Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Google

3273 Mathers Ave., West Vancouver

Asking price: $6.998-million

Selling price: $5.180-million

Story continues below advertisement

Days on market: 64

Taxes: $16,672.73

Listing agent: Carsten Love, Coldwell Banker Love Realty

What they got

Michael Bublé has owned this 7,100-square-foot West Vancouver mansion with ocean and city views for 11 years. The house is on a south-facing lot in tony Westmount, with 3,000 sq. ft of landscaped, private gardens with a saltwater pool, hot tub and fire pit. The house was a year old when he bought it in 2007 for $4,550,000, featuring five bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen with island, and a theatre room and wine cellar on the bottom floor. But today’s luxury buyer wants a high-tech smart house that is controlled by an iPad, and because the house is analogue, it’s considered outdated, says listing agent Carsten Love, who is a close friend of Mr. Bublé’s. And it didn’t have a second wok kitchen. The new owner plans to do a complete renovation.

“With Michael’s beautiful home, he loved it, and I loved it. But it’s older,” Mr. Love says.

The action

The sale reflects a severe downturn in the high-end detached house market, particularly in West Vancouver, Mr. Love says. Mr. Bublé bought the house at a peak in the market and did renovations. The selling price reflects the withdrawal of Mainland Chinese money from West Vancouver. Those buyers are affected by China’s rules on taking money out of that country, as well as new mortgage rules that make it harder to borrow. The group of buyers for a high-end property has shrunk, while inventory has gone up, Mr. Love says.

He saw another sale in the neighbourhood where a new house at 3330 Craigend Road that was listed for $10.5-million went for $6-million, well below assessed value. The few buyers there are took note. It created a new market.

Story continues below advertisement

“That sale really did put us in a different mood,” Mr. Love says. “The market has drastically dropped, and West Vancouver is the worst market in North America with its months of supply. It’s got about 14 months of supply and, for example, Burnaby has about seven or eight months, which is not great. But it’s double in West Van. And it’s going to get worse as we come into spring.”

After two months on the market, only one serious offer came in, and the buyer, who had ties to Mainland China, negotiated hard.

“Luckily for Michael, he bought it for less than he sold it for, because he bought it far enough back.”

The agent’s take

Michael Buble at the Sunset Marquis in L.A. on Oct. 16, 2018, promoting his 10th album 'Love'.

Rebecca Cabage/The Associated Press

Mr. Bublé sold the house because he has moved into a huge new house he had built in his hometown of Burnaby, complete with an indoor hockey rink. They decided to unload the West Van home because it just didn’t seem like a smart investment, which would come with a hefty capital gains tax for a secondary property, Mr. Love says.

“So even if it goes back up 40 per cent, he’s not coming out that much ahead [once he pays the tax],” Mr. Love says. “And the holding costs on these types of homes are massive. They eat up a ton of money. It wasn’t a good investment property, and there was no reason to keep it.”

Story continues below advertisement

He had always planned to sell it once he moved out, anyway, he adds.

But with 20/20 hindsight, Mr. Love says a lot of sellers are wishing they’d unloaded their properties two years ago, when the market was at another peak.

“This is not for the faint of heart,” he says of the market downturn. “I think people underestimate how hard it is. Fear starts to play into it, that’s how the market works.

“There are safer investments that give fairly decent returns. In a couple of years, that money he got out of West Van can be brought back in a safer way than sitting in a market where we have no clue what the next couple of years are going to look like.

“I think people are going to have to wake up, because we thought our market was impervious to anything. We all bragged about it: ‘Vancouver, people love us. We’re the best. Nothing can hurt us.’

How fast things change. Now people go, ‘Uh, okay…’” he says, laughing.

Story continues below advertisement

“Reality is starting to set in. Prices went up so fast, and maybe for false reasons – not because people wanted to live here, but because they were propping up our market for a safe place to park their money.”

Report an error Editorial code of conduct

For sale in this area

View similar listings below. Clicking on the map will take you to the listings below.

Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2985000.00
3640 MATHERS AVENUE, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Royal Pacific Realty Corp.
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Situated in West Bay Westmount, on a quiet beautiful tree-lined street. Large land of 14268 square ft (95 x 150) with City & Water View. Inside 3292 square ft includes 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and double garage, beautifully appointed & features fine finishing, detail throughout, and well kept. New renovation on gourmet kitchen, roof and flooring. Main floor has Master Bedroom with large walk-in closet, bright living room and a sizable den. 3 comfortable bedrooms, family room, play room, etc are in the lower level. Outside area has a gorgeous patio garden, illuminated sports court, sunfilled decks and a sparkling outdoor hot tub. Close to BC's top public schools West Bay Elementary, Rockridge Secondary. Private schools: Mulgrave, Collingwood. Must See! (id:31729)
Listing ID R2402378
Salesperson Sydney Deng
Brokerage Royal Pacific Realty Corp.
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
4280000.00
1515 MATHERS AVENUE, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Bedrooms
6
Bathrooms
6
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
An amazing 3-level brand-new modern home in convenient Ambleside with a wonderful city and water view West Vancouver! Situated on 6100 sq.ft. lot offering 6 beds/6 baths/1 office . Main floor boasts an open concept floor plan with a grand 14ft high living room and dining room, gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances, access to a spacious covered patio.Ceiling mounted sound system, oak floor. Upper level features 3 good sized bedrooms and 2 of them with a gorgeous water view, with triple glazed windows. Separate basement entrance offers a 2 bedroom legal suite. There is also a guest bedroom, a fabulous entertainment room with a wet bar and even a beautifully done media room! Exceptional location - close to Ridgeview Elementary School and West Van Secondary, Park Royal, parks, beach and (id:31729)
Listing ID R2450586
Salesperson Michael Xu
Brokerage Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
3980000.00
1484 MATHERS AVENUE, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
4
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Luxury custom-built property with incredible view located in the heart of Ambleside neighborhood! Gently sloping lot offers outstanding privacy & beautifully landscaped front yard. Double height foyer with a showpiece staircase feat. Stunning open floor plan offers elegant living room, gorgeous gourmet kitchen with high-end Thermadore appliance, custom Synergy cabinets, rough-in for Wok kitchen, & hug functional view deck. Features 4/5 bdrms and 4 full bthrm, the master bdrm with direct access to the large balconies with incredible ocean view. Lower level features rec room, bar, wine cellar, media room, & guest bdrm, large double car garage with a over-sized flat driveway, private backyard with large size patio and much more. Walking distance to top rated schools, parks, beachs. (id:31729)
Listing ID R2453945
Salesperson Jonathan Yu
Brokerage Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
3500000.00
1725 MATHERS AVENUE, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Bedrooms
5
Bathrooms
5
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
SET FOR LIVING! One of a kind, HALF ACRE VIEW PROPERTY in the heart of AMBLESIDE. FLAT LOT with tremendous potential for re-development. Centrally located just across from West Van High School, close proximity to Ridgeview & Hollyburn Elementary, Sentinel Secondary, shopping, park and recreation. Seawall just a short stroll away. Enter this home through a beautiful manicured garden enclosed courtyard leading to this well maintained family home on three levels featuring five bedrooms, five bathrooms and & kitchens. Functional layout, large rooms flooded with sunshine, sparkling hardwood floors and warm ambiance. Quiet seclusion, rolling green, gardens and shade, fruit trees are part of the beautiful fully fenced-in backyard. ONCE YOU SEE IT YOU'LL WANT TO OWN IT. Call for showing. (id:31729)
Listing ID R2461344
Salesperson Rita Nagy
Brokerage Sutton Group-West Coast Realty
Open this photo in gallery: Gallery photo 1
2198000.00
3165 DICKINSON CRESCENT, West Vancouver, British Columbia
Sotheby's International Realty Canada
Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
3
Building Type
Freehold
Property Type
Single Family
Don't miss out on this absolutely charming country house, with ocean views, mature English gardens and a semi-detached guest suite. Exceptionally maintained, this home features a huge master bedroom, open concept living and dining room, a beautiful covered front porch area with motorized awning and a self-contained guest suite above the garage. Surrounded by immaculate gardens, this south facing home also has a spacious backyard and patio area for outdoor entertaining. Situa ted in the highly coveted West Bay school catchment, you can walk to school, transit, Dundarave shopping and the beach. Open by appointment only. (id:31729)
Listing ID R2453393
Salesperson Jason Jennings
Brokerage Sotheby's International Realty Canada
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies