This Metro Vancouver housing development offers a 'rent-to-own' option

Jan 30 2019, 6:07 am

With creeping mortgage rates coupled with unattainable housing prices, an increasing number of developments in the Metro Vancouver region are offering a rent-to-own option to enter the housing market.

The latest project is 50 Electronic Avenue in Port Moody by Richmond-based developer Panatch Group, as they are now accepting applications for 30 units that will be sold under their rent-to-own program.

Households will rent a home at below-market rates for up to two years, with a one-bedroom unit starting at $1,000 per month and a two-bedroom unit starting at $1,250 per month.

Within the rental period, households will have the option of purchasing their unit, and all of their accumulated rent will go towards the purchase price that was agreed upon at the contract date.

“For a lack of a better name, I call it basically taking 30 families in Port Moody or 30 people and providing them basically what I call a pathway to homeownership,” said Kush Panatch, the president of the namesake development company and a director of the Vancouver Airport Authority.

50 Electronic Avenue Port Moody

Artistic rendering of 50 Electronic Avenue, Port Moody. (Panatch Group)

But this is not a free-for-all to the general public. The rezoning application approved by the City of Port Moody stipulated these units in the project need to prioritize locals — those who live or work in Port Moody.

Applicants must also be first-time homeowners to ensure the units are used for their intended purpose of creating an opportunity for young people to transition out of the rental market.

Down payments are out of reach to many young prospective homeowners, given that the minimum down payment is currently 5% of the first $500,000. This increases to 20% for homes $1 million or greater.

To date, the program has already received interest from about 600 applicants, and those interested are now being asked to complete a formal application. A total of 30 applicants will be selected by random draw in March of this year.

50 Electronic Avenue Port Moody

Artistic rendering of 50 Electronic Avenue, Port Moody. (Panatch Group)

In total, the 3.5-acre redevelopment — a former industrial site located near the Burrard Inlet waterfront, and just a 10 minute walk from the West Coast Express and SkyTrain’s Moody Centre and Inlet Centre stations — features 358 units across two six-storey buildings.

All residents will have access to a three-storey, 9,000-sq-ft amenity building, dubbed ‘Club 50’, with a fitness gym, yoga studio, dog wash room, bicycle repair room, workshop, games arcade, media room, co-working space, meeting rooms, a large rooftop patio, and other gathering spaces.

Along the building’s ground level facing Murray Street, there will be retail and restaurant units.

Both phases of the project are scheduled for a staggered completion in 2021.