Special to The Globe and Mail

A new report tracking high-end real estate deals in British Columbia has found that the two biggest deals on single family homes in the province weren't even on the mainland. Not in the swanky hills of West Vancouver's British Properties, not in Vancouver's affluent Shaughnessy or Point Grey neighbourhoods, but on Vancouver Island in Oak Bay's aptly named Uplands area.

According to the report from Landcor Data Corp., at number one, a cool $9-million bought 3160 Humber Road, a five-bedroom, 10,000 square-foot mansion on just over one and half acres. With the ocean in plain view, Victoria's untreated sewage problem is surely evident, but at such a large price tag, it's surprising the place doesn't come with its own treatment plant.

Coming in at a close second, a little over $8.97 million bought 3150 Rutland Road, an over 8,000 square foot heritage home with seven bedrooms. The new owner reportedly doesn't even want the house, prompting strong words in the local Hallmark Society's autumn newsletter.

"It was with disbelief that we heard that the new owners of the property at 3150 Rutland Road have applied for a demolition permit," the newsletter says

It goes on to quote local heritage consultant Stuart Stark who notes the house was once owned by T.W. Patterson, B.C.'s lieutenant governor from 1909 to 1914.

"If this house does not qualify as worthy of heritage preservation, what house does?" Mr. Stark is quoted as saying.

The fact that the two biggest sales in the first half of the year were on Vancouver Island came as somewhat of a surprise to Scott Kendrew, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board.

"Typically the mainland market is ahead of us in pricing and sales," Mr. Kendrew said. "To my knowledge, and I could be proven wrong, I don't think we've ever been ahead of [the mainland in terms of price.]"

But for the third top sale, $8.5-million bought 1683 Drummond Drive in Point Grey, built for Kwon King Ho, a Hong Kong tobacco magnate. The house was featured in a March 1999 Vancouver Magazine article that made no qualms about pointing out what financed such a massive mansion.

"Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you've helped gold-plate another square inch of a Point Grey water closet," wrote local humour columnist Steve Burgess. "More than $60,000 worth of 22-karat gold went into the main-floor bathroom ceiling alone. The elaborate landscaping involves a man-made creek that makes creative use of city water."

At number four, $6-million bought the house at 6225 Imperial Avenue in Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. For the fifth largest sale, again in Point Grey, $5.92-million bought 4826 Drummond Drive, a seven-bedroom home with over 12,000 square feet of living space. For the sixth and seventh biggest deals, the lower mainland was left behind for 2407 Whitworth Road in Westbank that went for just over $5.6-million and 2931 Big Timber Court in Whistler that sold for $5.6-million on the dot. Rounding out the top 10, the eighth, ninth, and tenth biggest deals were all in West Vancouver where, or course, there's no shortage of unaffordable housing.

Top 10 most expensive homes



Sale Price (millions)

3160 Humber Rd.

Oak Bay


3150 Rutland Rd.

Oak Bay


1683 Drummond



6225 Imperial Ave.

West Vancouver


4826 Drummond



2407 Whitworth Rd.

Central Okanagan


2931 Big Timber Crt.



680 Fairmile Rd.

West Vancouver


160 31st St.

West Vancouver


2495 Hudson Crt.

West Vancouver