“My best guess: this property is now an ‘investment hold’ and will be built ‘when prices recover’. Good luck on that!”

“The dominos start to fall: SFR Project on indefinite hold in Van West!
This is a property I have been watching for some time: 4988 Chancellor Boulevard in University, Vancouver West. A 7,700 square foot lot with an old house in an exclusive area of mostly older homes, with a few new builds. Sold under MLS V951758 in June 2012 for about $2,600,000 listing was at $2,688,000; by June 2012, properties in Van West were already coming under some price pressure. After it was sold, a sign appeared on the site, advertising a new 4,500 square foot modern architectural home to be ‘built in 2013′ with completion by 2014, priced at $5,188,000 under V989612 still active, but listing now says ‘completion in 18-24 months’. However, after about 6 weeks the sign disappeared and from June 2012 through last week the house was vacant and there were no signs of construction. Then last week April 10, several large U-Haul trucks arrived and a pickup toting a boat. Now, there is furniture in the house, a new ‘beware of dog’ sign on the front and from the shoes outside the front door, it appears it has been rented to a family plates on vehicles are BC. Normally, a family doesn’t move lock, stock and barrel into a house on a month-to-month tenancy, so I’m guessing they have a longer lease, but I cannot find a rental listing. The developer of the new house, Natural Balance Premium Home Builders, does not list this house on its website and the purported architect, Frits de Vries’, website does not mention this project.
My best guess: this property is now an ‘investment hold’ and will be built ‘when the prices recover.’Good luck on that!”

RFM at VCI, April 15th, 2013 at 7:37am

28 responses to ““My best guess: this property is now an ‘investment hold’ and will be built ‘when prices recover’. Good luck on that!”

  1. If you google the address you can still find pictures of what the new house was supposed to look like ($5.2 million!!!, seriously?). The interesting thing though is to look at the existing house on Google Maps. It’s pretty umm “modest” looking. The beware of dog sign would not be out of place. Don’t see how they could be generating enough rental income to cover the carrying costs on their $2.6 million “investment”.

  2. Neighbours must be thrilled with all that gentrification

  3. The developers family is living in it for a year and making it their primary residence in order to sell it tax-free to get out of an investment.

    • yltnboomerang

      Yup, pretty standard practice.

    • 4SlicesofCheese

      Yah been seeing a lot of that around my place, and then after a year a pathetic price reduction of >5% and sits on the market again.

    • Ralph Cramdown

      Only the capital gains are tax free, right? If you’re going to take a loss, it would be better to do it as part of the business and write it off against other profits.

  4. Said poster above is completely wrong in this post as I have a friend who knows the individual in question.The only accuracy in the post above is the repetition of the phrase “I’m guessing”. So, if anything, this post is about confirmation bias and nothing else. If any of us had a fraction of the success or cash from RE as does the owner of this house, we wouldn’t be posting on here.

    • “I know the person in question and he’s smart and handsome and soooo coooool and you guys are wrong and I have no evidence but I know the guy and he’s great so you guys stink!”

    • So the following things are not “accurate”:
      -Address is 4988 Chancellor Boulevard
      -Lot size is 7700sqft
      -Sold under MLS V951758 in June 2012 for about $2,600,000 listing was at $2,688,000
      -After it was sold, a sign appeared on the site, advertising a new 4,500 square foot modern architectural home to be ‘built in 2013′…priced at $5,188,000 under V989612 still active

      How many the ways we try.

    • Ralph Cramdown

      If you assume rational actors (which doesn’t mean that they have to be right about the market) there’s only so many theories that fit the facts.

    • Yes, and I know Barack Obama.

    • Thanks for all the info, guys.
      So, in the end, an anecdote about somebody who doesn’t know too much about a property they’re watching.

      • Yes. And I understand the frustration. It’s hard to know anything that goes on on any individual property. So we make assumptions that are bound to be a mixture of observation and what we want to believe. Not being able to accept the other side makes you like Garth Turner IMHO.

    • Does he also have a hot kickboxing girlfriend sitting in his Ferrari?

    • mac quote “Said poster above is completely wrong in this post as I have a friend who knows the individual in question.”

      The anecdote is mostly a repetition of fact, with a small amount of speculation and inference.

      The submitter lays out the actual timeline using publically-available information, and only speculates that someone’s real estate quick flip scheme is not going quite according to plan.

      Are you insinuating that the following events were deliberate and all part of someone’s original business plan?

      -buy in June 2012 for 2.6MM
      -plan to build a McMansion and resell the property for a cool 5MM+, advertise that plan
      -do not build McMansion
      -allow poor people to move in to original house

      -profit

  5. “Normally, a family doesn’t move lock, stock and barrel into a house on a month-to-month tenancy,…”

    People do it all the time. 99% of the rentals I do are month to month. Not much advantage in leasing to a tenant IMHO.

  6. At the other end of the RE spectrum, the Alba development at East Hastings & Penticton appears to have stalled. This was to consist of 110 units plus a replacement for London Drugs. Almost half a block of storefronts were demolished about a year ago and construction was to have started in January … then March. The sales centre rep notes “11 firm offers” and are waiting for London Drugs to vacate to start building. LD staffers note that they are waiting for additional condo sales before they vacate. He said, she said and the site sits empty.

    • I was wondering how the developers can afford to staff the sale centres. Unless its all on commission.

      • At Alba there was one very lonely salesman working the sales centre for months as a sideline to his own RE business, so likely commission.

  7. An old neighbor I know bought a brand-new condo for 400k+tax with 20%down in OV on 2nd Ave with constant loud traffic noise. As far as I can see, prices are still quite high in the current market. He makes 50k ish. He believes right now the prices are better than ever and it’s a buyers’ markets. Housing prices will never go down. Buy now or price out forever. Do most people and realtors think the same thing too? Is this where the market is going right now?

  8. This is how taxes work on the primary residence exemption: Every time you switch from investment holding to primary residence you have to put a price on the property for that date. You can use an assessment or other appraisal.

    1. If it ran up in price while it was a rental or development holding, moving in doesn’t help.

    2. Living in it while you add significant value does help.

    3. Renting it out while it goes down helps a little because you get to claim a version of a capital loss. (A portion of the terminal loss counts directly against income in the year you sell, unless you happen to hold many properties of that type).

    Number 3 is important for primary owners in an illiquid market that still has high assessments/appraisals. You get to sell it to yourself at a solid price (tax free) then ride it down to reality as an investment.
    The danger in this approach is that it gets worse, or that CRA doesn’t believe it went down that fast.

    Sometimes it really does go down that fast.

  9. Watching the house, looking for it on rental websites.
    Voyeurism at it’s creepiest.

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