Vancouver teardown listed for $3.5M one year after selling for $2.5M

A teardown in Vancouver's pricey Arbutus Ridge neighbourhood is seen in a Google Maps image dated January 2022.

A teardown on Vancouver's west side has been listed for just under $3.5 million, a year after it was purchased by a numbered company for $2.5 million.

It's unclear how the seller decided on the asking price, which is approximately 40 per cent higher than the property last sold for in February 2021. CTV News has reached out to the realtor for more information.

The listing has raised some eyebrows on social media, but Tom Davidoff, a housing researcher and professor at UBC's Sauder School of Business, told CTV News the price didn't strike him as "totally crazy," given the state of the market.

"Prices have certainly escalated over the past 12 months," Davidoff said.

"Now it is a totally crazy number in terms of there not being a lot of people in Vancouver who can pay $3.5 million just for land, then build a house on top of that. You're probably looking at $5 million at that point."

The listing notes the property, located in the city's pricey Arbutus Ridge neighbourhood, has already undergone "oil tank removal and asbestos analysis," making the 94-year-old home primed for eventual demolition.

"Builder and investor alert!" the listing reads. "Ready to build your dream home."

Images show the windows and entrances of the home boarded up, and the exterior marked with graffiti, including the words "Eat the rich."

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, the benchmark price of a detached home in the region surged from $1.75 million in April 2021 to $2.13 million in April 2022.

But with the Bank of Canada expected to continue with a series of interest rate hikes, some analysts believe Vancouver real estate is poised for a downturn that could last years.

A Royal Bank of Canada outlook published last month predicted B.C.'s aggregate benchmark price will drop 3.8 per cent in 2023, which is the biggest decrease forecast across the country.

"We expect downward price pressure to be more intense in Vancouver, Toronto, and other pricey markets," RBC assistant chief economist Robert Hogue wrote in the report.

Davidoff noted that so far, the market has only started to show signs of slowing.

He also pointed out the Arbutus lot is 50 feet wide, making it larger than many Vancouver properties, which might allow for greater density than your standard detached home with a basement suite or laneway home.

"I can say for comparison purposes, to see basically a teardown property that's very likely to be replaced at $2.5 million on the west side wouldn't be uncommon, and that would be on a smaller lot, typically," he added.

The property was last assessed at $2.38 million, with the 1,195-square-foot teardown – a two-storey home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms – accounting for just $10,000 of that.

The owners are two Vancouver residents, according to B.C.'s Land Owner Transparency Registry.