weeks when we get our assessment notices. Then it's a mixed blessing, because a house that goes up in value could be subject to more tax (it depends on whether the tax rate, called the mill rate, stays the same or goes down)

Landcor Data Corporation which provides expertise in real estate data has come out with its predictions for 2011 assessed values, a fun read that means we don't have to wait until January and can celebrate or grieve about the value of what is likely our biggest investment over Christmas. As can be expected in a province like British Columbia, assessed values are all over the map.

 If you have a house in Mackenzie which has been hard-hit by mill closures in the past, there may be more bad news on the way, as Landcor says values are down a whopping 55 per cent drop there. Invermere isn't a great place to own a detached home either.

But it turns out condos were a great investment in Nelson (predicted to be assessed 28.8 per cent higher than last year) and Duncan (up 20.1 per cent).

 Lower Mainland homeowners can breathe a sigh of relief too, with both condos and detached homes up.