1) The opening act.
Formula for a popular tax sale party:
Nice sunny winter day with good driving on the day that Toronto real estate market is officially declared in a bubble.
bid opening site one hour from Toronto and 5 minutes from 401.
Offer a large piece of property for sale with minimum bid 1% (yes one percent) of the market price the last time it changed hands
25 years ago (sell price $3,600,000 for property in 1990 with minimum tax sale bid price of $41,000)
Boundary of property is 200 yards from a municipal water supply on a main paved road (remember 170 acres is a big site)
and also 5 minutes from the 401. From Union Station 10 minutes by car to train station and 1 hour commute by train to Union Station which allows you to work on your computer in a civilized way (none of the go station cattlecar).
Last development plans for site even featured this guys
new helipad. To put it mildly this was an attractive tax sale.
For yours truly site is long walking distance from my home so of course I put in a serious bid.
I also prepared something else that I have never done for a tax sale bid opening. EVER
The big question locally was whether we would see Toronto prices or not. To put it in historical terms would we face the tax sale equivalent of the St. Valentines day massacre. 2) The Party.
To put it mildly the place was packed including with some regular local party types who attend these types of gatherings who know each other by sight. (I didn't see mountainman though wondering where he was ?)
Early on it by the fourth bid opening it became apparent to us locals that Toronto prices are starting to extend out well beyond from Toronto, so old local pricing norms did not apply. As a result locals including yours truly didn't just get slaughtered, we were obliterated.
3) The bids:
Winning bid $370,000 2nd $310,000 with total of 4 over $300,000. Total number of bids so large I didn't bother to keep track.
At little over $2,000 an acre this is not necessarily a bad price, it is just that it is well above historical norms for the area. Obviously the times are a changing and maybe a year from now I will kick myself for being so stupid.
By old standards my bid was right where it should be according to the retired chief building official for the township who also owns a dozen adjacent parcels of land to the tax sale property. These old standards obviously no longer apply and we are in a brave new world. Bidding levels were at local retail level or above which I expect to change once word of this gets out.
4) The aftermath.
Having just been squished like a bug one would have thought I would be sitting quietly in a corner with my dunce cap on.
No that is why I had a plan B and spent this party working busy as heck preparing for my next party that may start later today. It may not last long but as they say we live in interesting times.
Based on these tax sale prices the market is prepared to pay retail market prices. Didn't hope for this but so be it so be it.
It just happens that I have won a few tax sales in the past and I do have an inventory of land currently for sale at prices below these tax sale prices.
After the meeting was over I spent time informing some of the Toronto based losing bidders of that fact.
I mean the winning tax sale bidder maybe still celebrating how he stole a bid from the stupid country locals including yours truly.