Vancouver real estate prices skewered online
Million dollar home or crack shack? A Vancouver man's tongue-in-cheek website challenges users to distinguish between overpriced local real estate and suspected drug dens.
Petr Postisil has been following online real estate listings for years, and hopes to one day own a home in Vancouver – but the 26-year-old says he's disheartened by the sheer number of run-down houses selling for more than a million dollars thanks to ballooning property values.
"It's scary. I couldn't believe what I was finding," he said. "I was actually saving some of them because I wanted to show them to friends."
Instead, Postisil turned to his girlfriend Ola Rogula, a University of British Columbia lab tech with HTML experience, to turn his findings into a satirical online quiz testing users' ability to distinguish between suspected drug houses and million dollar properties.
The results are surprising – but only for those living outside Metro Vancouver.
"Vancouverites will get 14 or 15 out of 16. Americans get about 5 or 6, then they will argue about whether the prices are real. Usually they decide it's a fraud," Postisil said.
Related: Play Crack Shack or Mansion? here
But Postisil insists all of the "mansions" are real Vancouver homes from across the city, and that prices are accurate as of April 10.
The pictures of "crack shacks" come from U.S. news sources. Most of them were investigated for drug activity, Postisil said, and at least one of them burned down due to suspected drug manufacturing.
The site has hit a nerve with locals, going viral virtually instantly. Postisil and Rogula spent two hours constructing the website on Tuesday afternoon. By Wednesday night, their online quiz had been taken more than 50,000 times.
But that's not helping them find a reasonably priced home. Postisil says he's not ready to leave Metro Vancouver just yet, but he has resigned himself to renting.
"I've got no hope of owning anything for now."