I feel like I’m playing into the hand of the condo marketers but I’d be remiss not to bring up the “largest real estate liquidation event” in Vancouver’s history. I put this in quotation marks because it’s impossible to verify. It reminds me of when The Province’s dubbed itself “B.C.’s best-read newspaper.” What the hell does that even mean?
Onni’s “three weeks after Boxing Day condo sale” is the latest extension of the real estate purchase incentive. Instead of tossing in a Honda Fit or a discount pass to Chuck E. Cheese, Onni’s playing to consumer fears over falling prices by cutting them. The press is reporting double-digit discounts. But as UBC prof Tsur Somerville asks, “What if they were 20 per cent above the market and now they’re just gotten down to where the market was?”
It’s something to think about, as is the fact that Onni’s condo warehouse sale is the invention of Cameron McNeill from condo marketing über firm MAC Marketing Solutions. Cam’s plan is to trim prices on 375 unsold units, take deposits now, and close deals on March 7.
There’s an old saying, I think it’s by Jimmy Pattison, about the earliest loss being the best loss. Onni’s bet is they’ll beat the market to seize the best loss. It’s the right move but they better price those units right. (And have built them right, but that’s another matter.) If the condo discounts are smoke and mirrors, buyers won’t eat them up. And if they don’t, the market has one more sign that the bottom is far from being found.