The developer behind the Vancouver House tower has informed presale buyers they must remove any condo assignment listings from MLS immediately.
Westbank says 33 Vancouver House condo assignments currently listed on MLS will need to be removed ahead of the building’s completion.
The email from Westbank sent to purchasers reads in part:
“As construction continues to progress with an anticipated completion for this summer we are commencing preliminary steps to prepare our owners for closing.
As there was a Consent to Advertise approved by the vendor we are reaching out to advise the Vendor will not be approving any assignment as to ensure our owners are well prepared for closing. As such we kindly ask that you terminate/cancel the related listing on MLS over the next few days.”
A CBC News report in 2015 stated 35 per cent of the units at Vancouver House were sold to foreign buyers, some of whom may be trying to assign their units ahead of completion to avoid paying new taxes aimed at speculators and foreign owners.
It’s not uncommon for developers to halt presales ahead of building completion, says Westbank spokesperson Jill Killeen.
“It’s industry practice to end assignment listings in the weeks leading up to a closing of a building. Suites at Vancouver House start to complete in the next 60-90 days, and as is industry practice, assignments are being stopped because purchaser walk-throughs are beginning,” she said in a statement to urbanYVR.
New foreign buyer, speculation taxes could be putting squeeze on purchasers
At completion, foreign buyers will need to pay an additional property transfer tax of 20 per cent. The tax was introduced in 2018 with the election of the provincial NDP government in Victoria.
There’s been another significant and expensive change since 2014-2015 when the units were originally pre-sold.
The B.C. government has introduced a Speculation and Vacancy Tax, currently set at two per cent for foreign owners and satellite families on the assessed value of the property as determined by BC Assessment.
Vancouver also has its own Empty Homes Tax. Properties deemed empty will be subject to a tax of one per cent of the property’s assessed taxable value.
And the provincial government has also introduced a presale registry to track the flipping of condo units ahead of completion in the hopes of combating any tax evasion.
It’s safe to say the environment around presale condominiums has changed significantly since the units were originally presold.
The Vancouver House tower, designed by renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, has been featured extensively on urbanYVR. It is scheduled to complete this summer.