Even by Vancouver standards, it is a high-end sales pitch. Philanthropist couple Joseph and Rosalie Segal are asking $63-million for their mansion, a record list price in the city during a rebound in the residential market.
The Segals are co-owners of the property at 4743 Belmont Ave. – a scenic street where many of the most expensive properties in British Columbia are located.
The house contains nearly 22,000 square feet of space and is on 1.28 acres of land in Vancouver's posh Point Grey neighbourhood. Built in 1992, the three-level house features five bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, an elevator and an indoor swimming pool, and can handle 100 guests for a private concert. There is a six-car garage and an in-law suite.
Prospective buyers will also be drawn by the view of the mountains, Burrard Inlet and waters beyond, not to mention a short walk to beaches.
Mr. Segal, a 92-year-old real estate developer, and his wife are well-known in Vancouver for their philanthropy. They donated $12-million to help build the $82-million Joseph & Rosalie Segal Family Health Centre on the site of Vancouver General Hospital.
The new listing has emerged as the region's housing market perks up after a lull. The B.C. government imposed a 15-per-cent tax in August on foreign buyers in the Vancouver area, a move that contributed to a decline in sales and a drop in prices for detached houses for several months.
Christa Frosch, the Sotheby's International Realty Canada agent who represents the Segals, calls the property Belmont Estate. She describes the extensive gardens as being inspired by Versailles in France.
"The fact that its long-standing owners are beloved in our community for their philanthropic dedication to the City of Vancouver only adds to the home's heritage," Ms. Frosch said in a statement Thursday. "I believe that the buyer of this home will have a passion for art, history, luxurious landscapes and timeless design."
Belmont Estate stands out in a city accustomed to knock-downs commanding $2-million or more. In Vancouver, the average price for detached properties sold in May reached $2.76-million, up 1.3 per cent from the same month in 2016, although shy of the record $3.08-million in April, 2016. The average price for detached houses sold in Greater Vancouver reached a record of $1,830,956 in May, up 5 per cent from the same month in 2016 and just surpassing the previous regional high of $1,826,541 in January, 2016.
The Segals' home had a total valuation of $41.9-million when BC Assessment released data earlier this year for July 1, 2016.
BC Assessment's website now shows the Segals' property assessed at $40.3-million for July 1, 2016, because the valuation was reduced by $1.6-million upon appeal. In Vancouver, land values are the key – $33.3-million is for the land assessment and $7-million is for the house. The $40.3-million valuation ranks as the eighth most-expensive residential property in the province.
Housing industry officials, however, caution that for luxury homes with only a few potential buyers, it is difficult to determine market values.
The Segals' neighbours along Belmont Avenue include Mission Hill winery founder Anthony von Mandl, Vancouver businessman David Sidoo, as well as philanthropist Nezhat Khosrowshahi and her husband, Future Shop founder Hassan Khosrowshahi. The Khosrowshahis' property has an assessed value of $45.7-million.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. founder Chip Wilson's Vancouver waterfront mansion is on Point Grey Road east of Belmont Avenue. It tops the list of the most expensive residential properties in British Columbia on July 1, 2016 – the fourth consecutive time it has been No. 1 in the province for an assessment year.
The assessed value of Mr. Wilson's home, which he owns through 3085 Point Grey Road Holdings Ltd., jumped to $75.8-million, up 18.7 per cent from $63.9-million on July 1, 2015, BC Assessment said.
In one notable transaction last year on Belmont Avenue, Peter and Joanne Brown sold their property for $31.1-million to Tian Yu Zhou, a student listed as having a 99-per-cent interest, and businesswoman Cuie Feng, who holds a 1-per-cent stake. Mr. Brown is the founder of investment dealer Canaccord Genuity Group Inc.