Two luxury homes in Alberta have been auctioned off for significantly less than their asking prices.
The homes are located in Priddis, Alta., about a 15-minute drive southwest of Calgary.
“It’s a strong market, there’s lot of money out there,” Paul Bellissimo, owner of the company who built the properties, told the Calgary Sun in July when the homes were listed for auction.
Unfortunately for Bellissimo (but fortunately for buyers) the economic slump seems to have proven him wrong.
The larger home is 9,200 sq.-ft., complete with Swarovski crystal faucets, an enormous wine cellar and mother of pearl bathroom tiles. The five bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home was on the market for $3.9. million — and sold for just over $1.5 million.
The smaller home, located just down the street, was listed at around $2.9 million and sold for $1.11 million.
"The buyer paid $1.1 million – the price of a dumpy 1970s Vancouver Special," Garth Turner, a former MP and investment adviser, wrote on his blog, adding, "Things sure look different when viewed through the lens of $46 oil."
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recently reported that Calgary's housing market is overvalued, citing low oil prices and reduced migration to the city.
Royal LePage realtor Rachelle Starnes is also feeling the crunch. Starnes told CTV News she's trying to sell her own luxury home, and listed it for $2.25 million, despite the home's actual worth being pegged at "about $2.8 million."
House prices in Calgary have dropped six per cent since October 2014, reports the Calgary Real Estate Board.
But those numbers might actually be worse than the organization is letting on.
"Builders selling new homes to prospective buyers at deep discounts or private sales — none of these are included in the official numbers," Turner told CBC's Calgary Eyeopener.
"And so when you factor those in, I really believe that the six per cent number is a pale shadow of what's actually happening in the market," he said.