Land Assembly › October 2013

What is Land Assembly? A land assembly refers to the joining of adjacent lots to make a larger parcel.

Why is Land Assembly gaining popularity? Due to the steady decrease in the availability of developable land in Metro Vancouver, many municipalities and developers are looking to redevelop and increase density in what traditionally were single family home communities.

Where is Land Assembly happening? The frequency of land assemblies is most common along major transportation corridors. Sometimes, adjacent property owners decide to market the sale of their properties all together and other times a developer may initiate the process by approaching a group of owners to purchase all their properties.

How does Land Assembly benefit owners? By selling a property as part of a land assembly, owners are able to demand a higher purchase price since their individual property is worth more to a developer when combined with adjacent properties.

With all land assemblies, consideration needs to be given to the following items: Intention of all owners in the land assembly to sell; whether all properties in the land assembly will be treated equaly, or if there are special characteristics of some properties that warrant special treatment, such as a corner lot; Formula to determine purchase price of each lot and; the Official Community Plan for the areas.

Land assemblies vary from traditional property sales, in that they are dependent on all (or most) of the properties in the assembly enter into binding contracts. Furthermore, the timelines for land assemblies are often much longer, from the time of signing a contract to removal of subject conditions to the completion date, can be several months and even years.

Due to this longer timeline, there are commonly deposits given throughout the process. Consideration must be given to the amount of time a property is tied up by the contract before the subject conditions are removed, since there is no guarantee the transfer will complete until subjects are removed.

Steps to a Land Assembly

  1. LISTING your property for sale

  2. MARKETING your property to potential Developers

  3. OFFER NEGOTIATION (1-2 week) presentation to acceptance

  4. ASSEMBLY CONDITIONS (2-3 months) assembling neighbouring properties

  5. FEASIBILITY CONDITIONS (2-3 months) Plan Submission, Level 1 Environmental, Soil Tests, Arborist Study, etc.

  6. SUBJECT REMOVAL and DEPOSIT put in place

  7. COMPLETION and POSSESSION: (6-12 months)

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