Swanky Swanwick Ranch finds buyer

Last listing price was $8.9 million

Metchosin's Swanwick Ranch, billed as one of Canada's most spectacular luxury homes, has been sold after five years on the market.

The selling price has not been released, but the 67-acre waterfront property was listed earlier this month at $8.9 million, down from $24 million in 2007 when Greater Victoria's housing market was sizzling hot. Agent Robert Milloy of MacDonald Realty states on his website that the property has been sold.

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Designed by architect Marko Simcic of Vancouver, Swanwick Ranch has earned national recognition for its contemporary architecture and was honoured with the B.C. Lieutenant Governor's award for environmental design.

The home has a river running through it. Called Canyon River, the waterway is made up of cascading pools of water, part of a geothermal heating and air conditioning system.

The home's indoor and outdoor lighting, entertainment and communications systems can be operated with a touch of button, marketing information says.

The main house is fitted with technology to allow off-the-grid living with its own ground water, electricity and heating.

The assessed value for 529 Swanwick Rd. is $4.76 million, but that figure does not reflect market value because it is has farm classification.

Greater Victoria is home to several ultra-high-end homes. The record high price for a single-family home was set in 2006 when $10.5 million was paid for an Oak Bay estate.

As of Wednesday, 305 residential properties were listed for $1 million or more through the Victoria Real Estate Board's Multiple Listing Service. Of those, 16 are priced at $5 million or more.

A 3.8-acre waterfront property in North Saanich has the highest listed local MLS price at $18 million.

So far this year, the top prices for single-family sales through the MLS have been $5 million, $4.5 million and $4 million, a board official said in a statement Wednesday.

Last month, 11 properties sold for more than $1 million. September had 14 sales in that category.

Lisa Williams of Sotheby's International Realty Canada's Victoria office, said the top end of the market is slow, but said sales in the high-end range are happening.

"It's a question of just trying to cover as many potential bases as you can and have the consistency with the marketing and show the property in its best light," she said.

Williams said most of Greater Victoria's high-end home buyers are coming from within Canada, primarily B.C. Although there have been fewer Alberta buyers lately, there is an increasing interest from China, Williams said.

Villa Madrona in North Saanich, one of her listings, is currently priced at $8.48 million.

In 2005, it was on the market for $18.5 million with a different agent.

For the first 10 months of this year, sales of all homes sold through the Victoria Real Estate Board were down by 2.5 per cent over 2011 and the total value of all sales declined by 5.4 per cent.

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