Builder blames construction costs after Montrealer gets hit with $50K price hike for condo
Tuesday, 4 May, 2021
Rob Lurie, CTV News Montreal
A Montreal woman who signed a deal to buy a condo was surprised when she discovered the price had gone up by $50,000 – a cost the builder pinned on higher construction costs.
The agreed price was $510,000 including sales tax and an indoor parking spot, but last week, Chuang was informed the price was being increased by more than $50,000. The seller blamed higher construction costs.
The head of L’Association des consommateurs pour la qualité dans la construction, a consumer advocacy group specializing in construction issues, said since February, he’s received a lot of calls from people who are in the same situation, and worse.
“In this case, at least there was something in the contract,” said association director-general Marc-Andre Harnois. “But in most cases, people are at a fixed price and the contractor still tries to raise the price.”
Harnois agreed construction costs are way up since the pandemic, but he said that alone doesn’t justify the increases he’s hearing about.
“We see a lot of (increases) that are way higher than the material (increase). We’ve seen some raises of more than a hundred thousand dollars for normal houses. That’s not the materials that justify that.”
He believes, in some cases, it’s the seller taking advantage of the hot real estate market.
“They know that if they we’re selling that house, actually it would be at a better price, so they try to have the actual price instead of the price they contracted for,” he said.
Harnois blames a loophole in consumer laws that he says protect homeowners only once they own the home and not while they’re shopping.