Category Archives: BC

How do you tax an empty home?

The city of Vancouver has floated the idea of an ’empty home tax’ to help encourage the availability of rental supply.  Today is the last day they will take feedback online for this idea.

If you have ideas for or against an empty home tax now is the time to have your input. What should be taxed and what should be exempt?

Best Place on Meth points out a rather obvious loophole and asks how it would be dealt with. Will there be baseline expectations for what is or isn’t market rent?

What’s to stop these owners from listing it for rent at some outrageous price that nobody will pay and then claiming they did try to rent it out?

What do you think – is the idea of an empty home tax a good or bad approach to Vancouvers housing problems?

Sunshine Coast / Bowen Island stats

Skook wrote in to let us know of updates to the Sunshine Coast / Bowen island stats.  

Hi Everyone,

I’ve added more posts to my stats blog. I have the Bowen Island September 2016 stats up. As well, I uploaded 3 Sunshine Coast December 2015 stats posts as well as a SC 2015 Sales Summary post. I’ll start uploading the SC 2016 stats as soon as I can.


Non-bank mortgage lenders don’t like new rules

It’s looking like lending for real estate is going to get a bit more pricy as Ottawa tightens rules and seeks to offload some risk.  Many lenders in this Globe and Mail article feel blindsided by the change and complain that it’s unfair as they will not be able to compete with the banks:

Non-bank lenders left reeling by new federal mortgage rules

The new rules kick in November 30th after which lenders will not be able to insure mortgages with amortization beyond 25 years or on homes over $1million or rental properties. I guess we’re about to find out the price of risk in these no longer covered categories.

Four major changes to Canadian housing rules

Vancouver home sales have plunged by about a third in the last month or so, this been largely blamed on the foreign buyer tax.

But that tax focused on the city of Vancouver isn’t the only change to the real estate market, new rules and changes have the potential to affect the wider region and the nation as a whole.  Southseacompany posted this summary from a Globe and Mail article  in the comments:

“Four major changes to Canada’s housing rules”, Globe & Mail

1. Expanding a mortgage rate stress test to all insured mortgages.

2. As of Nov. 30, the government will impose new restrictions on when it will provide insurance for low-ratio mortgages.

3. New reporting rules for the primary residence capital gains exemption.

4. The government is launching consultations on lender risk sharing.

As Canadian Mortgage Trends puts it, is this the last nail in the coffin?

NOTE: disagreements are fine, but repetitive personal attacks and insults to other posters will get you an IP ban.

Realtors warn of dramatic sales slump for September 2016

Do you feel like someone should have warned you that Vancouver real estate sales slumped dramatically in September? Well now you have been.

VANCOUVER — Real estate agents say home sales continued to fall dramatically in the Vancouver area last month and even hit a 10-year low in some neighbourhoods.

Agents say the high-end detached home market is seeing the most substantial losses, while the condominium and townhome market remains active.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which covers a large swath of Metro Vancouver but excludes several large suburbs including Surrey, is set to release its home sales data for the month of September tomorrow.

Read the full article over at the Vancouver Sun.