All posts by VCI Admin

CRA plans increased ‘lifestyle audits’ in Vancouver

The CRA suspects some people in Vancouver might not be paying tax on all world-wide income and are going to be taking an extra hard look at big spenders who aren’t big tax-payers.

Over at the Globe and Mail Christine Duhaime a lawyer who focuses on financial crimes explains how it works:

“They all follow what we call the same typology. … They all want an expensive Lamborghini or a Ferrari, they want a really expensive house, they send their kids to the most expensive private schools they can get in Vancouver,” she said. “So when you try to find money launderers, that’s what you look for. Who went to the Ferrari shop? And that’s what they mean by the ‘lifestyle audit.’”

Ms. Duhaime said while many people think of money laundering as something done by drug dealers, in fact the activity is more often associated with white-collar crime and usually involves tax evasion.

Will going after tax cheats have any effect on the overinflated housing market in Vancouver?  Read the original article here.

Friday Free-for-all! July 15th 2016

It’s the end of another week and that means it’s time for another friday free-for-all!

This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread, here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

Only Toronto and Vancouver?
Rates stay steady
CRA crackdown on RE
Pauls stats

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Is the end of the bubble near?

The latest spurt of ‘bubble is bursting‘ news is showing up in the local media.

Despite ever increasing sales prices, we’re also seeing a dropping sales to listing ratio month after month.

UBC’s Tom Davidoff, an associate professor at the Sauder School of Business and a real estate analyst, says the first signs of a bubble bursting might be sales volume slowing down and inventory rising. A rising rental vacancy rate could also be indicative of the market slowing down as well as lenders becoming more cautious about issuing and underwriting mortgages.

In the last few months, all of these red flags have been appearing in the Vancouver market, aside from a growing rental vacancy rate.

At the end of May, the CEO of Scotiabank, Brian Porter, said they were “a little concerned” with housing prices in Vancouver and had been easing off their mortgage lending business because of too much risk.

Read the full article over at Global News.

Friday Free-for-all! July 8th 2016

It’s the weekend.

One more read of the internet and then you should really get outside to play.

But being that today is Friday that means it’s time for our Friday Free-for-all! This is our regular end of the week news round up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few links to kick off the chat:

What did people talk about before the bubble?
Supply up, sales down?
Raise interest rates
Precise data from a tiny sample
ok fine, give me $100k less
speculation tax = market collapse?

So what are you seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

Lack of home inspection leads to no surprises

At least it should come as no surprise that buying a home with no inspection leads to numerous nightmare scenarios when you actually inspect the property after purchase.

“Recently, I had one house that was so catastrophic, it needed some $350,000 in repairs. They were not expecting that at all because it was newly renovated. But that only concealed all the issues. It was lipstick on a pig. It needs a new foundation, piping, you name it, it needs to be done,” said Anderson, who has been an inspector for six years and was a builder for 25 before that.

A million bucks doesn’t get you what it used to in east van:

Last October, the 40-year-old and his spouse bid $955,000 on an older home in Hastings-Sunrise. It was listed at $899,000 and “we heard there were five bids. We were in the middle. We expected this and wanted to have a differentiating factor.”

Ahead of taking possession, “we had asked if we could get in to do some measuring for our furniture, but they wouldn’t allow it,” said Girard.

On moving day, they arrived to find “an absolute disaster,” said Girard, who described the home as being “not safe for our one-year-old daughter. That was the biggest problem.”

There were also holes in the wall, exposed electrical lines, flooring that didn’t meet walls, kitchen cabinets sitting unevenly over dirt floors covered in rodent droppings. The house, when they had seen it, had been “staged. They had positioned things to cover up problems. Drywall had been ripped out. There weren’t enough circuit breakers for things like the stove to be powered. We had to MacGyver things to make them work.”

Unsurprisingly, the Home Inspectors Association of BC recommends that you get a home inspection before buying.  Read the full article over at the Financial Post.