Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Should buyers beware?

Deciding whether to rent or buy should be based on a lot more than just the asking price...

In mid-November, Vancouver’s condo king, Bob Rennie, will take a very public mulligan. That’s when he plans to relaunch sales at the troubled Millennium Water development, the site where Olympic athletes bunked during the Winter Games. For all the praise designers and visitors from around the globe have heaped on the project’s cutting-edge, ultra-green features, the $1-billion Millennium Water sorely lacks one crucial component—buyers. Two-thirds of the 740 units in the complex sit empty. Hence Rennie’s plan to jump-start sales by way of discounts, an HST tax holiday, and a break on property taxes and maintenance fees—initiatives that could knock 14 per cent off the initial price tag of some units.

Vancouver taxpayers, who are ultimately on the hook for any losses, aren’t the only ones eager to know if the gambit pays off. In the eyes of prospective buyers in the city, and across the country for that matter, the high-profile project has become a touchstone for whether the real estate market is about to tank. And for first-time buyers sitting on the fence, the prospect of a sharp correction on the horizon is just one of the factors they must consider before taking the plunge.

by Jason Kirby on Monday, October 25, 2010 5:20pm

Click here to read the entire article...