Category Archives: BC

Your car insurance is going up.

BC Drivers pay some of the highest car insurance rates in the country while receiving the lowest payouts, and yet somehow ICBC is out of money.

A recent report from Ernst & Young painted a dire picture at the Crown corporation, concluding that rates must increase by 30 per cent by 2019 to cover costs. A separate forecast released last November by ICBC indicated rates would need to increase by 42 per cent over the next five years to make up for expenses.

McCandless pointed to a footnote in the ICBC report that an additional $1.5 billion is required in “capital from other sources” between 2017 and 2020. He calculated the cumulative rate hike to be closer to 117 per cent over four years.

Continue reading Your car insurance is going up.

CRA targets vancouver condo flippers

The Canada Revenue Agency is going after condo flippers for taxes due.  They are already taking developers to court for info an presales buyers who flipped contracts. Guess the taxman wants his cut of the boom.

In an emailed statement, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) spokesman David Morgan explained the rationale behind the applications.

“In general, people who buy and resell homes in a short period for a profit may be engaged in property flipping. The CRA acquires and analyzes third-party data and uses this information to identify whether all income from property flipping is being reported correctly. The profits from flipping real estate are generally considered to be fully taxable as business income. The facts of each case determine whether such profits should be reported as business income or as a capital gain,” Morgan wrote.

Read the full article here.

That foreign buyer tax

Well it’s been a year since the BC government brought in a ‘foreign buyer tax‘ in the Vancouver metro area.  How’s that affected the market?

“The public perception is that it hasn’t brought down prices and has had no effect,” said Simon Fraser University professor Josh Gordon, a political scientist in the university’s school of public policy. “But the slowdown in price increases is a positive.”

Even before the tax was implemented, Mr. Gordon said it was unlikely to have a huge impact since it was not targeting all foreign money, much of which comes in with new immigrants who are not affected by the tax.

He and others have always said that the province – or country – would need to add many more measures: more investigation into the sources of money coming into the country; more rigorous pursuit of people avoiding capital-gains tax on their real-estate transactions; a more comprehensive tax that targets people not paying income-tax in Canada.

Mr. Gordon believes that, if the lack of dramatic impact from the tax proves anything, it’s that people in Vancouver have a profound belief that the market will continue to rise.

Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.

The BC Housing Mandate

New government, new housing mandate.

In your role as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:

  •   Partner with local governments and First Nations to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.
  •   Through partnerships with local governments, the federal govenrment, and the private and not-for- profit sectors, begin to build 114,000 units of affordable market rental, non-profit,
    co-op, supported social housing and owner-purchase housing.
  •   Create new student housing by removing unnecessary rules that prevent universities and colleges from building affordable student housing.
  •   Amend the Residential Tenancy Act to provide stronger protections for renters, and provide additional resources to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
  •   With the Minister of Finance, deliver an annual renter’s rebate of $400 dollars per rental household to improve rental affordability.
  •   Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.
  •   Work with the Minister of Finance to address speculation, tax fraud and money laundering in the housing market.
  •   As the Minister responsible for TransLink, support the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation by funding 40%of the capital costs of every phase of the plan, in partnership with all levels of government.

We suspect many people reading here are disappointed that Eby isn’t the housing minister and are curious to see how that second to last point turns out. You can read the full letter here.

Sales slow, but what about prices?

An article over at the province says that real estate sales in Vancouver and Toronto have slowed, but don’t expect prices to follow:

“We’ll still have very lofty prices in Toronto and Vancouver. If we’re expecting the market to become instantly affordable that’s not going to happen. Given the low interest rates and rapid population inflow, they will still be expensive markets but we’re moving away, thankfully, from the days where there was incredible pressure for buyers to get in before prices grew another 40 per cent,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Douglas Porter said.

read the full article here.