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Empty mansions sprawling in high-end West Vancouver

Two architects looking at a model of a building.

West Vancouver is considered by multiple observers as one of Canada’s highest priced neighborhoods, but it is also currently one of the emptiest.

A plague of unoccupied luxury homes, all of which are valued anywhere between $6 million and $8 million, is emblematic of the area’s lack of resident presence. According to the 2016 Census, the rate of unoccupied homes in West Vancouver is at 9.2%, the highest in all of Metro Vancouver.

Speculation pumped up home prices in West Vancouver by 37% between 2015 and 2016, but a report by StarMetro Vancouver has described the area’s present population as nothing but 6-foot-tall weeds.

“In the front yard of one house, a handful of goldfish swim in a pond lined with spiderwebs,” the report went. “In another, blinds, still in boxes, sit in an unfurnished room waiting to be installed on the bare windows. In front of yet another, dead leaves have settled on a bulky parcel resting against the front door.”

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And while Vancouver’s recent implementation of an empty-homes tax is projected to net $30 million in revenue this year, West Vancouver is still sitting on a previously submitted motion to ask the provincial government for the authority to charge different property tax rates for empty or non-principal-residence houses.

Several luxury homes in the municipality had land titles listing mailing addresses across BC, but many others also listed addresses in China, StarMetro Vancouver reported.

 

 

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About the Author

Ephraim is currently a journalist at Mortgage Broker News, Real Estate Professional and Canadian Real Estate Wealth. Ephraim is a highly accomplished news reporter whose work has been published across North America and the Asia Pacific region. Before joining Key Media, Ephraim spent eight years working as a journalist with Reuters TV. His areas of expertise include real estate, mortgage, and finance. LinkedIn | Email  

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