New condo rules could cause boom

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New proposals to shake up Manitoba’s condo dealings may be worrying some sellers, but one agent believes it’s a good move for the industry.

Proposed changes to Manitoba’s condominium legislation will allow for greater buyer protection, however some believe the shake-up will boost the market.

“These changes will give buyers great confidence and security when buying a condo,” says Reg Kehler, a RE/MAX agent in Winnipeg. “It’s a good move, and something we have been advocating for a while.”

The proposed changes could see condo buyers having a longer cooling off period, from 48 hours to seven days and enhanced cancellation rights. Developers would also have to conduct a reserve find study before selling units that are converted from apartments, while unit owners would have a voice on the developer’s board.

“With so many more units coming onto the market, buyers need that confidence to make the move,” says Kehler. “By disclosing all information and having more time and the assurance that there will be no extra fees in the future, buyers will be more inclined to buy.”

Kehler believes that such changes would also prove favourably for buyers when looking for finance. “The additional audits and disclosure means there should be no unexpected costs. And the additional time would allow buyers get their financials in order to close the deal.”

Condos are proving to be hot property in Winnipeg, with the number of sales for the first half of the year up eight per cent from 2013. An estimated 50,000 Manitobans live in condos and the proposed changes could take effect in February 2015.

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