30 Calgary flats worth one in HK

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1993, 12:00am

INVESTORS have been urged to buy units in a new Canadian development at a fraction of the price of a Hongkong equivalent.

Canadian real estate entrepreneur Mr Kevin Gardner claimed buyers could purchase up to 30 units in the west coast city of Calgary for the price of one in Hongkong.

Mr Gardner has been in Hongkong for the past month trying to sell the remaining 25 condominiums in the 78-unit Oxford Parc estate.

He said a special wealth building formula he had developed was an extra incentive to prospective buyers.

Mr Gardner said: ''It works out at $100 per square foot, compared with $3,000 in Hongkong just now.

''What would you rather have? One condo in Hongkong or 30 in Calgary?'' He hoped the deal would appeal to investors, expatriates and local Chinese.

Traditional cities in Canada, he said, should be considered no-go areas just now.

He believed Calgary was - and has been for three years - the place to be in Canada.

Vancouver was not low-priced any more and Toronto had an unhealthy economy.

Mr Gardner sighed at the suggestion of a slight hiccup.

The 36-year-old salesman has had a career full of ups and downs.

He quit his degree in economics and marketing at Queens University near Toronto after two years.

''I quit studying to go and make my first million bucks . . . and I did.

''That was my idea of graduating.'' Life hasn't been all rosy, though. Three years ago he ventured across the border into the United States to buy property in Florida.

He suddenly found himself sitting on a useless, vacant commercial building in downtown Tampa which no one wanted to know about. The deal cost him C$1 million (about HK$6.2 million).

''That's been my only interruption,'' he said.

''I went in with my eyes half open to the US market, which was very soft.

''I did things which are standard in Canada, but which didn't work out there.

''Sometimes you get blindsided. It's just like one round of a boxing match. You get knocked down a couple of times and lose the round.

''But I've picked myself up. I've taken myself back to Canada - the area I know best - and I'll win the fight.

''It's the only way to do it.'' He has since been advising buyers in Canada of the ''simple'' formula which he claimed was a guaranteed way of making money on their property.

By touring the country, he has passed on the ''Wealth Building Formula'' to thousands of clients.

Mr Gardner said he was taught the ''formula'' by elder experts in Canada who had all used it to make vast amounts of money. He had only developed the idea.

The basic objective was for someone to achieve a 30 to 40 per cent annual equity growth on their home.

The yields were made by purchasing with a 25 per cent down payment in a low-priced market which was likely to appreciate at about eight to 10 per cent each year.

The other 75 per cent, he advised, should be financed with a pre-arranged automatic property management company and system in place.

Mr Gardner said many of the people who have followed his advice often saw up to 60 per cent annual equity growth. Such growth was on a high probability basis and nothing was guaranteed.

Income and withholding tax were not payable until the property was sold.

Mr Gardner believed too many people played it safe.

''Seventy-five per cent of your average Canadians cannot write a cheque for $1,000 by the time they are 65,'' he said.

''Most Canadians take 36 years at two per cent growth to double their wealth - and those are the ones who are saving.

''The rest are just dead broke or dead.

''The five per cent who are independent are doing this kind of thing or something similar.'' Mr Gardner was keen to point out that Hongkong residents were much more on the ball than his own countrymen when it came to dealing in real estate.

''The clients in Toronto don't know anything about the formula.

''But, here, people have been brought up on finance. They will tell me, 'Yeah, we know all about that. Now let's do the deal'.'' One bedroom flats in the Calgary development cost up to $90,000 and $115,000 for a two-bedroom apartment. Finance deals are also on offer.

Mr Gardner is also looking for investors who want a stake in the financing of future developments in Alberta.

Interested parties should contact L & D Pacific, who are the marketing agents in the territory for the Oxford Parc project.