“I have been watching this one since last summer. A perfectly usable house sits unused for a year.”

“Regarding anecdotal evidence for empty properties: I have been watching this one since last summer. [2667 Claymore Place, Burnaby. 3950sqft SFH on 7150sqft lot.] It has been empty and listed for sale since then. I know that HAM bought it in 2006. I don’t know how many pairs of hands it has been through between then and now. It was listed at $935,000 when I first noticed it last August. It has had 8s in every revised price ever since. Now asking $868,000. A perfectly usable house sits unused for a year.”
– ‘The poster formerly known as anonymous’ at VREAA 2 Apr 2012 9:19pm

How many houses and condos sit empty in Vancouver, playing the role of trading units rather than homes?
– vreaa

18 responses to ““I have been watching this one since last summer. A perfectly usable house sits unused for a year.”

  1. Basement Suite

    “It was listed at $935,000”

    As Adam Savage would say, “Well there’s your problem!”

    • They have reduced their asking price by 7%, I see.

      Polygon’s The Chancellor was priced @ around $700-$800/sqft. They are asking as low as $450/sqft for Moda, also located at Metrotown.
      “Our one bedroom plus den homes range from 570 sq. ft. to 689 sq. ft. and are priced from just $289,900.
      Corner two bedroom residences range from 893 sq. ft. to 958 sq. ft. with amazing prices from $399,900. ”
      At these bargain prices, all the units would be snapped up prolly at the coming 2012 Spring – Beijing Overseas Property & Investment Show 2012, or the Summer, Autumn & Winter shows.

      A good many who bought last year at Acorn Av / Arcola St have incurred a paper loss of up 5% to 16.25%, e.g.
      2012 assessed value: $356,000
      bought on 19/Apr/2011 for $416,000 (down 60k) 14.4%

      2012 assessed value: $364,000
      bought on 29/May/2011 for $416,000 (down 52k) 12.5%

      2012 assessed value: $411,000
      bought on 12/Jul/2011 for $460,000 (down 49k) 10.65%

      2012 Assessed value: $378,000
      bought on 17/Aug/2011 for$418,000 (down 40k) 9.56%

      2012 assessed value: $419,000
      bought on 05/Jul/2011 for$452,000 (down 33k) 7.3%

      2012 assessed value: $437,000
      bought on 18/Jun/2011 for $478,000 (down 41k) 8.57%

      2012 assessed value: $389,000
      bought on 04/May/2011 for $430,000 (down 41k) 9.5%

      2012 assessed value: $395,000
      bought on 01/Jun/2011 for $430,000 (down 35k) 8.1%

      2012 assessed value: $441,000
      bought on 27/Sep/2011 for $490,000 (down 49k) 10%

      2012 assessed value: $403,000
      bought on 21/Jul/2011 for $437,800 (down 35k) 8%

      2012 assessed value: $293,900
      bought on 30/May/2011 for $325,000 (down 32k) 9.5%

      2012 assessed value: $804,000
      bought on 24/Jul/2011 for $960,000 (down 156k) 16.25%

  2. We moved into a rental apt close to Granville Island almost 3 years ago and we have a great view of a 2 bed + den ground floor unit in “The Lagoons” that has been empty and for sale the entire time we’ve been in the hood. Prime Vancouver waterfront with a view no less… it must be haunted or something.

    • Many parts of the world have laws that protect squatters for just this reason. Cities tend to support their own community when obvious examples of long term abandoned buildings exist. Hell, we might even have rules that allow squatting here. The Americans do. England and Ireland both have statutes that allow the use of empty buildings and evictions can be damn near impossible once established over the course of a certain time period. I once heard squatter-tenants could attain ownership if there was no objections after so many years and taxes were paid. Any of you lawyers know?

      • Renters Revenge

        It’s called adverse possession and generally ownership can be obtained after 10 years of posession.

        “The penalty for non-use (of land) is tantamount to private expropriation by a squatter without compensation.”

        http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/RealEstateTenancy/LawArticle-69/Adverse-Possession.aspx

        (I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV!)

      • Wow. Thanks RR. Too cool. So all you need to do is put up a fence, build a barn and pasture a few horses for 10 years and its yours. Nobody will notice that in the Lagoons! Kidding aside, is it actually allowed to move into an abandoned house, hook up the connections and live there like it is yours…? Seems to be allowed as long as you don’t actually break in to get access. Richmond must be a Mecca of free living. I hear they are almost all empty.

      • Thanks Zeb. Great history. I will add one. In the late 60’s (early 70’s?) there were hippies squatting in the Towers at Wreck beach and around the base of the cliff. There was music and dancing and pot-luck dinners. This was before it was a nude beach really so normal people still went down there. Not sure what happened but somehow the authorities eventually kicked them all out and turned the place back into a regular sandy beach.

  3. Renters Revenge

    The interesting thing about ownership is the importance of possession. You know the saying: “Possession is 9/10ths of the law”?

    • The interesting thing about rentership is the importance of not being in possession. In some cases the last thing I’d want is to own an overinflated asset with depreciation to boot.

  4. The Poster Formerly Known As Anonymous

    There’s another house two streets down from where I now live, in the same situation… only it’s not even for sale. Empty, bought and held by HAM. (I mentioned it in a prior thread). I could go down and take pictures… In fact, I think I will! Stay tuned.

    In other news: The house sold for something under 250k in 2003, then something over 650k in 2007 after a light reno, and I wonder what it will go for this time after a more intensive reno?

  5. Welcome to West Van. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a quarter of all of the homes in the British Properties are lived in less than a month out of the year. In some of the newer developments to the west like Canteburry I’d say that over 75% of the homes sit empty most of the year.
    It’s almost unbelievable but in the properties there are some vacant homes that are completely dilapidated because no maintenance has been performed on the house for years and the yard is completely overgrown. The owner assumes that when they decide to sell the property it is just going to get torn down and rebuilt so why bother.
    It’s staggering, I would prefer that people invested in tulip bulbs instead.

  6. West Coast Woman

    There are a few empty houses in my neighbourhood as well – one has been empty about 10 years (and never for sale). This house is probably no longer useable – what a waste of a well built house. It would be nice to post its picture somewhere to show the waste that’s occurring all over the City.

    Perhaps there should be a website (vacantVancouverhouses. ??)where pictures of all these vacant houses can be posted. Then those who need a home will know where to look . . . . and those who deny this is happening will see the evidence in pictures!

  7. Should have bought 2668 Claymore Place.

    Did I mention that markets and investors are always rational?

  8. Of course, when it comes to “BC ForSale!” – foreign ownership and ‘restricted access’ aren’t exclusively ‘urban’ issues confined to housing… Are they?…

    [CBC] – B.C. fishermen challenge billionaire ranchers for lake access

    …”The 200,000-hectare property — reputed to be the largest working cattle ranch in Canada — is owned by billionaire Stan Kroenke, who’s also owner of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche. His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, is the daughter of Wal-Mart department store founder Bud Walton.

    Members of the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club claim ranch managers are illegally blocking access to Minnie and Stoney lakes, by dumping tree logs on a roadway that is publicly owned.

    “This is definitely an attempt to keep us the heck out of here and off a public road,” angler Rick McGowan told CBC News. “They’re trying to lock us out of half a million acres of Crown land and all the lakes and streams in there.”…

    http://tinyurl.com/c2mezmx

    [Notes to Ed: 1. The terrible irony… each ‘bargain’ fishing tackle purchase at WallyWorld… 2. P**ssingOff well ‘equipped’ and resourceful OutDoorsMen/Women in isolated rural settings is seldom a good idea. ]

    • If some rich ba$tard ever blocked a public road to cut off my access to public lands, I would have to retire and commit my life fulltime to A) thwarting said blockade, and B) revenge. That’s just so far beyond acceptable it’s not even on the scale. I’m not of an “eat the rich” mindset, but some folks deserve to be eaten.

  9. Funny you should say that. A property owner has a small private peninsula on North Pender Island. There was a narrow public beach below the level of their lawn that we used to enjoy walking around on our way into the bay. A few years ago, the owners decided to enlarge their lawn and dumped a bunch of boulders on the beach to build a retaining wall, thus destroying the public beach – there is now no beach left, even at low tide – just massive boulders with no way to climb over. Don’t know how they got away with this! So, whenever I’m walking the beach there, I just stomp brazenly through their yard to the public beach on the other side. Haven’t been stopped yet, but looking forward to the day I am! 🙂

    • Thats illegal. Their property line is marked by the high tide line.

      Keep on walking, that ain’t their lawn.

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