The price has to drop, even on prime real estate – as Condo King slashes prices

Posted on 13. Jul, 2010 by in News

Jul 09, 2010 Steve Macnaull edmontonjournal.com

The price has to drop, even on prime real estate.

That was the message marketing expert Bob Rennie, also known as The Condo King, put across at an event organized by Invue, the Kelowna highrise that has slashed the price of its condominiums by 40 per cent.

Rennie mingled poolside with realtors and media on Invue’s rooftop terrace, letting everyone know Invue is serious about selling out at seriously reduced prices.

“The reality is even if you have an architectural icon and an A-inventory building like Invue, pricing has to be repositioned,” said Rennie of Vancouver-based Rennie Marketing Systems. “This is not 2007, and Albertans are not buying over the phone just because it’s a condo in Kelowna. The economic collapse eroded consumer confidence and that means people are only going to buy if the price is right and the home makes sense by being the proper size and having the proper layout, being close to shopping and transportation.”

Invue on Springfield Road — with its 14 storeys, walls of windows, pointed balconies, proximity to Orchard Park mall and varying sizes of units — is well positioned on all those fronts. So Rennie has come in to market the highrise as a desirable address that just happens to be on sale.

By the way, Rennie got his Condo King nickname by exclusively selling condos for developers and exceeding $1 billion in sales annually during the boom years of 2004-07.

Unit 707 at Invue– a 1,011-sq.-ft., two-bedroom condo on the seventh floor with nice views — is now for sale for $298,000, down from $440,000.

Unit 1406– a 1,231-sq.-ft., two-bedroom on the 14th floor with stunning views — has been reduced from $625,000 to $419,000.

The penthouse, a 2,400-sq.-ft., three-bedroom with loft beauty, is now $1.2 million, down from $1.8 million.

There’s also a studio condo for $179,000.

The target market is now mostly locals and the first Albertans and Vancouverites who are returning post-recession to the Okanagan to find bargain-priced second and investment homes.

The varying prices and condo sizes mean Invue can capture first-time home buyers, as well as young professionals, empty nesters, retirees and second-home and investment buyers.

Rennie was brought in when the 96-unit Invue had 66 units to sell.

In a recent 18-day period, he helped sell 14 condos at the reduced prices.

“To be truthful, we were in a bind,” said Invue developer Adrian Block of The Rykon Group. “The economy has changed and we have unsold condos and it costs money just hold onto inventory.”

Block said in many ways the drastic action taken at Invue is simple economics.

“The marketplace ultimately sets the price,” he said.

“We made the hard decision to meet the marketplace on price rather than wait for the marketplace to come up to our original pricing.”

What about the Invue buyers who paid premium prices during pre-sales back in 2007 and are moving in as this clearance sale goes on?

“It’s hard on them and it’s hard on us,” admitted Block. “Those buyers who paid full price bought during a different economy.”

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