Crashcow posted this comment over the weekend: a field report on the opening sale of the very lightly used Millennium Water Olympic Village condos:
Field Report of Millennium Water
May 15, 10
I woke up this morning with a massive hangover. Wow, what an 18K party that was! But with the weather so nice today, I decided to checkout my first open house in a long time to get a feel for what’s happening in the trenches. And not just any open house, an entire open village. Little did I know how much of a treat it would end up being.
On the way to Millennium Water, I passed by an abnormal quantity of For Sale signs. I kept asking myself how Rennie is going to pull off a 474 condo sale when inventory is exploding and sales are faltering. But soon after I walked into the gates of the Olympic Village, I knew I had stepped into a dream world of magic.
If Vancouver ever had a ground zero for Irrational Exuberance, Millennium Water is it. And if Bob Rennie is ever the King of anything, it’s hype. The man has carefully orchestrated a circus of clowns, bands, tents, treasure hunts and euphoria. When bands are cheering on lined up speculators and the King himself is handing everyone cookies, what is being witnessed is the last “hurrah” of a heavily inflated market.
I lined up to view a condo and couldn’t help but overhearing what the herd was chanting. One of my favourites was, “I don’t know if I like this area, but I love the wave pattern on the wall.”
I followed the crowd into a staged 1 bed, 2-den condo at slightly over 1,000 sq. feet. I overheard some lady asking an agent the price and he replied with a straight face:
The lady’s jaw dropped, she shook her head, and moved on. I couldn’t contain myself and had to keep the conversation going.
– Me: “The miracles of record low interest rates. So that’s roughly $1,200 per sq. ft?”
– Agent: “Yes, but I’m also selling units down the street for $500 per sq. ft”
– Me: “So why, in your opinion, does this place come at a $700,000 premium?”
– Agent: “It’s an opportunity to be a part of this famous community and the proximity to the water.”
– Me: “Not only are you asking for an outrageous premium, you’re doing it at a time when there are over 18,000 units on the market, CHMC rules are tightening and mortgage rates are climbing.”
– Agent: “You should then really consider the units we have listed down the street.”
So I followed the yellow brick road down the street and into another Rennie building called “The Maynard’s Block.” And sure enough, studios were priced at half a million.
Buy now, or be priced out forever.