Condo developers hike fees on luxury building

A Vancouver luxury condominium is stiffing pre-sale condo purchasers with a 25% levy if they flip their units before occupancy.

Purchasers of units at One Burrard Place, being built by Jim Pattison Developments and Reliance Properties Ltd., once only had to pay the developers a 1.5% fee to re-assign their units, however, in recent weeks they’ve been forced to sign an amended agreement contractually obligating them to pay a quarter of their resale price.

It is speculated that Vancouver’s surging price points have whetted the appetites of developers, who want a bigger piece of the pie. However, it’s also believed the reason is to curtail speculation. Units at One Burrard Place went on sale in late 2015, but the 53-storey luxury condominium won’t be complete until 2019, and two years in prices have already climbed astronomically.

When sales opened, the price per square foot was in the neighbourhood of $890, however, they’ve risen to about $1,250 today, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Jim Stovell of Reliance Properties told the Sun that the inflated fee is designed to discourage speculators from flipping units at One Burrard. He added that buyers are welcome to wait until the units are completed, by which time the sale will be legally binding and the 25% levy won’t apply.

Stovell also told the Sun that unauthorized advertising of assignments are floating about online, especially on social media, private realtor websites, and through emails – which the developer is also trying to check. He added that some purchasers have legitimate reasons for needing to re-assign their units, such death, divorce or job change, and their needs will be balanced.

The industry standard for re-assignment is between the 1.5% One Burrard was charging, and 2%, while other developers proscribe it altogether.

One Burrard Place is a luxury tower in Vancouver’s West End, close to the Burrard Bridge at Drake St.

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