Category Archives: Budget

Interest free loans get expensive

Bullwhip29 points out an article that says the BC first time buyer loans program will likely cost the government twice as much as they claim.

“The Ministry of Finance estimates that for every dollar of loan proceeds under HOME, taxpayers will lose about 19 cents in administrative costs and foregone interest. This estimate ignores the cost of default losses that may arise if borrowers are unable to repay their loans.”

Read the full article here.

Can we fix affordability with more debt?

Most people agree that there’s a problem with the BC real estate market, and that problem is usually called ‘affordability’.

Affordability usually means what you’re buying is too expensive, but it can also mean that you just can’t afford the monthly payment.

Interest rates look at risk of rising, but have been at rock bottom levels for years.  That means there’s not much room to move on ‘affordability’ when it comes to interest rates.

So we’re stuck with two options: price comes down or government starts giving away money.

Important announcement” for first time home buyers from the BC government.

Daily Hive says they know what this announcement will be.

Update: They were correct, here are some details:

The B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program will provide a maximum of  $37,500 — or up to 5 per cent of the purchase price — with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.

“The dream of home ownership must remain in the grasp of the middle class here in British Columbia,” said Premier Christy Clark.

The intention of the program is to assist people who can afford the mortgage payments on a new home but are challenged to make the down payment.

The province will start accepting applications for the program on Jan. 16, 2017.

Homebuyers will pay no monthly interest or principal payments over the first five years as long as the home remains their principal residence.

After the first five years, homebuyers begin making monthly payments at current interest rates.

If too much debt got us into this problem, surely it can get us out of it right?

Meanwhile the Bank of Canada is warning again about huge mortgages and growing household debt.

The Tragedy of the $1.2 Million Dollar House

There’s an absolute injustice happening in our fair city. Honest home owners who by no fault of their own now find themselves in the position of owning a home that is assessed at more than a million dollars.  People who have struggled and strived to achieve home ownership only to have the $570 property tax grant torn from their weary hands!

A greedy government is intent on charging these poor home owners property taxes without giving any of it back! The province cruelly raised the cutoff from 1.1 to 1.2 million earlier this year, but what is that? Less than 10 percent! Some assessments are up more than 40 percent! What are these poor homeowners supposed to do- sell and cash in on a hugely inflated market?

Fortunately there are freedom fighters who are advocating for the downtrodden and calling for a rise in the cutoff for the homeowner grants.  Pray that they succeed, because you know if the government succeeds in it’s evil plan to retain this $570 home owner grant they’ll only waste the money on caviar, cigars and saving people from fentanyl overdoses.

City proposes 3.4% property tax increase

You can probably handle paying an extra $49 bucks, but George Affleck points out that over the past 10 years the city budget has grown 30% while population has grown 9%.

The $1.32-billion draft 2017 budget was released late Wednesday afternoon. It includes a 3.4 per cent property tax increase and other increases for utility, recreation and permit fees.

The city says the increases will go towards greater costs for existing services that are in line with inflation and new expenditures in other areas like social housing, security and the arts.

According to the city, the property and utility fee increases will amount to an extra $49 in costs for a median homeowner in Vancouver.

Read the full article over at the CBC.

$500 Million for Affordable housing

The BC government has announced that they will fund $500 million of affordable housing projects in the province using money brought in via property transfer taxes and the new foreign buyer tax.

Real estate related taxes are now the single largest revenue generator for the BC government, surpassing the 1.2 billion from gambling and all individual resource industry taxes.  In fact, when you combine all resource industry taxes the cumulative figure only exceeds real estate tax income by a few decimal points.

The BC real estate economy is possibly the finest example of a perpetual motion machine in existence. Taxes raised via real estate goes into buying and building more real estate. Win-win!