Saturday, January 14, 2012

A sign of things to come?

Real Estate watchers in the Village on the Edge of the Rainforest have seen high end properties in Vancouver shoot up over the past couple of years, but not everything has been making stunning gains.

And as all signs point to a looming market correction, there has been an interesting development.

The Penthouse at Shaw Tower in downtown (1077 West Cordova) sold this week.

Billed as Vancouver’s tallest waterfront tower, the Penthouse at Shaw Tower features panoramic unobstructed views of Burrard Inlet, the Five Sails of the Vancouver Convention Centre, Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, English Bay, Downtown City Lights, and Mount Baker.  

The Penthouse suite occupies a full floor of the Shaw Tower and this has 4 bedrooms, a home office, climate controlled wine room, media room, and multiple large decks.  The interiors feature limestone flooring with radiant heat, custom wood mill work, chef’s kitchen, limestone gas fireplace, art feature walls, onyx, limestone, mill work closet systems and automation system, sunshades and blackout shades, security system, private hot tub, built in BBQ.  

The home comes with 4 parking stalls and private storage room.  The building has concierge service, gym, and private boardroom and home theatre.  Realtors bill it as a unique opportunity to own the most stunning penthouse in Vancouver.

The problem?

The property has languished on and off the market now for almost four years.

Back in May of 2011 it hit the market with an asking price of $19,800,000. The price was dropped to $15.5 million with not takers.

The media reported the sale as a property that sold for 2/3rds of the asking price ($15.5 million down to $10.1 million) but when you take the asking price from May 2011 into account, it's almost a 50% drop.

Is this a portent of what's to come in Vancouver?

Hard to say.  A property is only worth what someone will pay for it and we have seen some real outlandish asking prices.  The real question is, what did the owner originally pay for it?

Is the $10.1 million sale price a gain or a loss? Did the owner dump the property because all signs are pointing downward?

We're not sure. But what does stand out is that the asking price had to be slashed in half to complete a sale.

Maybe Royal Bank (contrary to Phil Soper) was valid in preparing for a 25% real estate correction.


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  1. No veggie garden and built in an earthquake subduction zone. I wouldn't consider it for anything more than $100k.

  2. A lotta of house for such a small town....where would you go to be seen??
    It is very nice but maybe would be better in Malibu?
    You could add a veggie garden but it ain't earthquake proof.
    The old BC gas building on Georgia is supposed to be shake proof with the cable supports..I wonder if it has a penthouse.

  3. New B.C. highrises at risk in event of major quake

  4. It's mind boggling that someone would pay that much for something like that in Vancouver.