Wonder why Mayor Baldwin and the Condo-Coalition are approving so many White Rock Mega-Condos even though vacancy rates have doubled since Mayor Baldwin took office in 2011? These projects are approved by Council with little public debate, and ignore strong opposition from the majority of residents. Why?
It is clearly NOT about saving trees as Mayor Baldwin claimed last December when Council approved the Elegant Twin 21 and 24 floor Mega-Condos on Oxford street. After last year’s Hump Clear-Cut for votes and the planned destruction of trees on Johnston Street, it is easy to see that trees are not this Council’s priority.
Approving Condos is all about making huge money for developers and speculators and their friends. Many offshore investors are flipping the same property several times before the building is even complete, creating huge profit for themselves and their friends, with no intention of ever living in the Condos themselves, all of which is pushing up prices beyond the reach for locals.
In White Rock, the Newport development on Marine and Oxford was apparently “sold out” a few months ago, but the on-site realtors are still showing display suites and now there are several MLS listings for suites in the development. However, the building is not even finished yet.
Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun here, then decide for yourself why Mayor Baldwin and the Condo-Coalition have just approved 5 new Mega-Condos in White Rock in the last two weeks alone. It’s not about building a better community, it is a Ponzi scheme that’s destroying our community.
Here are some highlights from the article…
The presale market is the “wild west” of the industry, says realtor Steve Saretsky, who posted a blog post recently, titled “Vancouver Pre Sale Condo Ponzi Scheme.” Mr. Saretsky says it’s common that offshore investors get first dibs on presale purchases. Those purchases are assigned, or flipped, to local buyers at a premium. He says in recent months, as the condo market has hit a fever pitch, so too has the flipping.
Speculative buying is driving prices up, shutting out owner-occupiers and adding to an already unaffordable market. He sees buildings that completed long ago remain half empty. Many of the units appear on Craigslist or the Multiple Listing Service once the building is complete, a sign that buyers have already maximized the gains to be had.
“Obviously they presold them offshore,” says Mr. Saretsky. “They bought them three years ago, made a lot of money, and they don’t have any intention of living in them.
“If you call one of the developers, they say, ‘we are only selling to friends and family and we are open to the public next week.’ But what is friends and family? What is the definition? It’s basically offshore. And everybody in the industry knows it, and nobody likes to talk about it.”
Read Kerry Gold’s Globe and Mail article “Vancouver’s presale condo market reaches fever pitch” for more details.