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Developer says locals had first shot at Vancouver project

Last Updated Jun 7, 2017 at 6:57 pm PST

House document with keys and pen (iStock)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Following a report from NEWS 1130 outlining concerns from a housing affordability group that Joyce by Westbank could be giving an edge to foreign buyers, the company says that’s not the case.

It points to a letter it sent to 1,400 properties in the vicinity of the project on May 26, offering people in the neighbourhood a chance to “view these homes first” on the afternoon of June 7, 2017.

That letter explicitly points out this is an exclusive preview for people who live in that community, but “This is not an offering for sale, but details on how to purchase will be provided for those that are interested.”

Tuesday afternoon that situation was updated on the company website to reflect an advanced buying opportunity for those invited to Wednesday’s Joyce gallery viewing, giving those people roughly 24 hours notice about the offer — although they would have had to have visited the website within that brief window to be aware of the opportunity.

“If you carefully look on every single real estate advertisement in the Province of British Columbia, you’ll see a note that this not an offering for sale,” says Michael Braun, a Westbank senior representative. “It’s subject to a disclosure statement. You cannot discuss any details regarding the purchase of a condo due to the real estate development marketing act, before providing someone with a copy of the disclosure statement. So until folks come in, they’re handed a disclosure statement, you really shouldn’t be talking to them about purchasing. You’ll find that that’s typical language on every single real estate communication in the province.”

As for what our story described as an “ad” for information sessions for this development in Taiwan, Braun suggests this was a mischaracterization. He says it is simply a website registration form for a Taiwanese realty firm holding an information session on the development. The registration form features an image with the Westbank logo and contact information for someone with a WestBankCorp e-mail address.

With regard to the company changing the sales dates on its website on Tuesday afternoon following NEWS 1130’s inquiry about the Taiwanese information session, Braun says the company acted independently of this outlet’s inquiries when it made those adjustments.

“We were able to file our disclosure statement early, so it means that we’re able to start selling early,” says Braun. “And we intend to start selling units as early as this week. So, that’s why we updated the date.”