Condos go under the gavel
For first time, unsold units in Parksville complex to be auctioned off
Five unsold units in Jim and Kay Hendry’s upscale condominium complex in Parksville are headed to the auction block, but the retired couple, their neighbours and local real estate agents couldn’t be happier.
Though not new, real estate auctions are uncommon in British Columbia, where a hot market has resulted in quick sales for most properties. But the spectre of a cooling trend has resulted in a developer hiring an auction company to sell off its remaining units.
“We want to see the units sold as much as the developer,” says Jim Hendry, who serves on the strata council of the 30-unit building, located in the Craig Bay area of Parksville. “It will mean new tenants and finally taking down the big marketing signs from the side of the building.”
The Hendrys, who retired here from Calgary where Jim had worked at Telus, aren’t worried that the auction will devalue their property.
“I would be very surprised if land values are undermined,” says Kay Hendry. “We have lived in a few nice homes over the years but this is by far the best.” Her neighbours agree. “I think it’s excellent news for residents,” says John Hogarth, a semi-retired professor of law who lives in the building with his wife, Patricia. “It’s not helpful to have unsold units in the building. This helps close the circle.”
He says the auction company, Ritchie Brothers of Vancouver, held a meeting for residents to answer questions, explain the auction process and to allay any concerns.
“They made people feel comfortable.”
The auction is first that anyone can remember for Parksville, a retirement community 150 kilometres north of Victoria.
“It speaks of the need for properties to be correctly priced,” says Tony Joe, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board.