Bidding war gets Vancouver homeowners more than $1 million over their asking price

Shari Kulha | June 8, 2015 3:43 PM ET
National Post

A West Vancouver home that was listed at $2.98 million received nine offers and is now in contract to sell at $4.1 million. That’s 37 per cent over asking.

Lived in by the same family for 30 years, this 60-year-old bungalow isn’t extraordinary, really, with its four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The buyer is said to be considering razing it and building his own house, though he may resell it. Listing agent Viv Harvey says “he isn’t sure.”

“Currently there is a charming and very livable four-bedroom home on this magnificent piece of land, however, this is definitely a builders dream come true!” says her listing for the 1,832-square-foot home.

The great room has a cathedral ceiling, a mid-century fireplace and windows on three sides, from which the new owner can look out over the pool and on to the passing ships heading in and out of Vancouver Harbour. The kitchen has updated stainless steel appliances, but the cabinets date from the early 1980s.

Royal LePage SussexHarvey told the Vancouver Sun that the house “was sharply priced. We weren’t overpriced and I was thinking possibly [it would go to] $3.5 million. We didn’t really think it would be $4.1.”

What brought such interest to the property outside the city’s real estate hot spots of British Properties and West Vancouver’s Ambleside and Dundarave areas was likely its views.

Were Mark Twain around today, he might update his saying “Buy land, they’re not making any more” to “Buy land with a view, they’re not making either any more.”

With development increasingly encroaching on views, even in the hilly lower mainland, this Bayside home has sightlines “from Stanley Park to Point Grey to the Straits to the Gulf and San Juan islands,” says Harvey, of Royal LePage Sussex.

“You can’t really gauge what people are willing to pay,” said the buyer’s agent, Shahin Behroyan of Re/Max Masters Realty. “The view properties have become quite rare.”
From downtown Vancouver, Bayside is accessed with a drive through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge and west along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, about 30 minutes with good traffic flow. The neighbourhood is minutes from the ski hills at Cypress Mountain and the hiking trails surrounding the giant fir trees in Lighthouse Park.

The bids came mostly from local buyers, but the winner is someone from mainland China who already owns property in the area.