Vivagrand lawsuits offer glimpse into murky world of condo pre-sales

By ThinkPol Staff

A series of lawsuits by Vivagrand Developments against the buyers of its Langara West condo project is offering a rare glimpse into the murky world of condo pre-sales.

Vivagrand is suing 19 out of the 72 buyers of its Cambie Street corridor seeking a declaration that “Vivagrand is entitled to terminate the Contract and pay the First Deposit and the Second Deposit, plus all accrued interest thereon to the Purchaser as the purchaser’s sole remedy in respect of the Contract.”

Vivagrand is also seeking and order for costs from the defendants, according to the lawsuit.

According to the BC Supreme Court New Case Report, Vivagrand has filed 19 separate lawsuits against:

LIU, Maoyan YANG, Chen-Tao LIU, Shu AU, Rebecca
CHANG, Chia-Chi KOH, Lina WONG, Lup-Tak WANG, Michael
LAO, Li WONG, Yvette CHEUNG, Clement LI, Ying
SUMMERS, Kenneth LONG, Yongshan ZHU, Xiaoyu

The addresses for some of the defendants are given as the address of the law firm Jenkins Marzban Logan.

Vancouver Sun reported last month that a group of buyers were preparing to challenge Vivagrand, and that the buyers had retained Timothy Peters at law firm Jenkins Marzban Logan[1]

According to the statement of facts from the lawsuit, “the Purchaser paid a deposit of $20,000 concurrently with delivery of the offer to”, “a second deposit equal to $52,290 payable within 7 days after” and “a third deposit in an amount equal to 10% of the purchase price payable on the date that is the later of: i) 10 days after receipt by the Purchaser of the BP/Financing Amendment; and ii) 6 months after the acceptance date as defined in the Contract;”

Lawsuit states “Vivagrand cannot and will not be proceeding with construction of the
Development,” as it is unable to “unable to deposit the final strata plan or obtain an occupancy permit for the strata lot by the Outside Date,” which is deemed to be July 31, 2019

Vivagrand describes itself as “North American office of Xiangli, a leading real estate firm with 22 years of experience and over 350,000 square feet of residential, mixed-use, and infrastructure development in China,” according its website[2]

The City of Vancouver council last week passed Mayor Gregor Robertson’s motion that gives people living in Metro Vancouver first dibs at buying pre-sale property in the city[3]

The motion was strongly opposed by Metro Vancouver’s property developers calling the ‘locals first’ motion disappointing.

“While UDI and its members recognize this city policy may have public appeal, we
are disappointed that the motion was released with little notice, and no consultation with our industry,” Anne McMullin, the CEO of the developer lobby group Urban Development Institute wrote to Mayor Robertson. “We have been working constructively with the City on a number of policies to address the housing affordability crisis; and, we don’t believe this motion advances those affordability objectives.”

Critics feel that Mayor Robertson, who has received big donations from developers, is doing too little too late.

Thomas Davidoff, a professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business said while some housing policies from Robertson and Vision Vancouver are praiseworthy, the new one would likely accomplish little[4]

Since the introduction of the 15% foreign buyer tax in August 2016, developers have been aggressively promoting pre-sales overseas as pre-sales are exempt from the tax as long as the buyers succeed in flipping them before closing.

Advocacy groups have long accused the BC Liberals for leaving an obvious loophole in the legislation for developers, who donate generously to the to party, to exploit.

“The BC Liberals defined the foreign buyer tax as being payable when the sales agreement closed not when it was signed,” the advocacy group HALT – Housing Action for Local Taxpayers said in a statement. “It is now well known this had the effect of exempting pre-sales and encouraging flipping practices that have a significant impact on housing affordability.”

[Photo: Artist’s illustration of what Cambie Street could look like in the future (looking northeast toward the Lanagara-49th Avenue Station). Credit: City of Vancouver]

References   [ + ]


4 Responses to Vivagrand lawsuits offer glimpse into murky world of condo pre-sales

  1. homes first says:

    Thanks for exposing this corruption that hollows out our city and displaced thousands. Selina Robinson—housing minister—is speaking at a luncheon with UDI members Nov 16th. Not good optics.

  2. blkbabyvancity says:

    so damn clever
    tax before flip
    is simple not after
    Robertson u wanker
    happy planet boy days over

  3. Local Joe says:

    Too little too late. All the foreign buyers have purchased and will continue to purchase. Locals will not be able to get in.

  4. nonconfidencevote says:

    Closing the gate after the Horse is sold to off shore specuvestors is a bit of a joke…..

    Doesnt really matter.
    The entire ponzi known as Vancouver Real Estate is just beginning to slide into a multi YEAR CRASH…

    Happy Housing Crash realtors.
    You pumped this ponzie to its peak… enjoy the uncontrolled slide to the bottom……..

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