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Pender Harbour Development - The Painted Boat
12-25-2013, 08:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-26-2013, 07:23 AM by Skook.)
RE: Pender Harbour Development - The Painted Boat
“Owning Sunshine Coast real estate has never been easier. Buy a quarter interest or 100% and start building wonderful memories with family and friends.” The Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina

I jumped ahead of my posting plans with this look at current Painted Boat listings. I had hoped to turn my attention to the Pender Harbour area long before now; but, so many weird, wacky and wonderful things are happening at the southern end of the SC that it has been hard to tear myself away. Hopefully early in the New Year, I’ll definitely head up the coast.

However, now that I have started this Painted Boat thread, I thought I would give it greater depth by pulling all the available information together and creating a spreadsheet. To do so, I’ve turned to the most reliable source - the Painted Boat, itself. The Painted Boat website has undergone three major updates and I’ve shown a screenshot of its first 2007 incarnation in the post above. This was the ‘pre-construction’ and ‘during-construction’ website that offered a price teaser on its Home page: “Waterfront Vacation Villas Quarter Ownership from $199,900 to the mid $200,000’s.” To find out more, you had to contact Painted Boat Development Ltd directly.

This 2007 website pricing was an increase from that stated half a year earlier in an Edmonton Journal article. In that July 1, 2006 piece, Ken Delf, President of Painted Boat Development Ltd., likely presented a “guesstimate”:

Quote:The fully furnished, two-bedroom townhouses will measure from 1,280 to 1,710 square feet and will be priced from $175,000 to $250,000 for a quarter share, says Delf.

In February, 2009, The Painted Boat website underwent a significant change. Now, all major building construction was completed and the company was ready to share its sales progress. We had been given a hint of those stats the preceding June in a Vancouver Sun article written by Janet Collins, “… a Sunshine Coast writer and editor”, who informed us that, “As of June 1, sales have closed on 50 of the available 124 shares.” This represented 40.3% of all ¼ shares and that 124 total came from multiplying 31 (condos) times 4 (quarter shares).

In that same Van Sun piece, we were introduced to some of the Painted Boat’s enthusiastic unit shareholders such as Charles Ku, a former Intrawest Corp. executive, who said he had “no problem with the concept of fractional ownership” as “he knew his quarter-interest would be a fully deeded property that can be sold, mortgaged or willed to another person -- much like a strata property.” He went on to say,

Quote:When not in use, the unit can be added to the resort's rental pool so that it also can be used as a revenue source. Calgary-based Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts manages the rentals and the resort.

Since the Ku family already had fractional ownership of a Whistler residence, they are able to enjoy ownership of both properties without shelling out the full purchase price for either -- to say nothing of the upkeep for a place they aren't occupying 365 days each year.

We were also told that “one couple liked their unit so much, they purchased all four shares so it is available for their personal use any time they want it.” We also learned that the fractional ownership prices had increased and were now $209,900 to $284,900.

The updated website’s emphasis remained selling units with “Ownership” topping the navigation menu column on the left of the Home page. With sales in mind, Painted Boat was happy to flesh out the pricing details offering a table showing exactly what units were available and their ¼ ownership price. Once again, prices had increased but only at the low end with units now offered from $229,900 to $284,900. Of course, what neither Painted Boat nor unit owners realized at that time and only hindsight would reveal was that pricing had reached its peak and from here on in the value of those ¼ ownership shares would fall, and fall, and continue to fall.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=675]

You see the 2005-2006 Sunshine Coast Land Rush actually heralded the end of the real estate boom on the coast. Oh, yes, prices kept going up for another year, but after 2007 the party was over as every developer in Pender Harbour and those south in Sechelt and the Gibsons area was about to discover.

The Painted Boat’s website maintained the 2009 pricing right up to mid-October, 2011 when the website was updated once again. The emphasis now shifted to the 'resort' side of the development with its 'Reservation Search' tool placed prominently on the Home page. Of course, the 'Real Estate' link was still there above the main image but it had no special emphasis other than its second spot position.

A really interesting feature on this new website involved taking the 2009 Site Plan (see above) and making it interactive. To get to the map you had to click on a link that said “Check out availability and pricing information on each unit” and, boy, did that interactive map deliver in spades - for about two months. As the image below shows, when you clicked on a unit you were given lots of juicy details including the “Full” unit price (if no ¼ shares had already been sold) and the ¼ share price. Yeehaw! Now, any visitor keeping tabs would find out how far prices had dropped from February, 2009 to October, 2011. In the example shown below, the ¼ share price for Unit 7 went from a high of $274,900 down to $219,000 - a drop of -20.3%. Ouch.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=676]

Unit share owners had to have been aware of the less than stellar sales at Painted Boat, but I wonder if they truly appreciated how far prices had fallen. Well, with this new feature they and anyone following the development definitely found out. I wonder if owner response might explain why the pricing in the blue pop-up disappeared PDQ (within a few short months) to be replaced by what you see now on the website- the word “available” if you are able to purchase the full unit or any ¼ shares or the short form “n/a” if you can’t.

The Painted Boat spreadsheet gives you the 2009-11 website pricing followed by the prices briefly available during the last two months of 2011 along with the percentage change between the two. The “Dec 2013: Buy-in” columns give you the availability info from the current website. The “Notes” column explains what that availability means: that if “Full” ownership is “n/a” but ¼ shares are “available” then at least one or more (1+) quarter ownership share has sold. If both “Full” and “¼ share” are “available” then obviously no shares have sold at all. As of this past week, 11 of the 31 condos (35.5%) remain wide-open for purchase; as wide open today as they were back in 2009. As for ¼ shares purchased in each unit, no one can know how many there are unless you were to keep track of any and all MLS listings as they appear.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=677]

Referring back to that 2006 Edmonton Journal article, it said:

Quote:Delf and four other partners came on board the project and he became president of the company six weeks ago. He brought with him financial and development expertise to steer the unique project through to completion.

So, if there are five partners in Painted Boat Development Ltd, then they more than likely have all purchased ¼ shares if not units outright. Throw in a few close friends and perhaps family members buying in and, well, you might reach some interesting conclusions about unit ownership levels.


The MLS Listings:

I found some older listing info as I did my research and I include them in the image below along with those six units currently on the market. These listings really had me stumped until I finally figured out that the letter following the Unit# didn’t refer to the Floor Plan but likely to the order in which ¼ shares were sold in the unit: A, B, C, D. I think when a Unit is listed without a letter the listing agent didn’t think to ask about it; didn’t perceive its relevance; or, perhaps couldn’t be bothered including it.

Vancouver Price Drop is a blog that until recently presented properties on the lower mainland that underwent significant price drops over their listing history. Every now and then a Sunshine Coast property made the list including this one at the Painted Boat. We can see that it was originally listed in November, 2011 and by August, 2012 had dropped -26% - then the listing disappears. Notice that this is Unit #22B and look what is currently listed on the right - #22C! If you head back to the spreadsheet, you will notice that Unit #22 had “Sold” way, way back and so those ¼ owners likely paid top dollar due it being an upper level corner unit with a loft (hence two floors) and facing the ocean (probably $274,900 - $284,900).

Below #22B, we have Unit #6 listed in November, 2012 which is another “Sold” corner unit on the upper level that likely cost that list ad price - then the listing disappears. Below #6, we have Unit #21A which is another unit indicated as completely “Sold’; but, look at that list price! It is possible this was a relist, but reality is sinking in - then this listing disappears.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=678]

Did all these listings really just disappear? Well, I have gone through all the MLS sold data that I could get my hands on and to the best of my ability I could not find one MLS listed unit from Painted Boat that sold in 2011, 2012 or 2013. Will any of these current listings sell? Good question. Look Unit #3C, the ¼ share is offered $100,000 and has been listed 119 days - good chance it’s a relist, too, after having gone through a few price drops.

Before we leave these listings, I would like to hark back to enthusiastic unit share owner Charles Ku introduced to us in that June, 2008 Vancouver Sun article. You see, the listing description accompanying Unit #22B (Vancouver Price Drop) led with something catchy that caught my eye:

Quote:For the time it takes to drive Whistler: Special penthouse unit close to golf, hiking and bike trails located at the “Painted Boat” Resort and Spa on the waterfront in beautiful tranquil Madeira Park, a 40min ferry from N. Vancouver.

Now, who would think of starting off with “to drive Whistler” unless you had that experience from, say, driving to your other quarter share property? And, what’s with this “special penthouse” nonsense? If being an upper level unit makes it a penthouse, it’s in really good company because half of Painted Boat’s condo units (another 14) are all upper level. No, not so special.


The “Experts” on Buying Quarter-Shares

Should we feel for these individuals who bought in and are now for whatever reason trying to sell? No, I don’t think so because I beleve they went into this with their eyes wide shut. As I was preparing this post, I had the feeling from previous research the BC Oracle didn’t have much good to say about fractional ownership so I went on the hunt. Sure enough. In July, 2006 Western Investor interviewed Ozzie Jurock for an editorial piece:

Quote:Jurock also listed some investments to stay away from. His top warning was re-sales of pre-sale Vancouver condominiums. He noted that some developers who pre-sold are now having problem completing within budget, which could expose secondary pre-sale buyers to losses. He also waved investors away from time-shares, quarter-share purchases and hotel condos.

The conclusion that I come to is that Jurock doesn’t involve himself in any real estate venture that won’t make money and you can only make money if you can, obviously, resale a property for more than what you paid. In Ozzie’s world view, the best situation is when you can sit back, do nothing and realize a profit - letting that “passive income” roll in, around and over you.

Four months later in a Jurock website article discussing the provincial government’s tax law change, ‘Quarter shares are going from residential to business classification’, Jurock says:

Quote:We've mentioned our 'lack of like' for fractional ownership many times before ... now there's another reason to avoid them.

Major Point: We already thought that common area costs in some 1/4 share developments were high ... now the business qualification makes it even less attractive. Add to this, that re-sales are very tough; indeed (much harder to refinance) the higher operating costs will not help that market.

Another one of Jurock’s website “experts” Vancouver Island Realtor, Marty Douglas, who responded to a question back in August, 2007 regarding quarter shares in the Skaha Beach Club and Spa in Penticton, BC. He ended his response with this…

Quote:...if you are buying into a resort/suite investment you should be doing for the same reason you would buy a time share - because you plan on using it yourself forever and leaving it to your estate. But that's just my opinion.

So, in my opinion, anyone who bought into the Painted Boat as a “lucrative real estate investment” didn’t do their research. An internet search will bring up many more articles from around the same time saying the same thing.

As for the developers, they certainly can’t be faulted for raising unit shareholder expectations - at least not on the PB website. From 2007 onward, the website stated the following under ‘Frequently Asked Questions’:

Quote:Who will be the owners at Painted boat?

People very much like yourself; people who love what Painted Boat has to offer and are looking for a true investment in lifestyle: the best of vacation home ownership, an affordable and hassle-free revenue generator and personal use of a deep-water marina.

See, buying into the Painted Boat is an “investment in lifestyle” and not an "investment in real estate." As well, sometime around January 2011, the PB website offered a Q & A interview with Developer Ken Delf. Reflecting on the real estate situation that had been unfolding up there in the Harbour, Delf was “asked” this relevant question:

Quote:Q. The economy is in a downturn right now. What can you tell potential investors to convince them that being a permanent part of the Painted Boat community is worthwhile?

A. I have always looked to the long-term in the world of real estate. Short-term market problems happen. But with recreational investments, you're looking at the rest of your life. We offer a quarter ownership so we open up the market to people who couldn't otherwise afford to have access to waterfront property of this calibre. Over time, real estate is the best investment there is. We encourage all interested parties to come and rent and see for themselves if Painted Boat is for them.

There you go, Delf reiterates the view of that Vancouver Island Realtor back in 2007 which I quoted above when he says, “But with recreational investments, you're looking at the rest of your life.” Yes, you will hold a title that you can in theory put on the market but forget it. No, just sit back, relax and enjoy your purchase and leave it in your will for following generations to enjoy, too.


The Wrap

When all is said and done, I think the company behind the $31 million Painted Boat development has done all it can could to make the project a success. In hindsight, their business model might not have been the wisest choice; however, at that time when waterfront properties in the Harbour were beginning to exceed the million dollar mark, fractional ownership had to have seemed a viable alternative.

The development itself cannot be faulted. The Sunshine Coast architectural firm hired has designed an extremely attractive complex inside and out. Its exterior blends in beautifully with its environment unlike say a recent addition to the Sechelt waterfront comprised of two six-story concrete edifices that from the water look like the front end of a BC Ferry left high and dry on a pebble beach and from the street look like any other West Broadway office building near VGH.

The development company hired another well-respected and experienced Calgary-based company, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, to manage the resort and unit rentals and the positive reviews on Trip Advisor seem to indicate CRMR is doing an admiral job. Unfortunately, there just isn’t the winter business to make this a rip roaring success year round nor is there a large enough year round local population in the right age bracket with enough disposable income to tide the resort over during those slow winter months.

There is also little doubt the company continues to search for unit buyers to help spread out the costs of maintaining this complex now approaching its six year mark. I stumbled upon a BC real estate website which has a page devoted to the Painted Boat - uploaded either by the developer or by CRMR; unfortunately, what is written on that webpage will do little to raise the spirits of current owners.

According to its banner, “showcases desirable condos, houses and award-winning developments for sale - brought to you by the leading brokers in the province.” I did a little ‘copy and paste’ to make the webpage image smaller for this post by removing one row of resort pics and a paragraph of descriptive text, but everything else remains exactly as written. There are some details on the webpage that drew my attention (red arrows) such as the 2011 completion date which certainly doesn’t jive with the age of the units given in the MLS listings above; however, this could be the date the last pebble was placed on a Painted Boat pathway up there in Pender.

I truly wonder if that net revenue percentage from unit rental is coming anywhere remotely close to covering 80% of strata fees. Can this be possible when late fall to early spring business is so slow the restaurant closes for six months of the year?

[Image: attachment.php?aid=679]

Then there is that lovely text in red informing the viewer “Quarter shares from $165,000.” This is followed lower down by, “Quarter shares are priced from $165,000 to $210,000 and there are a few 100% ownership villas left from $600,000.” What does the current PB website say? “Located in Pender Harbour on BC's Sunshine Coast, quarter ownership homes start at $175,000 or whole ownership from $629,900.”

It appears now that quarter share pricing at the Painted Boat has fallen below the Ken Delf “guesstimate” in that July 1, 2006 Edmonton Journal article; lower than what Painted Boat Development Ltd envisioned before one shovel full of dirt was turned. The low end of the ¼ fractional ownership pricing has dropped -27.9% from its peak ($229,900 to $165,000) and on the high end ($284,900 to $210,000) the drop is -26.3%. As for those “few” 100% villas left for purchase, well if we look at the spreadsheet the “few” is in fact 11 out of 31 condos or ⅓ of the development.

I’m afraid the developers and unit shareholders at the Painted Boat have but one option: join the ranks of other Sunshine Coast developments launched between the end of the Land Rush days and 2010 and pray for the “good times” to return.

In Pender Harbour:
  • Farrington Cove
  • Pender Harbour Landing
  • Sakinaw Ridge (like old Spuzzum, it's beyond Hope: is in foreclosure)
  • Whittakers
In Sechelt:
  • Medusa Place
  • Oracle Heights - Phase 2
  • Orca Vista
  • Seaview Villa Estates (in foreclosure)
  • Seawatch at the Shores
  • Silverstone at Sechelt (waterfront phase)
  • The Chelsea
  • The Ridge
  • Trail Bay Estates
  • Tyler Heights
In Gibsons Area:
  • Elphinstone Crossing
  • Georgia Crest - Phase 2
  • Vista Ridge
Unfortunately, given the level of Canadian debt and over-building in this country (and on the coast) we all know a return of the “good times” will be in the distant future if at all. So, for those SC developments launched after 2010 and now in difficulty, and there are many, you have only yourselves to blame. You turned a blind eye to this list and the story it tells.

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RE: Pender Harbour Development - The Painted Boat - by Skook - 12-25-2013, 08:40 PM

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