Global housing crisis? What crisis? Vancouver asks
By Nicole Mordant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - When Bob Stark bid on a loft apartment in a trendy Vancouver neighborhood in June this year, he wasn't expecting competition.
House prices in the traditionally expensive West Coast city had dipped because of the recession and a friend had recently bought a house nearby for a good price.
The first showing of the 1,150-square-foot water-view apartment opened at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday and Stark was there with his real estate agent. So were three other couples.
An hour after the show-day opened, the first offer was in. By the time Stark put in his bid three hours later, there were already three offers on the table.
"It was nerve-racking. You don't have time to think," the 35-year-old marketing executive said about having to make a snap decision to either up his offer or walk away.
He raised his bid and won the log cabin-like suite he had fallen in love with for C$15,000 over the C$600,000 ($566,000) asking price.
Vancouver, a postcard-pretty city on the Pacific Coast has long been Canada's most expensive housing market.
A 2,200 square-foot, four-bedroom home on one of its leafy streets would have cost on average an eye-popping $1.17 million this year, according to international real estate firm Coldwell Banker. Continued...