Vancouver condo development luring buyers with 'free wine for a year'

May 24 2019, 3:30 pm

Last month, a developer in Metro Vancouver was offering a year’s worth of avocado toast to attract homebuyers to a new condominium development.

This month, it’s a year’s worth of wine.

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Local developer Wesgroup Properties is offering a year’s worth of wine to homebuyers for its new 26-storey MODE building — 3438 Sawmill Crescent — within its River District neighbourhood redevelopment in the Fraser Lands of Southeast Vancouver.

The offer comes in the form of a $1,500 gift card, which is roughly equivalent to one bottle of wine per week for a year, assuming each bottle costs about $29. This is also equivalent to one glass per day throughout the year.

Slowing sales as a result of the housing downturn has prompted real estate marketers to seek new strategies in order to have their developments stand out from the crowd.

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, month-over-month declines have been recorded for several consecutive quarters. Sales in March 2019 were the lowest total for the month since 1986, and sales in April 2019 were 43% below the 10-year average.

Analysts have been blaming the heightened mortgage stress test, and municipal and provincial government interventions that limit speculation.

Brad Jones, the vice-president of development with Wesgroup, says the campaign for MODE is in direct response to¬†Woodbridge Homes’ recent offer of offering free avocado toast for a year — one avocado toast per week through a $500 gift card to a local restaurant — to homebuyers of its Coquitlam condo development.

“We‚Äôll see your avocado toast and raise you a glass of wine,” he said lightheartedly, in a statement.

Most recently in Seattle, which has been experiencing an oversupply in rental housing, many landlords have accompanied their rental property listings with perks of gift cards worth as much as $2,000 plus months of free rent.

When fully complete, the 130-acre River District will entail over seven million sq. ft. of living space for up to 15,000 residents, as well as 250,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, 25 acres of green space, riverfront promenades, and new schools and community facilities.

Save-On-Foods recently opened in the neighbourhood as the largest anchor retail tenant to date.


Conceptual artistic rendering of River District in the East Fraserlands of Vancouver. (Wesgroup Properties)

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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