Vancouver’s real-estate market has imploded, so now you can get a $400,000 condo with a side of avocado toast.A Metro Vancouver developer is enticing Millennials to buy one of its 116 condos at a Coquitlam project by reducing the down payment to just 10 per cent from the customary 15 or 20 per cent and offering a year’s supply of free avocado toast.The Vancouver real-estate slowdown was one of the reasons cited by the Bank of Canada in a Wednesday decision to keep the benchmark interest rate at 1.75 per cent, at the same time it hinted at the prospect of interest-rate cuts. (Jesse Winter / Star Vancouver)“Saving for a down payment does require some saving and sacrificing,” said Jamie Howard, president of Woodbridge Homes. “At the Kira project, we say you can have your avocado toast and eat it too.”Vancouver’s real estate market is known globally for its sky-high prices, a phenomenon that peaked in June of 2016 and made some homeowners millionaires, but left many residents locked out of the housing markets and facing rising rents and increasing evictions.The real-estate slowdown was one of the reasons cited by the Bank of Canada in its Wednesday decision to keep the benchmark interest rate at 1.75 per cent. In its decision, the Bank of Canada also slashed its 2019 growth forecast for the Canadian economy to 1.2 per cent, down from its January forecast of 1.7 per cent. The bank cited “weaker-than-anticipated housing” as one of the causes for its lower forecast, and also hinted at the prospect of interest rate cuts.In Vancouver, other condo developers have offered to pay for interior decorating, several months of strata fees or even cover some mortgage payments. One realtor who is trying to resell a presale contract at the original purchase price is even offering a $100,000 “credit from developer upon completion,” according to an email she sent to other realtors that was obtained by the Star.The avocado toast is a tongue-in-cheek reference to an infamous 2017 comment from an Australian real-estate developer who counselled young people to stop buying the expensive hipster breakfast item if they wanted to be able to afford a house.It became a potent internet meme for young people who face lower wages, higher debt loads and much higher housing prices than their parents’ generation did.The freebies are a sign of a market in decline in a city that not long ago had the hottest real estate in the country.A series of provincial taxes aimed at real-estate speculation, the federal mortgage stress test requirement and increased capital controls imposed by the Chinese government have slammed the brakes on the market.Developers who previously saw lineups of eager would-be buyers are now reaching deep into their bags of tricks as they face new challenges in the world of condo pre-sales. A presale is when a buyer signs a contract to purchase a condo unit before the building is complete, usually putting down 15 to 20 per cent of the final purchase price.Presales are crucial for developers so they can secure the financing they need to actually build their project.With falling valuations and the new mortgage stress test that is making it harder for some borrowers to qualify for mortgages, there’s a risk some buyers may not be able to come up with the money to complete the deal they signed up for.“You had a lot of buyers that were optimistic prices would keep rising, and some of them don’t have the financial capacity to close on them,” said Steve Saretsky, a Vancouver-based realtor. “Trying to flip (pre-sales) is becoming a lot tougher.”Although condo prices have fallen by 5.2 per cent in Metro Vancouver over the past year according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Howard said he’s fairly confident the prices offered on the Kira project will stay competitive. The region’s economy has been strong, with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada, and is expected to add around 40,000 people a year over the next decade.At the Coquitlam property, the one-bedroom units start at $399,900, two bedrooms at $499,000 and three-bedroom apartments at $649,900.Before the Vancouver real-estate bubble burst, the condo pre-sales market was particularly speculative in nature, said Ryan Lalonde, president of MLA Canada, a condo marketing firm.After British Columbia’s first foreign buyer tax was introduced in July 2016, single-family home sales slowed and properties began to decline in value. But condos got a second win for a time, before they also saw declining sales and dropping value.“So many of the (buyers) were purchasing with the assumption that real estate is as liquid as cash, and as a result we’ll always be able to assign properties,” Lalonde said, referring to the practice of flipping pre-sales contracts, or assignments, before the building completes and the end owner has to obtain a mortgage and pay GST on the new home.It’s a trick of human nature, Lalonde said, to believe that what happens today will happen tomorrow, and he believes many buyers did not really consider what could happen “if our market changed from double-digit returns to single- or net-negative appreciation, how difficult it could be to move an assignment, and I think that’s where we are today.”As for that Coquitlam condo that comes with the avocado toast, Howard said it’s actually a gift card to a local restaurant with enough credit on it to pay for one breakfast a week for a year. And no, you don’t have to order the avocado toast.Jen St. Denis is a Vancouver-based reporter covering affordability and city hall. Follow her on Twitter: @jenstdenTOP STORIES, DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX.