Are You a V.I.P.?

Because if you weren’t standing out on Merton Street last night for hours and hours on end, then clearly you’re not part of the in-crowd.

In order to answer the constant stream of questions about “why” and “how” our condominium market continues to chug along, you have to consider the way pre-construction condominiums are sold.

So long as you can get people to line up for hours (and it’s not even winter!) as demonstrated in this video, the market will continue to rise…

I don’t know if I can add anything of value to this video with mere words.

I only wish I was videotaping the lineup for freehold properties, often north of the city, where people line up for days.

A client of mine told me about one such experience she had years ago.

There are “professional” line-waiters who will stand in the queue for as long as is needed, in exchange for a fee.

My client was buying a freehold townhouse in Markham, and people started lining up seven days in advance.  In order to keep your spot in the line, you had to “check in” six times per day, from 8am to 8pm, and return the next day to take your place.  If you were late, or didn’t stay until 8pm, or weren’t present for one of the six “check-in” times, you were disqualified.

The price?


For six days of waiting in line.

Career change, anyone? 🙂


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  1. Georgyboy says:

    OK, so no one is going to point out that all of the people in line were Asians?

  2. Libertarian says:

    Maybe those people are the foreigners talked about in an earlier post from this week. Haha!

  3. AndrewB says:

    1000 for 6 days? That’s nothing! Some people will pay 1000 for ONE night lineup on iPhone launches!

  4. KC says:

    It’s so sad that we have people lining up for condos. Houses I understand, but a condo? You can wait till next week and another builder is selling probably next door now a days.
    As always, love your videos and commentary.

  5. steve says:

    “Clearly, the real estate story in Toronto continues to be all about demand.”

    Then please explain to me why so many properties linger on MLS for months
    with no buyers in sight.

    1. @ Steve

      That’s gross generalization.

      The properties that linger on MLS (assuming you only mean condos, since no houses linger), do so for a reason.

      Pre-construction lingers

      Assignments linger.

      Newly-registered, investor-owned properties linger.

      Over-priced properties linger.

      Tenanted properties, with no photos on MLS, restrictions on showings, in poor condition, linger.

      A well-priced, in-demand property sells.

      Here’s an example of what I’m working on right now – a unit came out at 230 King Street on Wednesday at $399,900. 10-year-old building, nothing special, right? Well offers are tonight – they have five.

      The demand is far greater than the supply, of resale units, priced around fair market value, that show in average condition or better.

      If you were to focus on the fringe/specialty properties, then yes, properties might sit.

    2. Clifford says:

      Hey Steve, I sold my condo in a week.

      You’re aware that there are houses that go through the same thing….client usually takes it down and relists it months later.

      Good, well priced condos in high demand areas still go quickly.

  6. Milan says:

    David, maybe it’s time to make a video spoofing these lineups. I hope you can get enough volunteers for that one.

  7. Noel says:

    It’s all about the herd mentality, social ‘proof’ (although there isn’t much proof these days) and being made to feel special while all that is happening is that they are helping themselves into the money in your pocket and smiling at you while they do it.

    I would never buy a condo in a million years. There is nothing unique about them and the supply is unlimited. All you are buy is a bunch of steel studs, drywall, concrete and windows that are going to leak in 10-20 years and a condo fees that you have no say over that are going to rise far in excess of what you were promised and that you expected. Would I rent one? Yes, so I can leave when I want to and not pay the 5%+ tax to leave (real estate commission + legal fees). Buy one? Never! If I ever was crazy enough to buy one I would buy it after the building was built, could examine the reserve fund, see and feel the quality of the place and amenties and know what the condo fees were. But to commit to handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars for some pie in the sky you won’t be able to even see or enjoy (is that the right word?) for a few years? You have to be out of your MIND!

  8. Appraiser says:

    Clearly, the real estate story in Toronto continues to be all about demand.