Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Is reality starting to creep into the Greater Vancouver real estate market? - Updated

As sales continue to lag and it becomes apparent that the removal of the HST is not going to trigger a house buying frenzy, is some semblance of reality finally creeping into the Lower Mainland real estate market?

Realtor Arnold Shuchat is out with his latest price drops for Vancouver and Richmond. Leading the Vancouver price cuts is #208-1001 Richards Street.

This 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo in downtown Vancouver is currently assessed at $331,000.  Up until this week the owners had been asking an insane $629,000.  They have now slashed their asking price to $366,900 - a 42% drop.

It's still priced too high but at least it's more realistic and a sign sellers are starting to accept the reality of the market.

Another such sign comes from our perennial favourite at 3390 The Crescent:

We first profiled this 6 bedroom, 8 bathroom 10,516 square foot mansion (which sits on over an acre of land in the heart of Vancouver's toniest neighbourhood) back on November 22, 2011.

The current owners bought this home in April 2004 for $6 million.

In 2010 the home was listed for sale for $17.9 million, but there were no takers at that 'bargain' price.

After looking at the high prices mansions were commanding in Shaughnessy (a house that sold in 2010 on Angus Drive for $5.7 million was assessed in 2011 at $9 million), the owners jacked their asking price from $17.9 million to $31.9 million.

That's right... the home failed to sell so they doubled the asking price.

(For reference the house is currently assessed at $16,076,000)

In September 2012 the asking price was slashed to $22,000,000. This week it was cut again, this time back down to $17,800,000.

Still over assessed value, but another insane asking price has been trimmed to just over assessed value.

(hat tip UBC in crisis mode)

Finally there is the infamous Fake Mansion in West Vancouver.

This was the West Vancouver waterfront tear down assessed at $6,768,500 whose chief selling feature was the fact the property could be subdivided into 3 lots.

The seller was asking $28 million but when there were no takers, the agent listing the property gained world wide attention when the house was portrayed as Canada's most expensive listing (asking price raised to $38 million).

To help drive attention, images of a mansion that doesn't even exist were posted with the the listing and the property went viral on the internet.

When the dust settled from the resultant brouhaha, the asking price was cut back to $28 million.

Now the seller has ditched the original realtor, listed with a new agent, and the asking price has been dropped to $19,888,000, that's 48% slashed from that ridiculous February asking price.

(hat tip Observer)

As Observer notes, this property might well now lay claim to the biggest price drop in Canadian history - $18 million and counting. Chop another $10 million from the price and it just might sell.

Observer is now out with his top 10 price drops of the week and the list provides more evidence that sellers are begrudgingly accepting reality. You don't even make this week's list of price drops unless you have chopped $4 million from your asking price! A statistic which, in and of itself, is just too bizarre for words.


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  1. Decision by the competition tribunal: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/competition-bureau-loses-online-listings-case-against-toronto-real-estate-board/article11249681/

  2. I cant help but think - It can only happen in BC


  3. "The Tribunal’s brief order, released to parties involved in the case on Monday,suggests that the Bureau filed under the wrong section of the Competition Act, and that a case argued under a different section of the Act (under which less extensive remedies would be allowed) could have been more successful."

    Sounds like it could just be a delay in proceedings as the competition bureau refiled under the other section...

  4. TREB will be reimbursed for their legal fees on this first go-around(with taxpayers money). Do you think the Competition Bureau has an appetite to be defeated again?

  5. Too bad. I thought the Competition Bureau is on our side (the consumers). They should appeal!

  6. Harper's on our side now...? When did that happen?