Vancouver real estate isn’t as hot as it was last year, but it’s nowhere near seeing hundreds of foreclosures. You can imagine my surprise when I saw a Facebook ad, advertising a “Vancouver Foreclosures Hot List.” Naturally I sign up for that s**t, to see what happens. Soon after, I’m directed to a website search results page with hundreds of supposed foreclosure listings.
Foreclosures Don’t Happen In A Bubble, or a Hot Market
First, let’s discuss why we aren’t seeing foreclosures in Vancouver real estate. Call Vancouver a bubble, or a hot market – it doesn’t really matter. In a market with high liquidity, that is one with more buyers than sellers, there is practically no foreclosures. In fact, only 0.20% of all mortgages in BC were even behind on payments. Are people getting richer? Not exactly.
Markets like Vancouver are seeing few foreclosures because almost anything listed sells within a few weeks (a couple months tops). Some people are taking a loss on purchase prices in the $3 million plus category, but a loss is better than losing all equity. Even in the case of bankruptcy, an insolvency agent would liquidate your assets – not let let them fall behind until the bank picks it up. We did a detailed analysis on how this works for Toronto if you’re interested, but the point is there are hardly any listings that fall into foreclosure in Vancouver. So finding any is unusual – nevermind a whole “hot list” of them.
“Foreclosure Homes of Vancouver”
The landing page is a search page titled “Foreclosure Homes of Vancouver” in the price range of $350k to $750k. A search result notification says “Your search returned too many results. Showing 200 out of 357.” It doesn’t feel like it wasn’t “too many”…since it just told me how many there were in total, but whatever. I click on one of the results and it takes me to a lead capture form where I enter my contact information once again to get access to what I assume is 357 foreclosure listings.
None Were Foreclosures
You can imagine my excitement as the page loads, 357 foreclosure listings in Vancouver? I’ll take them all! When the page loads I scan the results with bated breath… unfortunately I’m left heartbroken to find just regular listings from the MLS. None of the listings on my search results page mention being a foreclosure, so I decided to call a few of the agents. Not one of the agents I spoke to had any idea they were being listed on this site, and more importantly – none of them were selling foreclosure properties. Actually one of the agents I called said the property in question was already sold. At least the market mechanics of not seeing foreclosures in a hot market makes sense.
In my opinion, at best this site is a deceptive marketing ploy to trick unsophisticated buyers into thinking they’re getting a deal. At worst, it could be interpreted as a blatant lie, which wouldn’t pass the smell test with real estate regulatory boards in other provinces. But this is BC – the same province you can legally charge locals more than international buyers, and there’s nothing people can do about it.
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