Since Bill 40, an act that allows B.C. strata owners to more easily disband the strata corporation and sell the entire building for development, was introduced last July, it has had mixed success. Court delays and other issues dragged out sales, and, in at least two cases, owners received little more, or even less, than they would have if they had sold the condos individually, based on local values.
But two recent sales, of a 36-unit condo project and a 48-unit condo project, both on North Road in West Coquitlam and close to the Burquitlam SkyTrain station, show they can be a win-win for all parties. The key is that both projects had 100 per cent support from the strata owners, which means the sale did not require court approval (under Bill 40, 80 per cent support can trigger a sale, subject to court approval). Also, the sites had been rezoned for higher density. The sale of both low-rise, wood-frame buildings closed in March, just six months after owners had voted to sell.
The deals were co-brokered by Casey Weeks, vice-president of investment at Colliers International. He said the buildings dated to the 1960s and 1970s and owners were facing expensive repair and maintenance costs.
“For many of these owners, the sale was like hitting the lottery,” he said. “These were all owner-occupiers, so there was no capital gains tax.”
633 North Road, with 36 units on a 30,980-square-foot lot, sold for $14 million, or an average of $388,888 per unit.
705 North Road, with 48 strata units, sold for $20 million, or an average of $416,666 per unit. The benchmark MLS price for a west Coquitlam condo apartment, was $387,700 in March, but would have likely been lower for old units in dire need of repairs.
Colliers has two similar Bill 40 strata sales in the works, including one in Burnaby’s Metrotown.