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Quality Investments in Pre-Con Becoming an Endangered Species

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Hype-driven marketing seems to be at an all time high in the pre-construction condo market. I am finding it harder and harder to find quality investment opportunities to recommend to my clients. This at a time when a new condo project is launching almost every week. Prices are soaring. Suite sizes are shrinking. Every agent and their mom is calling themselves a “VIP” agent. Something has got to give.

I am getting more and more calls from buyers who have felt pressured into signing contracts to buy pre-construction condos without really thinking through what they are doing. So far this week I talked to 2 people who were in their 10-day rescission period and they flat out told me they don’t trust their agent who they used to buy the condo and were unsure if it was a good investment. They attended one of these hype-driven “VIP” sales events (VIP has really become a meaningless term), everyone there told them it was a great investment and they would make a lot of money, and so they signed on the dotted line. [Side note: Often I find that the agents used in these scenarios know nothing about the pre-construction condo market (or worse, the condo market in general), and there is often a family connection – the agent is the buyer’s uncle, friend’s uncle, god parent etc. Hire a professional who you trust!]

I am not thrilled with the tactics some developers are using to sell their projects, but more importantly, it’s the pricing that is automatically precluding me from recommending several projects to my investor client base. Buying at $600+PSF when comparable resales are selling at less than $500PSF just doesn’t make sense. To be clear, I am not in the camp that believes it is only a good investment if pre-con prices are LOWER than equivalent resale – I just think the gap needs to be about $50-$75PSF in most cases to make sense from an investment perspective.

Questions or comments? Wondering what projects I am recommending to my clients for investment and which ones I am not? Please contact me.

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