Realtor Adam Major says one of the frustrations for buyers in Metro Vancouver’s hot property market has to do with homes selling very fast.
“Before they realize a house is even listed for sale, it already has an accepted offer on it,” the managing broker of Holywell Properties, told the Straight.
Major, who is also CEO of the company’s real-estate information site Zealty.ca, said he and his team often get calls from buyers asking if a house is still available.
“For the last few months, whenever someone asks that question, the answer is usually ‘no, the house has already sold’, or ‘the house already has an accepted offer’,” he said.
But as in many things in this world, there are always variations to the general rule or trend.
The real-estate market is no exception.
With that said, Major shared with the Straight some of Metro Vancouver’s longest house listings that have yet to find a buyer.
One is 7307 Angus Drive in Vancouver.
The property was first listed on January 16, 2017 for $3,698,000. The price has been reduced to $2,999,000.
The listing states: “Tastefully renovated English Rudor [sic] home located in South Granville area. 56 × 120 lot and over 3000 sq.ft. finished area with 3 bedrooms up and 2 bedroom nany suite down with separate entrance. Beautiful chef's kitchen completed with marble counter top, custom cabinets & stainless steel appliances, remodelled bathrooms and built-in custom cabinets in master bedroom, leaded glass window and original oak hardwood floor. Beautiful West facing backyard with fruit tree.”
Major noted that while the seller slowly reduced the price by almost $700,000, the house still hasn’t sold.
“The list price is a relatively reasonable 32 percent premium to assessed value,” Major said.
The home’s 2021 assessed value comes to $2,269,000.
Referring to the listing description of the home as a “tastefully renovated English Rudor home”, Major noted that perhaps English Tudor homes do “not command the cachet they once they did”.
“Despite Tudor homes not being as popular as they once were, in the current market, with the seller seeming motivated as indicated by price reductions, this house may actually sell soon,” Major said.
Next is 2037 East Broadway in Vancouver.
The home was listed on April 18, 2017. The asking price is unchanged at $3 million.
The listing states: “FOR LAND ASSEMBLY. Please do not disturb the owners. The lot area/land size and finished floor area are based on BC Assessment; the room dimensions are approximate. All information, measurements and dimensions are to be independently verified by Buyer.”
Major noted that the 90-year-old home features four bedrooms and two baths.
The listing price is “only” 133 percent above its 2021 assessed value of $1.289 million.
“On East Broadway, the seller is clearly hoping to capitalize on future development potential and ‘land assembly’ as there are two neighbouring homes listed for the same price, though they have only been active for a year,” Major noted.
Major added that the home directly across the street sold for $1.588 million in 2020.
And with that sold price, Major noted that the seller of 2037 East Broadway may be a “bit optimistic in their asking price”.
Third example is 9974 138 Street in Surrey.
The home was listed on August 1, 2016 for $1,350,000. The asking price has since been increased to $2 million.
The listing states: “REIN's [Real Estate Investment Network] No. 1 pick for BC real estate investment. In the CORE of Surrey City Centre, 3 blocks from the K/G [King George] Skytrain Station & CC [Central City] Mall/SFU, 1/2 block to the new 45-storey developing high-rises. Great location, current OCP design with 2.5 FAR, great potential for future rezoning. Clean and spacious rancher on the land makes this as a solid holding property.”
Major related that from the original listing price of $1.35 million on August 1, 2016, the seller increased the price by $100,000 on March 1 2018, and again by another $550,000 on October 19, 2018 to get to the current listing price of $2 million.
Moreover, Major noted that the current asking price is more than double the assessed value of $900,200.
“Despite being on the market for almost five years and increasing the price by almost 50 percent or $650,000, this house in the up and coming neighbourhood of East Whalley is still available,” the HolywellProperties executive said.
Major noted that usually in Surrey’s Whalley area, if a house doesn’t sell, the seller simply increases the price so it becomes ‘more desirable’, and ‘bam, the buyers move in!”.
“For some reason, that hasn’t worked here,” he said.
Major continued: “In all fairness this house is in the shadow of a bunch of new concrete towers, so the seller is clearly banking on redevelopment potential.”
“As everyone knows, developers will keep moving east until eventually the entire Lower Mainland is a sea of concrete towers,” he added.
For homeowners wanting to cash in their “Vancouver real-estate lottery winnings”, Major said that hopefully they “live long enough to see it happen”.
Major also offers soothing words for buyers suffering from the aggravations of seeing their dream home snatched by someone else after a bruising bidding war.
“Fear not dear buyer. Not everything sells in a week for $100,000 over asking,” Major said.