Paul Liberatore

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Vancouver's mayor makes move to give locals first crack at condo pre-sales


 

Mayor Gregor Robertson will introduce a motion at the next meeting of city council (Oct. 17) that he hopes will stop real estate developers from offering out-of-province buyers first-crack at condo pre-sale opportunities in Vancouver.

In a statement released on Friday, Robertson says the proposed policy, which he intends to put in place by the end of the year, will give priority to local residents for sales of new homes in multi-family developments as part of the city’s new 10-year housing strategy.

The city defines local residents as people who live and work in Metro Vancouver and whose permanent address and place of work is in the region, regardless of citizenship.

“My priority as mayor is to deliver new housing supply that is first and foremost for people who live and work in Vancouver, and this motion aims to give local residents the first opportunity to purchase a new home,” said Robertson. “In Vancouver’s red-hot housing market, local employers are crunched to retain talent, whether they’re doctors, tech workers, retailers, firefighters, teachers or nurses. I regularly hear stories about people who work in Vancouver, but are forced to move elsewhere in the region because they can’t find a place to live. At a time when we are seeing record levels of housing construction, local residents should be able to get the first shot at purchasing a home in new developments.”

West Vancouver introduced a similar policy in 2016 when the city negotiated an agreement with Westbank Corp. development for a new condo project that prioritized local residents. Stipulations included:

 

• Requiring the project to be only marketed to West Vancouver residents during the first 30 days, and then the next 60 days to residents of Metro Vancouver;

• Requiring purchasers to sign a statutory declaration to demonstrate their intention to live in the building and not flip their unit;

• Restricting bulk purchases of units.

“Vancouver’s Housing Vancouver strategy seeks to dramatically increase the supply of new housing, but it needs to be the right supply — homes that are affordable for people who live and work in Vancouver,” said Robertson. “We want young people and families to put down roots in the city. This motion will support that by helping make sure people who live and work here get the first opportunity to buy into new developments in Vancouver.”

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