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Lower Mainland developers launched more condo projects across the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley in May following a slower April, MLA Advisory reports.

MLA Advisory, the research branch of condo marketers MLA Canada, says 10 condo projects started selling units last month, compared to seven in April.

While more projects launched in May, the overall number of units was lower. May’s projects contain 539 homes, versus April’s 779.

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Suzana Goncalves, an MLA partner and executive vice president of sales and marketing, notes that developers in the Lower Mainland are taking their time before bringing projects to market, suggesting some of the planned April launches were held back to May.

“It is becoming increasingly common for developers to hold longer preview periods and postpone writing contracts until public interest in the project is more certain,” she says in a statement within MLA’s May 2019 Pre-Sale Real Estate Insights report.

“Developments offering unique product offerings and carefully curated purchaser incentives that truly reflect their buyers are seeing greater sales activity and foot traffic. Avocado toast took over the airways and continues to show success with copycats now looking to get more creative and follow suit,” she continues, referring to a recent viral campaign.

The developer of a West Coquitlam condo recently offered to serve up a year of free avocado toast to buyers, playing off the common criticism that millennials could afford real estate if they’d just forego avocado toast and lattes (see how that theory checks out with this millennial mortgage calculator).

Since then, another developer has tried to entice buyers with libations.

While it’s unclear how, exactly, these campaigns have contributed to sales, about 22 percent of the units launched in May have sold so far, according to MLA.

Analysts forecast there are another nine project launches in the pipeline for this month, bringing 737 units to market.

By the end of the second quarter, MLA expects 2,000 units will have been launched, with a vast majority of them within wood-framed mid-rise buildings. Just 140 of these units are in concrete buildings (typically high-rise) and these have already been released.

“June will likely have no new concrete high-rise launches as developers wait to launch
during the busier fall season,” the MLA report reads. “Many high-profile projects will postpone their launch timelines as developers continue to monitor the market and purchaser trends.”

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