Saturday, December 8, 2012

West Van house sells for almost 30% below assessed value

On Thursday we talked about the current R/E media theme, specifically that Vancouver homeowners are pulling properties off the market rather than settle for lower prices.
The free-falling Vancouver housing market shows no signs of reversing its slide with the latest figures showing November sales 30.3% below the 10-year average for the month.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver now says consumers have begun pulling their homes off the market rather than settle for a lower prices in what is still the country’s most expensive market to buy a home... Home sellers appear more inclined to remove their properties from the market today rather than lower prices to sell their properties.
Toss in supporting articles by industry 'experts' about how prices simply 'won't be coming down' and you can see the framework for the current campaign to mould the mindset of the market.

Never mind that there are Richmond homes selling for more than 30% below assessed value.

Never mind that there are a number of Surrey properties listed for more than 30% below assessed value.

Heck, we've even seen a westside Vancouver home that sold for more than 30% below assessed value.

Instead we are treated to a media campaign that attempts to leverage the traditional December decline in listings as proof positive prices won't decline, that owners would rather pull their homes off the market than be insulted by below market offers.

Of course that doesn't mean the collapse doesn't continue.

Allow me to introduce you to 3529 Mathers Avenue in venerable West Vancouver:

This 5 bedroom, 8 bathroom (eight bathrooms? Was this place built for the incontinent?) home is 5,530 square feet in size.

Here's the way the listing described the home:
Situated on a lush south-facing property in sought-after West Bay, this magnificent home showcases 3 levels of living and features many exciting attributes including 5 spacious ensuited bedrooms, a breathtaking master with spa-like ensuite, spectacular gourmet kitchen with fantastic island, breakfast bar, butler’s coffee centre, adjoining eating area and large family room with roaring fireplace. 
Additionally, this home features a wonderful living and dining room for entertaining, rich harwood flooring, private den, exercise room, pre-wired media/theatre room, wine cellar, rec room, oversized 3 car garage, heated driveway, and home entertainment centres. 
All rooms open out through ‘eclipse’ doors to lush, manicured landscaping, private sundrenched patios and a surrounding entertainment paradise including an outdoor barbeque centre, bubbling hot tub and timed rinse shower. 
This fabulous custom home captures sparkling ocean views of Stanley Park and Vancouver's Inner Harbour, Point Grey and the West Side. Walking distance to all local amenities, McKechnie Park, schools and beaches, this sensational residence offers meticulous craftsmanship, impeccable quality, a practical layout and modern amenities making this the perfect family home!
Now 3529 Mathers came onto the market in January 2012 with an asking price of $4,200,000.

Priced with bubble conditions in mind, that original asking price was almost a mil over the assessed value - which is $3,412,000 (click on image to enlarge):

Of course, reality intervened on these optimistic selling dreams.

Which is okay, because the sellers bought the place in 2009 for only $2,950,000, they had room to move on that $4.2 million asking price.

And move they did.

Just like the ones who sold in Richmond and in Vancouver for 30% below assessed value, the owners of 3529 Mathers were prepared to move below assessed value too.

3529 Mathers sold this week... for $2,500,000.

That's 27% below assessed value and $400,000 lower than what they paid for it in 2009!

Seems they didn't get the memo to be offended by lowball offers and then pull their listing so they could wait to get slaughtered in the Spring.

If this house sold for $912,000 below assessed value now, will 2013 bring us the first homes that sell for over $1 million below assessed value?

Clearly this seller thinks so... and he didn't want to be one of them.

(hat tip Troll @ VCI)


Click 'comments' below to contribute to this post.

Please read disclaimer at bottom of blog.


  1. Beautiful post ! I'm confused who the greater fool is.

  2. What do we know about the seller? HAM?

  3. $450,000 haircut on the sale plus all the associated costs to buy and sell. So the seller has taken a HALF A MILLION dollar LOSS in 3 years. They should have rented.

  4. I know someone who sold on the West side (Kerrisdale) in 2010 (sold out to HAM) and moved to West Vancouver because they thought it would be the next HAM hotbed. They are now underwater and are stuck there unless they want to take a loss (they don't). I think they are in WV for the long-haul.

  5. "Showcases three levels of living"?
    Translation:built on one of those steep hillsides that is prone to ending up in Horseshoe Bay.

  6. This guy obviously paid cash, so he doesn't care about a half a million, give or take. These guys are so rich they would give the house away if someone just asked. This is in no way a trend. Wealthy people don't care, they won't sell, or maybe they will....

    1. "obviously paid cash". Why is it "obvious"? "Rich" people don't stay that way by losing half a million here and there...

  7. Rich people care deeply about money, especially losing it... that's why they are rich in the first place.