The cost of owning a town in BC

Forget investing in single-family or commercial properties – why not take it to the next level and buy a whole town?

A Chinese real estate developer did just that, purchasing Bradian, a small ghost town in the Bridge River Valley just north of Whistler, BC for $995,000.

The deal, which transferred on December 29, is for the title to the town, complete with streets, fire hydrants, vacant lots and all of its 22 homes.

“We had an unbelievable response from potential buyers all over the world, but at the end of the day we feel that the [China Zhong Ya Group Hebei Canada-China Co.] will be a good fit,” wrote real estate agent John Lovelace, who brokered the deal, in a post on his website.

He is optimistic about the developer’s plan to rehabilitate the land. “The company told us they plan to rehabilitate the town, but I think they are prepared to take the time to plan everything out first,” he added. “That planning process will undoubtedly take considerable time.”

Lovelace also said he is working with several other foreign investors who are looking at properties all the way up to the Yukon border.

“The first wave of investors who came to Vancouver were mainly interested in buying single-family homes and condos,” said Lovelace.

“This new wave of buyers is getting more sophisticated, and they are looking at investing outside of places like Richmond and West Vancouver. Now they’re looking at properties all over BC, like farms, ranches and businesses – and in this case an entire town.”

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