November 10, 2015 2:29 am

German luxury real estate firm targets Vancouver

WATCH: A company that caters to the world's wealthiest people is setting up shop in B.C.'s biggest city. As Ted Chernecki reports, the arrival of Engle & Völkers is just another sign of how many high rollers call Vancouver home.

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A skinny little house in Vancouver is expected to sell for about $24 million. That’s because right next door an empty lot recently sold for $20 million. In fact, almost all waterfront properties on Point Grey Road are in the $20-million range and that’s just for the land.

Those prices may sound outrageously expensive, but they aren’t for the world’s uber-rich.

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“We believe as Canadians that we’re overpriced but, especially the Vancouver market and partly the Toronto market, we’re actually underpriced compared to the rest of the world,” said Real Estate Investment Network senior analyst Don Campbell.

READ MORE: Risk of ‘severe’ housing slump rises for Vancouver, Toronto, says report

That’s why Engel & Völkers, a German-based real estate firm that specializes in luxury properties, is set to open up shop in Vancouver.

Greg Carros, the firm’s Vancouver CEO, believes high-end buyers need special attention for which the German company is famous.

“We have to be very knowledgeable of what’s going on in the market and we have to be very transparent for what they’re looking for and give them the ultimate service,” he said.

READ MORE: Study suggests overseas buyers impacting Vancouver real estate market

The price of Vancouver’s most exclusive real estate is rising faster than in any other major city in the world, according to London-based international real estate consultants Knight Frank.

It reported prices rose 20.4 per cent between September 2014 and September 2015. Sydney was second at 14 per cent and Shanghai ranked third at 11 per cent. Vancouver stands out even more when you consider, on average, luxury properties have risen only two per cent worldwide.

“We’re seeing that the turmoil in Europe is starting to bring some attention to the Canadian real estate market, more than normal,” Campbell said. “Right now, Canada is identified as a relatively stable..country. Why they are moving here is not particularly to make money, it’s to secure their money and secure their capital.”

More modest European investors are also looking at properties in the $1 million to $3 million range. As analysts note, companies like Engel & Völkers don’t come here unless there’s a market to serve.

-With files from Ted Chernecki

© 2015 Shaw Media

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