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The Globe and Mail

Vancouver mansion listed for $9.4-million over assessed value

A real estate listing for a home in Vancouver's Point Grey neighbourhood. The asking price of the property is $35-million.

A prominent Vancouver couple have listed their mansion for sale at $35-million in the city's crazed housing market, a price that's $9.4-million above the property's assessed value.

Peter and Joanne Brown own the house located on prestigious Belmont Avenue – a street that boasts eight of British Columbia's 20 highest-valued residential properties.

Mr. Brown, the founder of investment dealer Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., and his wife are philanthropists through their charity, the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation.

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The property taxes last year totalled nearly $80,000 for the three-storey detached house, which was built in 1979 in Vancouver's coveted Point Grey neighbourhood. With 14,663 square feet of finished space, the mansion's layout includes six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens, a library and a wine cellar. There are six fireplaces fuelled by natural gas.

There isn't any For Sale sign outside, but the Multiple Listing Service's information sheet touts "absolutely Point Grey's most prestigious view property on 1.71 acres," with the backyard looking onto mountains, Stanley Park and the waters of Burrard Inlet.

Dexter Associates Realty, the listing brokerage that is offering showings by appointment only, said that besides the spectacular views, other features include "multiple parking, staff rooms, separate master bedroom office, as well as an exercise room."

The asking price is sharply higher than the assessed value last July of nearly $25.6-million. Technically speaking, most of the value is in the land – pegged at $23.7-million. The mansion itself rang in with a valuation at nearly $1.9-million.

The Browns' abode is ranked as the 17th most expensive residential property in the province, based on BC Assessment data. The top spot is held by Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson's $63.9-million waterfront mansion on Point Grey Road.

Housing prices have surged since last summer. Some industry observers say the combination of an influx of wealthy buyers from China and limited housing supply has driven up prices for detached houses, especially in the luxury segment in several neighbourhoods on Vancouver's west side.

Land-title documents show that Mailin Chen, a businessman from China, and Chunghwa Investment (Canada) Co. Ltd. paid $51.88-million in late 2014 for three Point Grey properties that form one residence. Those three lots (two on Drummond Drive and one on Belmont Avenue) have assessed values totalling $52.7-million.

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Other properties on Belmont Avenue include the $37.1-million residence of philanthropist Nezhat Khosrowshahi and her husband, Future Shop founder Hassan Khosrowshahi. There are 13 properties with assessed values of at least $20-million on the street, with the highest valuation at $57.1-million on a place registered to Pisonii (PTC) Ltd.

Data compiled by Dan Scarrow, managing director at Macdonald Realty Group, show there were 34 sales of all housing types that went for at least $10-million in the Vancouver region in 2015. Only one home out of those 34 garnered a winning bid above the asking price. Few buyers can afford to bid a minimum of $10-million, reducing the chances for bidding wars, and it is also difficult to determine the market value for such mansions because there aren't many comparable transactions.

But in the market for less-expensive properties, there have been a series of deals this year that have gone well above the asking price. Last month, a recently renovated house in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood fetched $4.23-million, or $735,000 over the list price. That Kitsilano house does not have a mountain view.

Last year, there were 910 detached houses that sold for at least $3-million within the City of Vancouver, compared with 300 sales in that same price category in the City of Toronto, according to Royal LePage.

If the Browns sell their property for anywhere close to their asking price, it will easily eclipse the most expensive sale on the Multiple Listing Service last year, when a waterfront property on Point Grey Road sold for $22-million.

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