Category Archives: BC

Tougher to get a mortgage in 2018

In the new year we’ll see a ‘stress test‘ added to all new uninsured mortgages, are you ready for that?

The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), Canada’s banking regulator, confirmed earlier today that there will now be a qualifying “stress test” for all uninsured mortgages, affecting consumers with downpayments of 20 percent or more.

Under current housing rules, only borrowers with a downpayment of less than 20 percent require mortgage insurance. This category of borrowers are already subject to a mortgage “stress test” that was introduced back in July 2016, amidst concerns about rising household indebtedness.

Right now, if you’re applying for a mortgage with a downpayment of 20 percent or more, the lender will assess if your financial situation is robust enough to afford a five-year mortgage qualifying rate, which currently sits in the range of 4.64 to 4.89 percent.

Under the new rules, OSFI will require that lenders use that same five-year mortgage rate plus two percent — essentially you’ll need to have income that qualifies you to afford an interest rate on a home loan of roughly seven percent.

Dave Madani says this is equivalent to a 17% reduction in the maximum mortgage people will be able to qualify for. Read the full article over at Vice.

Flipper sues buyer who sold at a loss

Here’s a Vancouver story if ever we saw one: A Flipper is suing a buyer who lost half a million dollars selling their condo at a loss.

The industry insider who tipped us off feels that this will end up being a nightmare situation for both Collins and Schomaker.

“When the buyer finds out that the property is now in the middle of a lawsuit, they will walk away and the sale will fall through,” they told ThinkPol. “Prices in West Vancouver keep falling, and seller will be lucky to even get $2 million in 2018. I expect both the flipper and the eventual buyer to lose a lot of money.”

The insider blamed the real estate industry’s unethical practices for putting many working Canadians into a tough financial situations.

“The sad part for me is ordinary Canadians are falling prey to number manipulation by the industry trying to keep up the perception real estate prices can only go up,” the whistleblower said. “The amount of deception, corruption and outright fraud in the industry is appalling and there is so much secrecy around the process of purchase and sale that the public is kept in the dark on just about every aspect of it.”

Read the full sordid tale over at ThinkPol.

Houses being sold at a loss

Southseacompany points out this article claiming speculators are leaving the local market and selling homes purchased in the last two years for less than the purchase price:

Dozens of homes in Metro Vancouver bought in the last two years are currently listed to be sold for a loss as speculators appear to exit Canada’s hottest real estate market.

An industry insider sent ThinkPol sales data for single family houses in the Lower Mainland showing roughly 40 properties that are currently listed for prices lower than what the sellers originally paid for them.

As the property purchases were made within the last two years, ThinkPol was able to validate this data using information published by BC Assessment.

price read the full article here

BC: The Best Place to Launder Money

Looking to launder some money?

You’d be hard pressed to find a better place to do it than right here in beautiful British Columbia.

“One of the members of the public service said, ‘Get ready. I think we are going to blow your mind.’ While I cannot share all of the details, I can advise you that the briefing outlined for me allegations of serious, large-scale, transnational laundering of the proceeds of crime in British Columbia casinos,” Eby said. “And I was advised that the particular style of money laundering in B.C. related to B.C. casinos is being called, quote, ‘the Vancouver model’ in at least one international intelligence community.”

Eby suggested that a “lax attitude” towards regulation of B.C. casinos, during a period when the previous government had enjoyed “massive increases in provincial gambling revenue,” seems to have contributed to the problems today in B.C.’s gambling system.

Once you’ve had fun in our casinos come join the real fun in our property market where owners get to hide behind ‘opaque legal mechanisms’ for a place to stash cash that pays back!

Eby also said that he believes B.C.’s property ownership system — in which true owners of property can hide behind opaque legal mechanisms — could be attracting foreign criminals and corrupt officials seeking to hide wealth in the province. Eby said Finance Minister Carole James is working on reforms to pull back legal veils that cover true ownership of property and corporations.

Eby pointed to a 2016 study by Transparency International that showed real estate buyers in B.C. are using shell companies, trusts and nominee buyers to hide their beneficial interest in property.

In examining Vancouver’s 100 most valuable homes, the report found that 46 per cent — amounting to more than
 $1 billion in assets — have opaque ownership. Of the 100 properties, 29 are held through shell companies, at least 11 are owned through nominees (listed as students or housewives on land titles), and at least six are disclosed as being held in trust for anonymous beneficiaries, the report said.

Eby said B.C.’s landownership system could be connected to Metro Vancouver’s skyrocketing home prices. Top economists have “made inescapable arguments that taxable incomes reported to Revenue Canada have no connection to real estate values in Metro Vancouver until you get out to the distant suburbs of Vancouver,” Eby said.

This Eby guy sounds like a troublemaker. You know what to do, get out your wallet . With the right motivation we should be able to get this new government on the right side of history and keep the fun going in the casinos and the housing market. Right?

Read the full article here.

Sellers must disclose residency for tax purposes

It has long been the case that buyers are responsible for withholding 25% of the purchase price for the CRA to determine if capitol gains are owing, but now there will be a checkbox for the seller to indicate their residency status:

The B.C. government will soon require sellers to disclose their residency during a real-estate transaction so that information can be shared with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Observers say it’s a much-needed change that replaces an honour system that was open to abuse by speculators seeking to avoid paying capital-gains tax on properties they don’t live in. But some worry that because the province is placing the onus for confirming that information on the buyer, it exposes them to potential fines or even jail time if they get it wrong. A buyer who doesn’t properly certify a seller’s residency status could also be on the hook for unpaid capital-gains tax.

The government has changed a tax form used to collect the property-transfer tax to include whether the sellers in real estate transactions are Canadian residents under the Income Tax Act. Canadian resident homeowners do not pay tax on the increased value – or capital gains – of a property designated as a principal residence. Non-residents must pay capital-gains tax at the time of a sale.

Read the full article here