With an Asking Price of Nearly $3 Million USD and Such a Narrow Marketing Strategy, the Listing Immediately Aroused Curiosity
Approximately one month ago an ad for a luxury Canadian home was listed on the Beijing Craigslist website. The up-market home features eight bedrooms, six bathrooms, and is located right by the Westwood Plateau Golf and Country Club in Coquitlam. The listing features an asking price of 1,075 bitcoins – approximately $2.9 million USD.
With an asking price of nearly $3 million USD and such a narrow marketing strategy, the listing immediately aroused curiosity following its discovery by local British Columbia-based news outlet, The Tri-City News. Although no information is listed pertaining to the property’s owner, the home is listed through Vallee Real State Agent Group, with Eric Vallee listed as the real estate agent to contact for inquiries.
The Tri-City News attempted to make contact with Eric Vallee, only to be told that Vallee was out of the office for the week, however another employee called Val Petrov was to handle all inquiries in the mean time. Val Petrov refused to discuss the property with The Tri-City News – who reported that Petrov abruptly stated: “I have no comment” when asked about the property, before immediately terminating the phone call.
The Emergence of Two Extremely Similar, Unusual Listings Seems an Unlikely Coincidence
The property is not the first luxury residence situated in Coquitlam that has been advertised via an overseas Craigslist listing with an asking price quantified in cryptocurrency. Just last month, a five-bedroom, five-bathroom ‘executive-style’ 5,000 square foot property was discovered listed on the Hong Kong Craigslist website, with an asking price of 2,099 bitcoins – approximately $4 million USD at the time. The realtor handling the listing, Mario Figliola of Sutton Centre Realy, told The Tri-City News that the listing was a joke. A few days later The Tri-City News reports being contacted by the manager of Sutton Centre Realty, Derek Drew, who described the advert as an “honest mistake that never should have been made.”
The emergence of two extremely similar, unusual listings advertising luxury Coquitlam homes on East Asian Craiglist websites seems an unlikely coincidence. The Real Estate Council of British Columbia told The Tri-City News that bitcoin cannot be held in trust during a real estate transaction, as virtual currency presently sits outside of the regulatory guidelines applied to banks and government institutions. As such, Canadian real estate sales in bitcoin could risk running afoul of the Financial Transaction and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) reporting requirements, bringing the legality of said property listings into contention.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and The Tri-City News