Thursday, July 10, 2008

Marketing Synergy

The city of Edmonton teaming up with Rohit, Landmark and the Edmonton Journal to build and market townhouses for stretched wage earners in a program called First Place Edmonton. The prices aren't terribly cheap at $266,710 for a two bedroom townhouse in Millwoods. The land is valued by the city at $30,000-35,000 so Rohit could end up with $235,000 to build the structure of a two bedroom 906sqft townhouse with no garage and an unfenced yard. In the same area of Millwoods some townhouse prices appears to be competitive to these values. For Example:

This townhouse is fairly close to the development in Greenview. It is built in 1989 but unlike the City of Edmonton/Rohit townhouse it has an attached garage and a third bathroom. It has quite a bit more space (1345 vs 906 sqft) for a similar asking price of $274,900. The appliances, finishing and exterior appear to be fairly good from the photos.

This 1995 duplex with attached garage is close to the Canyon Ridge development at $279,000 is a few thousand more than the townhouse but has a back yard and more space.

The Edmonton Journal appears to be helping advertise these units for Rohit and Landmark developers in the article titled "First-time buyers catch a break in housing deal"

Under the new program announced Tuesday, 85 townhouses in the Greenview and Canon Ridge communities will be sold at a cut rate to qualified first-time home buyers.
The lottery is a nice touch as it is a well known marketing strategy used by developers.

In order to buy one of the 85 townhouses, applicants must enter a city-run lottery. There are strict guidelines on who can enter the lottery. Potential buyers must have a combined family income of $69,000 to $88,000 per year.

The qualifying metrics are outdated as they use the now defunct 40-year mortgage. From the First Place Edmonton site:

* Must be first-time home buyers in Canada
* Must be Canadian citizens or have permanent resident status
* Must be able to obtain qualify and have pre-approved financing (based on 5 % down payment, 40 year mortgage amortization, 32% gross debt service ratio and 42% total debt service ratio)
* Must be employed and have a combined income between $69,000 and $88,000, see your financial lending institution for more details.
* Must have a net personal worth less than $15,000, excluding a primary vehicle, locked-in or group RRSP and the 5% down payment required for the condominium unit.
* Applicants must agree to be full time occupants and residents of the condominium unit for the first five years.

Since this program was initiated 40 year mortgages have been discontinued by the Government of Canada because they pose too great of a risk to the financial system. It is interesting to note that the City of Edmonton suggested these mortgages to help Rohit and Landmark developers sell houses.

I just don't see how these deals are remarkable. Other examples of townhomes can be found throughout Edmonton. A 2004 townhouse in less central but more "faux-posh" Summerside is listed for $288,000. This listing has more space, a double garage and has been on the market for some time so the market price may differ from list.

Just north of Ellerslie Road there are a glut of townhouses in this price range and lower lingering on the market. This is very apparent when using the website with map search!


sabb said...
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sabb said...

I have to admit I saw this and laughed. You are right, their numbers are based on the 40 year mortgage, but realistically, there are a number of townhouses in older developed neighborhoods for far less (between 200 and 250) that people could get without having to jump through the hoops and get stappled to the property for 5 years. How this is affordable and meant to give people a boost is beyond me.

Given the build quality of some of the 400K new homes, can you imagine how shoddy these things are going to turn out considering they are being treated as "discounts". Pitty the sucker that gets locked into these :(

Any of these people would be far better off seeking a home elsewhere in the Edmonton area for a similar to less price and far far less restrictions.

Anonymous said...
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BearClaw said...

I had to delete hilarious spam from the UK. Another couple decades until you see bidding wars again ol' chap

Radley77 said...
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Radley77 said...

I found another one of those rent vs. own calculators that always say you should think about owning irregardless of the input. This one is from ATB Financial and even if you say that your rent is $100,000/month you should still be owning.

Faulty Rent vs. Own Calculator on ATB Financial Website

BearClaw said...


I will have to take a look. You mean monthly payments of $100,000? I'd be owning if my rent was that high.

Carioca Canuck said...

The ATB calculator is working.

I just did the scenario for my new place and it says I should rent. And I am.