Liquidation comes to Yaletown

H+H Yaletown

Bowra Group is throwing in the towel on H+H Yaletown after 15 “buyers” refused to complete on their deals. In true buyer’s-market fashion, Bowra’s leaving it to new buyers to name their price… so long as offers are subject free.  Hmmm.  Deal or no deal?

Open house is today.  No appointment necessary.  Might be worth dropping by if only for entertainment value.  Unconfirmed reports have Howie Mandel on site to mediate deals.  After that, he hits the River Rock to open for Air Supply.

The inventory toilet flush continues.

40 Responses to “Liquidation comes to Yaletown”

  1. romeo jordan Says:

    This is not an auction. They have their prices set – first come first served.
    If any of the potential buyers going down to the location did ANY due diligence this deal SHOULD be a bust.

    Anxiously awaiting the sales results.


  2. condohype Says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Romeo. It’s not an auction. Offers will be accepted on first-come, first-serve basis. If someone does lowball, I wouldn’t be surprised if they go for it. These are tough units to sell. Better off closing and suing the original pre-sale buyer for the difference.

  3. anon Says:

    Lowball at half their “40% off” price, and you’ll still pay more than they will be worth in two years time.

  4. macchiato Says:

    Looks like a ‘let’s just do what the Onni guys did.’

    Looking at the floor plan there seems to be half the units with ‘flex’ space. To me this is just the BS for not being able to do a proper layout. If I have a studio that is sub-500 square feet, I don’t want some useless flex space when I can barely squeeze in a loveseat.

  5. betamax Says:

    Just like in the US, the developers drop their prices first and undercut the flippers, leaving them high and dry.

    But Canadian developers have an advantage over their US counterparts: they’ll sell the condos for whatever they can get, then sue the presale chumps for the difference.

  6. The Urban Dweller Says:

    The Onni liquidation is 75% sold. Not bad I guess. I know that the prices would likely fall another 10 to 15% from these liquidation prices, but if you are in it for the long hall it may warrant a look and perhaps a purchase.

    This isn’t the greatest building and the location is that great either. If it was either they probably would have sold a lot more units. I came back from New York and you should see the prices falling there. The centre of the Universe condo market is even worse. Who would want to live in a downtown T.O. anyways. It sucks.

  7. vomitingdog Says:

    Why oh why didn’t they use a proper starburst?

  8. HHV Says:

    I know someone who owns a one-bed unit in this building. They bought in at $425K. Needless to say they are pissed at themselves right now. To top it off, the pipes in the bathroom above theirs burst, necessitating a “reno” in their bathroom for the next several weeks.

    Why anyone agreed to pay the ridiculously over-inflated prices to begin with is beyond me, especially when you consider the utter crap that was built over the past several years.

    $295K for a one-bed overlooking the parking lot is still $100K too much IMHO.

  9. macchiato Says:

    Assuming it’s 295K for the smallest available 1 bed, which is a tiny ~530 sq/ft, then it’s still $550 a square foot. I just don’t put that value on such a dwelling, but never mind what I value, the reality is the market has fallen apart when employment was high and with the economy still intact, ie) Muir’s strong fundamentals. Now, the job losses are starting to kick in … plus building completions are finally starting to pile up with hundreds of units that have no end users. The cascading condo death spiral party is just starting and prices are already down almost 20% from peak. A drop of 50% from peak is completely reasonable.

    The places currently priced at 295K, it would not surprise if they trough a lot closer to 200K.

  10. jay Says:

    What kills me is that many of the so-called experts chock up the majority of the calamity out there to negative market sentiment. There are very real, very negative circumstances for many many people on main street that are the casue of this negative sentiment. They completely confuse cause and effect. Too many people qualified for mortgages (beyond their means by any traditional measure), this drove up demand, prices rose too rapidly and the positive feedback loop was set in motion. All that was needed to turn things the other way was the decrease in the underying assets and voila: the house of cards came tumbling down….first denial, and now acceptance and the resultant ‘negative sentiment’.

    It’s gonna take a hell of a lot more than a rosy viewpoint and ‘positivity’ to turn it around….

  11. Matt Stiles Says:

    Think about it. Who are these units built for? The one bedrooms are for mid-twenties singles. Two bedrooms for early 30’s newlyweds.

    Historical averages of 4 years salary for singles and 6 years for couples suggests prices still need to fall much further from these “blowout” levels.

    That assumes a) wages remain stable and b) they were built properly.

    That assumes a lot.

  12. Provecho Says:

    I just had a look at the floor plans. Another example of a building that was exterior designed first, and then had the suites shoehorned in as an afterthought. Some of the spaces are just plain baffling. What the hell am I supposed to do with a 5 x 18 foot windowless space (Townhouse A2)? And who would pay for a unit where 15% of the square footage is a useless 20 foot long entrance hallway (Plan B2)?

    But the biggest question that’s burning in my mind is: since when did people need to bathe and pee so much? Why on Earth does a tiny two bedroom townhouse need THREE bathrooms? I hate the developer mentality that more rooms is always better. How about fewer rooms that are DECENTLY SIZED instead?

    I suppose that the argument would be that Mom and Dad want to have their own facilities separate from their kid(s) but, let’s be honest, these units are not exactly appealing to the growing family set.

  13. jesse Says:

    Who I wonder eventually is invoiced for the marketing and sales costs, the presale buyers who reneged on the contract or the builder? Sounds like there’s lots of marketers twiddling their thumbs these days so might as well try charging their time so someone else!

    This seems an obvious copycat of the Onni fiasco (that I think didn’t sell out as previously claimed…). This is true inventory and decidedly bad for existing sellers.

  14. Happy Renter in North Vancouver Says:

    Jay… “What kills me is that many of the so-called experts chock up the majority of the calamity out there to negative market sentiment.”


    But whenever prices shoot up, these same experts inevitably point to “strong economic fundamentals”, not market sentiment…

  15. Larry Says:

    It appears lots of folks here have the luxury of time to sit on the sideline and wait for the market to correct itself. The problem with Vancouver is that most folks, especially those buying downtown condos are transients. Really, are there that many born-true Vancouverites? Even if you are BC bred, most of you aren’t well-off and stupid enough to buy a downtown condo.

    I suspect most of the condo buyers are folks who moved here because of work or whatever reason. We have disposable income that allows us to buy but we don’t have the time to look. Why spend six months or a year waiting for the market to correct itself when I might not even be here for more than 18 months? The calculus and decisions available to people like me are very different.

    At the height of the market, there were probably a good number who were investors. Those folks are no longer interested. But there are still a number of buyers who are here for professional work or they enjoy the great lifestyle that downtown Vancouver offers. I walk to work in five minutes. I can dine out at great restaurants ten minutes from my condo. I can get to Grouse via public tranport in thirty minutes. When a friend’s boat comes into the harbor, I can hop on from the frontsteps of my condo. And running and biking through Stanley Park is a step away. Tell me what other city can offer this? This town truly is the best place on earth to live! If I can afford it, I’m gonna live it. That’s the difference between those who worry about how they’re going to live their life and those who worry about how they’re going to afford their lifestyle.

  16. jay Says:

    Larry, the shorter the time horizon, the less sense buying makes. Grab a clue before you post useless drivel like that. There are PLENTY of very suitable rentals downtown that are designed for people just like you, and they rent at a fraction of the cost of ownership. BTW, I know this because I did just that for 2 years before I moved here on a permanent basis.

    Your final comment takes the cake: smart people do not throw away money just because they can. That is the height of idiocy. There are a large number of high net worth individuals taking advantage of all that Vancouver has to offer that wouldn’t spend a penny on RE here.


  17. VHB Says:

    Larry–sounds like you enjoy Vancouver. Tell me, which of those many things that you like doing downtown are unavailable to renters–you know, your neighbour who is living in the same condo building as you but paying half of what you do to live there?

    “Why spend six months or a year waiting for the market to correct itself when I might not even be here for more than 18 months? ”

    Good lord, if you bought and you expect to get out of your condo in 18 months you are in for a big surprise.

  18. Vansanity Says:

    For argument’s sake let’s say rent is a “waste of money” and not a cost of living. Than so is interest on borrowed money. If rent is less than the interest would be for comparitive place… then it’s a no brainer… owning is the bigger “waste of money”. Better off to rent, save, buy at a low, lower principal equals lower interest over the long haul, obviously.

    But wait… let’s consider for a moment the other “waste of money” that a Strata Owner will have to deal with: Strata or Condo fees. Some of these fees are more than what I pay for rent right now. Years ago it seemed like $300 per month was high, nowadays I see plenty fees that are nearly three times that.

    It’s this type of overpaying and overspending that Greenspan and later Shiller meant by “irrational exuberance”. How else can you describe the way people were thinking during the bull run on real estate? Those two words fit the bill very well.

  19. patriotz Says:

    Greenspan was talking about the dot-com bubble when he coined the phrase “irrational exuberance”. He was in fact a RE bubble denier to the bitter end.

    “There is no national bubble because homes purchases are too expensive and complicated to foster that kind of investment, Greenspan said. Because the U.S. real estate market is composed of individual regions with different pricing trends, a collapse that damages the overall economy is unlikely, he said”

    Of course as was his trademark style, Greenspan also threw in some weaseling just he case he turned out to be wrong.

  20. jesse Says:

    “Why spend six months or a year waiting for the market to correct itself when I might not even be here for more than 18 months? “

    If this is the prevailing attitude, condo prices are going to get absolutely slaughtered. Waiter, I may need a larger bib.

  21. dg Says:

    “This town truly is the best place on earth to live!

    Are you Bob Rennie or Ozzie Jurock?

  22. J Says:

    Hype, love the blog as always!

    Y’know, with this “new” kind of (discount) advertising, you could do a comparison of condo ads of yesteryear and today.

    Elegant living in YOUR style!

    Buy now, mortgage brokers are standing by!

  23. anon Says:

    Provecho said Why on Earth does a tiny two bedroom townhouse need THREE bathrooms?

    You obviously didn’t grow up in an horrific 50’s “character” house with one bathroom. I still have nightmares about it and men using kitchen sinks…

    Look. Many young adults are bad housekeepers, especially in the bathroom. You’ve got two adults living in a two bedroom; each has their own bathroom to keep filthy while there’s still one guest bathroom to be unused and kept clean for guests. Most two bedrooms are really 2.5 baths, really, with the guest bath just being a postage stamp sink and toilet.

    And even if you keep your bathroom pristine, do you really want snoopy guests going through your toiletries and your medicine chest?

    2.5 baths is a MINIMUM for a 2 bedroom.

  24. anon Says:

    Larry said “Tell me what other city can offer this?”

    Uh, ANY major city in the world you can name, and every last one of them with a lot more sunshine and a lot less rain.

  25. The Urban Dweller Says:

    They are now officially giving away free botox surgeries and tiny little dogs with every condo purchased. If you buy a townhouse you also receive an additional set of new breasts (sorry man peck implants aren’t part of the deal). Man I love Yaletown.

  26. The Pope Says:

    ..each has their own bathroom to keep filthy while there’s still one guest bathroom to be unused and kept clean for guests.

    Or you could, you know, clean up after yourself. I mean shheesh, just how filthy does your bathroom get? And how many embarrassing products do you keep in your bathroom to be so concerned over ‘snoopy guests’?

    I think for my next party I’ll get a bunch of really embarrassing items and fake up some really weird prescription bottles and fill the bathroom cabinets with them just to see what kind of a reaction I get.

  27. VHB Says:

    Wow Pope–people come to your parties? That’s so cool. Just between us bloggers, what’s your trick?

  28. macchiato Says:

    “free botox surgeries and tiny little dogs with every condo purchased.”

    The most ‘luxurious 630 sq/ft’ (major oxymoron) Yaletown condos will be offering The ‘sac chien’ by Vuitton. Something to carry that little puntable around in:

    I friend’s mother-in-law bought one of these for like 2Gs. WTF.

  29. sluggo Says:

    It was just a matter of time until one of the developers blinked to start the big scramble for the exit before the flood of new completions in the summer and fall. Although we had a sneak preview of this movie in Florida, we’ll be in for the show of a lifetime when those thousands of new completions hit the market.

  30. chuff Says:

    “Who would want to live in a downtown T.O. anyways. It sucks.”

    Nice/Social people. People in Vancouver are douchbags. Vancouver is the Paris Hilton of cities. Looks great but NOTHING under the surface.

  31. condohype Says:

    I like Toronto but I wouldn’t say Vancouver has *nothing* under the surface. Vancouver is Canada’s teenager. Teens are cool once you get to know them. Give it time.

    And dude, it so isn’t “douch”-bag.

  32. chuff Says:

    Yeah, that analogy holds for Europe/North America. Its just annoying to see my home city become so lame. Also, look at LA. They used to be the USAs teenager. I dont think they have a good rep either.
    Anyways, im way off topic. Thankfully the bubble popped. I like your blog. Cheers.

  33. anon Says:

    Pope: Rationalizing the one bathroom, eh?

    Unlike Clergy, I don’t have altar boys cleaning up after me.

  34. Michael Randallbard Says:

    I might be interested in buying suite 903

    BTW what do they mean “amenity suite”?

  35. islander Says:

    Condohype, you ought to bill Larry for the ad space he took out.

    As for anon with the bathroom problem, I nominate her (I assume it’s a her) as the poster-child for everything that’s wrong with our perspective on housing.

    I shared a bedroom with my brother our entire lives growing up at home. For the first 12 years, he and I, along with sis, mom and dad, shared one bathroom.

    And we were the small family at our school.

    My mom and dad grew up with no running water, no electricity, no central heating.

    If you think you NEED 2.5 bathrooms, you are in for a very, very, very rude awakening.

  36. anon Says:

    Islander, I’m the original poster, I OWN 2.5 bathrooms, free and clear. Been paid off for two decades now. So much for your assessment.

  37. John Says:

    What exactly is 0.5 of a bathroom?

  38. anon Says:

    New ad copy:

    “Priced to sucker last remaining greater fools”…

  39. anon Says:


    Toilet and sink; no tub or shower.

    Standard description in the US at least since at least 1970 when one-bathroom hovels went the way of the dinosaur everywhere except almost 40 years later in ludicrously overpriced Canadian “character” hovels, especially in Victoria.

    Guess they figured it like this:

    Waste disposal toilet: .25

    Wash sink: .25

    Full body wash in a shower or tub (other than a towel bath): .5


    Half Bath: Sink and Toilet

    Full bath: Sink, Toilet, Shower and/or Tub

    2.5 baths: PRICELESS

  40. mariadawn Says:

    Bowra Group may be trying to sue me. Is there anyone else out there who did not complete and is being threatened by these scammers?? They already took the deposits and did not complete the building ontime. I know 2 people living in H&H in yaletown and it’s a complete rip-off crappy building to live in…I need to get in touch with other people getting sued so we can go after these idiots and counter sue them!

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