Housing initiative aims to help those priced out of the market

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A unique new affordable housing project hopes to connect potential buyers in one red-hot market with owners willing to sell below asking – and the cause could use a mortgage broker.

It may seem like a long-shot, but the Vancouver Home Project -- which aims to help those priced out of the country’s hottest markets by appealing to sellers’ altruism – has picked up some steam.

Of course, the project has garnered interest from many potential buyers. But it has also received inquiries from a few sellers, including one who is just fed up with the craziness of Vancouver’s housing market.

“I think she’s kind of sick of the frenzy that’s going on in the city,” David Kandestin, a corporate lawyer and the man behind the project, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “She has conditions; she wants it to be sold to a family with kids, she wants some certain mechanisms to be put in there so that they can’t just turn around and flip it the next day or the next week or whenever.”

The project has a simple premise; it hopes to allow Vancouverites who are passionate about the city to purchase a home they can afford.

The website reads:

“The Vancouver real estate market is broken. Prices are beyond the point of no return. The market is no longer a ‘market.’ The cause? We’re not sure: low interest rates, foreign money, no supply, ‘shadow flipping.’ The solution? We don’t know: raise interest rates, vacancy tax, foreign ownership restrictions. One thing is clear. Politicians will not intervene.

“But we can try something, something a bit different. The Vancouver Home Project will connect those willing to solve this housing crisis. If you own a home in Vancouver and are willing to sell below market to a buyer that wants to live in this city, we want to hear from you.”

While the idea likely won’t appeal to a vast number of sellers, it did spring from a similar circumstance.

“A buddy of mine who was in Calgary kind of did the exact same thing. He wanted to live in Kensington, close to downtown, kind of the hip neighbourhood,” Kandestin said. “And he had a certain amount of money to spend and he approached the seller and said ‘I’m not going to flip this place or sell it in a year. You think you’d be willing to sell it for less?’ And he got it for less. He’s living in it now, he’s working on it, fixing it up.”

The Vancouver Home Project has been picking up steam, and having a mortgage broker attached to it could push it even further, according to Kandestin.

“It’s also good publicity, too; you’re doing a ‘feel good’ thing,” Kandestin said of a potential partnership with a broker.
  • David on 2016-05-20 11:10:04 AM

    Good Luck with that!!!

  • Romesh on 2016-05-20 11:37:59 AM

    The way bidding war is going on in Toronto, the average home buyer is totally confused as to what should be a good bidding price on a property. Multiple bidding is wastage of time for everyone and leading to frustration for prospective buyers and real estate agents alike.
    We are in the age of technology, I wonder if there is a possibility of someone starting a forum where sellers and buyers can list their stuff and meet directly. The real estate brokers be brought into play only for paperwork.

  • Anthony C. on 2016-05-20 12:21:18 PM

    God bless those who would support this notion, but really now...its nothing more than a load of altruistic crap... I do not fault the lawyer or his clients or the ideal behind the premise mentioned in the article, but I have a sick feeling in my gut that we are past the point of decency and humanity in today's world, albeit for those who think they can do some good.

    Who few are going to take money off the table and out of their pockets, when piggish foreign capital is intent on paying full pop and then some while parking it in Canadian real estate, for the sole purposes of diversification, capital preservation and tax avoidance...?

    These launderers of capital could not care one iota if their greed causes valuations to sky rocket and such, pricing the average Canadian out of the market. Even were there a market correction, this forgone conclusion has no bearing on their primary motivations....on a couple of million, they are willing to take a 10-20% hit...so why on earth don't we enforce an immediate "foreign-sourced investor tax" on all those who are doing their laundry here?

    There is some political mumbling about tax enforcement, but we know that's not to happen any time soon, if at all.

    London, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Moscow, New York, Miami, Toronto, Vancouver...the list is long...and the common denominator is that the powers to be thought it a good idea to allow unrestricted foreign capital to buy up as much real estate which they could get their hands on, thus stimulating the local markets...well the reverse happened, money does indeed flow uphill and not down, and ownership of what were once metropolises for its citizens are becoming and have become havens for the wealthy...good luck to us all...that's my two cents.

  • Blair Anderson on 2016-05-20 2:00:27 PM

    You might be on to something Romesh.

  • The truth on 2016-05-24 10:57:13 PM

    Good luck with that. Raise the minimum down payment and limit their purchases for foreigners . Max 2 properties and they have to stay in Canada minimum 6 months.

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