Category Archives: economy

Runaway market taking ‘a breather’

As you may be aware it is always a good time to buy or sell real estate according to most real estate professionals who earn their living by buying and selling real estate.

Well right now it’s a great time to buy or sell real estate because the runaway market is taking a breather.

It’s a “soft landing,” according to Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper, who says their latest house price survey shows the effects of government measures to cool things down.

What were previously called the “dangerously overheated” conditions in Metro Vancouver housing have cooled significantly, but prices have remained resilient.

He says it’s the soft landing policy-makers had hoped for, rather than a crash.

“But it won’t stay this way for long. Household formation in Canada… is going to grow rapidly,” he predicts.

Read the full article here.

BC Tables Speculation Tax on Vacant Second Homes

Will a new tax on vacant homes help solve the affordability crisis?

The speculation tax will apply to those who own multiple properties in Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District (excluding the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca), Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo-Lantzville, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.

The tax will apply at a reduced rate in 2018, based on property owned as of Dec. 31. It expands in 2019 to 0.5 per cent of assessed value for B.C. residents, one per cent for Canadians from outside B.C., and two per cent for non-Canadians.

Owners are exempt if they rent their properties for at least six months a year. And there is also a tax credit for B.C. residents with second homes valued under $400,000.

James pointed to exemptions she said will make the tax fair, including for people facing medical emergencies, people who have to relocate suddenly for a job, seniors who enter care homes, people undergoing a separation, and those with disabilities.

“If people choose to leave their homes vacant where the housing crisis is the deepest, we are asking them to pay their fair share. All that revenue will be returned to British Columbians in the form of affordable housing,” said James.

Read the full article here.

Home sales continue to slide

Home sales in BC continue their decline.

“Sales fell 33.2 per cent compared to the same month a year ago, and the average residential price of $685,749 was down 1.1 per cent from September of 2017.”

“Association chief economist Cameron Muir says, “The impact on affordability and purchasing power caused by the mortgage stress test and moderately higher interest rates are negating the effect of the extraordinarily strong performance of B.C.’s economy over the last five years.”

Read the full article here.

Legal rent increase to be reduced?

A BC government panel recommends reducing the maximum legal rent increase to help deal with the housing crisis:

The recommendation tries to strike a balance between renters struggling to keep up with rent increases and landlords who need to maintain their properties, Mr. Chandra Herbert told reporters Monday.

While some groups had called for a rent freeze, the task force decided that wasn’t a fair approach, he said.

“We tried to stake a bit of a middle path between those views – one that will allow increased affordability for people, as well as an ability to maintain properties,” Mr. Chandra Herbert said.

“We don’t want to lose rental properties in this province when for so many years, there was no focus on building them,” he added.

Read the full article here.