Are ‘freebies’ the new norm in condo sales?

With developers re-evaluating and re-sizing condo sizes and offering free stuff to entice buyers, critics are calling such marketing ploys a panic reaction in a crisis market. Those on the ground, however, disagree.

“Developers are not in panic mode.  Yes, there is a lot of inventory in the market and buyers have a lot more choice in certain areas, like Montreal and Toronto. Builders are offering more but for the same value in most cases. That is the key point that gets lost,” says Paul Hatfield, real estate agent in Montreal.

The reduction in the number of condo projects planned for Montreal made the headlines this week but Hatfield reminds investors that this is normal market fluctuations.
“The Montreal market was spoilt for a number of years with record sales and prices and now we are reverting to more normal conditions,” says Hatfield. “Sellers have to be more aggressive and realistic.

Earlier this year, Samcon launched a 190-unit condominium project after which 1,500 people signed up for information.  After initial poor pre-sales, they pulled the project in May for a full redesign with a new architect.
“Buyers are being more selective and holding out for more ‘bang for their buck,’ says Hatfield. “This is naturally a great opportunity for investors as there is still a healthy rental market here (in Montreal).”

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