British Columbia

Real Estate: Auction for Victoria mansion only attracts 1 bid

Rare sales tactic for Greater Victoria's hot real estate market brought in a buyer, but it will be traditional negotiated sale after all.

Samuel Maclure designed home was built in 1910 and is located in upscale Rockland area

The Grierson Mansion, built in 1910, was one of the many properties put on sale during Victoria's latest housing boom. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

In an unusual move for Victoria's real estate market, a luxury home was put up for sale using a live auction event Wednesday night. 

The Samuel Maclure-designed home was built in 1910 and is located in Victoria's upscale Rockland area. It has over 7,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms and six bathrooms. 

Music from a grand piano entertained potential buyers while they toured the stately home prior to the auction. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

The sale was held in the home's ballroom, complete with champagne and music from a grand piano.

Despite attracting more than 2,000 people for tours, in the end only one bidder came forward and it was announced that the sale would be negotiated in private after all.

"I think that not everybody is comfortable being put on spectacle. So I think it would maybe be that kind of scenario," said listing agent Andy Stephenson with Sotheby's International Realty Canada.

A crowd showed up to see how the bidding would go, but listing agent Andy Stephenson announced only one buyer came forward to purchase the home. (Michael McArthur)

The homeowners are from Australia, where auctions are more common, and they wanted to give it a try see how Victoria buyers would respond, said Stephenson.

The sales tactic is the latest twist in Victoria's red-hot real estate market.

The 1910 home's Samuel Maclure design is full of unique details. (Michael McArthur)

Deedrie Ballard with RE/MAX Camosun came to the event to see if an auction sale might be the way to go for one of her clients.

"I'm not surprised. Because we're so laid back and cautious, maybe people didn't want to step up to the plate," she said.

"All things are being tried right now. Our market is showing us all kinds of different ploys and activities."