Would You Pay $1.7 Million For This House? See The Tiny Home With The Big Asking Price

In the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, housing prices are notoriously expensive. Vancouver was just named the third most unaffordable housing market in the world, outranked only by Hong Kong and Sydney which had greater ratios of home cost compared to household income.

CTV News reported that the 12th annual survey of Demographia International found Vancouver homes cost 10 times the average household income — a greater ratio than even San Jose or London. Hong Kong fares much worse, at 19 times income. But the report ranked any market with a ratio greater than 5.1 as “severely unaffordable.”

The high cost of homes is not news to Vancouver residents, but the issue was brought into the spotlight with a recent listing in the city’s tony West Point Grey neighborhood. The 2,069-sq. ft.-home, built in 1930 and on a 33 x 122 foot lot, has been listed at just under C$2.4 million (US$1.7 million).

The Georgia Straight reported that the home — which has two open houses scheduled for next week — has been Twitter fodder for folks poking fun at Vancouver’s housing unaffordability. The home’s modest interior photos were the basis of some mocking comments.

The Globe and Mail reported last August that Vancouver had a shrinking supply of detached homes — as opposed to a townhouse or condo unit — and prices were rising accordingly. In the first six months of 2014, 28.1 percent of detached home sales went for under $1 million. That percentage dropped to 12.6 percent in the same period of 2015.

The increase in home values has affected not just those wanting to get into the market, but those who are already owners. Rising values have outpaced one government grant designed to help owners of modest means pay for property taxes. The rise in home values has put 55,000 British Columbians over the $1.1 million threshold for the grant, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Despite the high price, there’s little doubt the West Point Grey house will find a buyer — possibly above the asking price. CBC noted that the home, subject to jokes as it may be, is likely a tear down. The value in the listing is the land. Vancity Buzz reported that the home was recently assessed at a value of C$2.1 million (US$1.5 million) — 21 percent above its assessment the previous year — but the building was only said to be worth C$45,000. (US$32,195)

In the West Point Grey neighborhood, there is precedent for the tear-down model. Just two blocks away from this listing, a brand new detached home on a similar sized lot is listed at C$4.3 million (US$3.1 million). The realtor’s on-site mortgage calculator estimates a monthly payment of C$16,145 (US$11,511) assuming a down payment of 25 percent and a 3.5 percent interest rate over 25 years.

The Province noted that the C$2.4 million listing is actually currently the cheapest on the website of The Kavanagh Group, real estate agency for the sale. The most expensive property in its portfolio is just a little bit more than one mile away in the same neighborhood. Its asking price is C$39 million (US$27.9 million). That listing is billed a “private estate” by the company and was constructed in 2012.

[Photo by Re/Max – The Kavanagh Group]