Property investment

In West Vancouver, a 13,000 sq ft mansion aimed at Chinese buyers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 April, 2013, 11:38pm

At the opposite end of the Vancouver market to the 297 square foot Balance "micro-suites" is a 12,998 sq ft mansion in Caulfeild, West Vancouver, with an asking price of C$23.8 million (HK$180 million).

While Canada's tiniest flats are mainly being marketed to local first-home buyers and lower income earners, the Caulfeild estate is aimed squarely at Chinese buyers. Vancouver's most expensive listing features a two-storey library and a huge wine cellar built around the stone outcrops on which the home is built.

Real estate agent Manyee Lui said the home, with spectacular ocean views, would probably find a Chinese buyer.

"Most of the top-priced homes in Vancouver are purchased by overseas people. Local people, we can't afford it," said the former Hong Kong resident who has been selling property in Vancouver for 20 years.

"I would say 80 per cent of my overseas buyers are from mainland China, maybe 15 per cent from Hong Kong, some from Taiwan. We are hoping for a mainland buyer [for the Caulfeild home] though we market all over the world. We have European buyers [inquiring about the property] too, but at this point we have mainly had Chinese buyers looking."

Luxury home prices in Vancouver have recently been in retreat, part of a 7 per cent decline in prices across the overall property market since it peaked last May. Bloggers have gleefully charted extravagant price cuts; one property famously listed as Canada's most expensive at C$37.9 million in January is now for sale at C$19.8 million.

But Lui remains hopeful. "The luxury market in Vancouver, comparatively speaking, is not doing too bad at all, though of course with this kind of house you don't see them selling every day. But the market is not moving as fast as it was in 2011."

Ian Young