Amid rush to densify, house on Vancouver's Cambie Street listed for $11M

Updated: Aug 25, 2017

Original Article Here

Sky-high real estate prices are nothing new in Vancouver, but a new listing on the Cambie corridor is raising some eyebrows.

A single family home, near Cambie Street and 35th Avenue, has been listed for $11 million. That's almost double the price it sold for only a year and half ago, according to B.C. Assessment. 

"I think this is totally ridiculous," said John Lopes, a former real estate agent whose father-in-law lives in the area. At some point there's going to be a break. I don't know when, but it will. It always has."

Area rapidly densifying

Cambie Street has seen a major push toward increased densification in recent years. The Canada Line runs underneath it, and nearby properties have been bought up in swathes to be turned into condos.

The newly listed house is the only property on its side of the street that hasn't been earmarked for such development — yet.

Tsur Sommerville, a professor at UBC's Sauder School of Business, says price jumps like this aren't uncommon in areas under such rapid development.

"As we're getting rezoning and increasing densities, what that's doing is basically providing a source of value," Sommerville said.

"A piece of land when you can only build a single family house on it might be worth $2 million, but that same land, if you can build a six-storey condo building or a six-storey rental apartment building, might be worth $4 million."

Sommerville says similar surges can be seen on other transit corridors such as Granville and Oak Streets — though not to the same extent, and they're only zoned for townhouses.

Says no to offers

Lopes says his father-in-law, who has lived in the area for about 25 years, is seeing more and more offers for his house — but he keeps turning them down.

"In the last five years, everybody just comes over and gives him an offer, but he says no," Lopes said. "Because where [is he] going to go? That's the problem."

"There's no chance for a young couple or a young family to live in Vancouver. It's impossible."
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