Public Auction of Lands for Taxes

Every November the City of Vancouver holds a public auction called the "tax sale", where properties with three years of unpaid property taxes are offered for sale. Apparently, only 1% of the properties are transferred to the successful bidders, as the owners have a one-year redemption period to rescue their property by paying the tax man. 
I attended this year, and if you're looking for a deal, this probably isn't the best place. Though it is possible to get lucky. The City official goes down the list of properties by their folio number, and bidding starts with the "upset price". Bidders compete with one another by calling out their "surplus bid". The surplus bid must increase by increments of at least $1,000, and of course, there are the cheeky ones that try numbers like $6,666.66. Or the one-upmanship of repeatedly trying to beat the other bid by the lowest possible increment, which ultimately encourages someone to push the price up into the stratosphere.
Akin to the property value appreciation we saw in the housing market in 2021, it's relatively common for the starting price (upset price) to start in the thousands, and work its way up into the millions. I would rather take my chances buying property the traditional way, actually performing due diligence with proper conditions, a viewing and negotiation, but to each their own.
"In addition to the taxes and other charges included in the upset price, subsequent taxes are also due as shown in separate amounts on this list. These subsequent taxes, with interest and the amount bid, if any, over the upset price, will become payable on demand after the expiration of the period of one year allowed for redemption, together with all the charges to that date, before the purchaser can obtain title. At this time, you will also be subject to taxation under the Provincial Property Purchase Tax Act and the Goods and Services Tax, where applicable. In the event of redemption, the purchaser will receive interest on the upset price money paid at the rate of 6% per annum to the date of redemption."
It is advised to perform as much research as possible on the property prior to bidding on it, as the City of Vancouver makes no representation expressed or implied as to the condition or quality of the properties offered for sale. This auction list is posted on the City’s website and is updated intermittently, but removed once the auction starts. If you would like to check out the auction, it is open to anyone without registration on a first come first serve basis, and takes place November 2nd at Vancouver City Hall:
453 12th Ave
Council Chamber, 3rd floor
Vancouver City Hall
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