Vancouver Special turns duplex in 2022, price doubles too as new units now selling for $5 million

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      About a week ago, a listing for a new Vancouver duplex came on the market.

      Located in the prestigious Point Grey neighbourhood, the two homes are set to be completed in 2022.

      The duplex will replace a Vancouver Special, which is boxy detached home designed for two households to live in.

      Listed on May 3, each of the future duplex units has an identical asking price of $2,588,000.

      That is a combined $5,176,000, which is more than double the price for which the home at 4372 West 13th Avenue was purchased.

      The home was bought on October 20, 2020 for $2,445,000. This was above its original asking price of $2,275,000.

      The listing for the new duplex was noted by David Hutchinson, a Vancouver realtor who is interested not only about selling properties but also regarding issues around housing.

      One of the questions Hutchinson likes to ask is whether or not increasing density is really helping with affordability.

      “We all know that two houses are better than one in terms of extra families being able to live there, considering there weren't already two families or three living in the existing house already,” Hutchinson said.

      “But at what cost? Are we building duplexes to displace some affordable living spaces? To what now is more density but less affordability?” he asked.

      Referring to the old home at 4372 West 13th Avenue, Hutchinson noted that it is a “very efficient Vancouver Special that already was set up for two families”.

      “The two new duplexes don't have lock-off suites, so they are for one family,” he continued. “Basically, a two-family home has been torn down, and replaced with another two-family home.”

      “It seems the only winner here is the investor,” Hutchinson said.

      The Vancouver realtor was the same one who previously took note of a detached home in East Vancouver, which was also redeveloped into a duplex.

      As the Straight reported on April 25, the property at 2884 Yale Street was sold twice, first in 2016 for $1,650,000, and second in 2017 for $1,875,000.

      The second buyer replaced the home with a duplex, and the two units were sold in March and April 2021.

      The sold prices were $2,059,047 and $2,020,952.

      In summary, the duplex units that replaced a $1.8 million home sold for a combined price of more than $4 million.