Category Archives: economy

City warns owners to declare empty homes

Vancouver is reminding home owners that they have the responsibility to fill in tax forms on any vacant homes they own by Feb 2nd or face a fine. A lack of declaration nets a $250 fine and a false declaration nets a $10,000 fine.

It affects any property that is not a principal residence and is not occupied for six months a year.

Robertson says property owners can expect to receive instructions in the mail starting this week on how to make their declarations.

Read the full article here.

Class action against Airbnb?

Dude Chillin pointed out this article about a Vancouver strata lawyer preparing a class action suit against Airbnb:

A Vancouver strata lawyer says she is preparing a class action lawsuit against Airbnb, alleging the company is “profiting from the unauthorized use of other people’s property.”

Recently, Polina Furtula — who is on the strata council of her Yaletown condo tower — sent demand letters to Airbnb about unauthorized listings in her building. Airbnb notified the hosts of the complaints and shortly afterwards, the hosts decided to remove their listings.

Read the full article here.

How resilient is CMHC to a US style housing crash?

Kabloona points out this article asking yet again how this country would fare in a US style housing market crash, but particularly how the CMHC would fare:

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which protects financial institutions in the case of consumer default and is 100 per cent backed by Ottawa, said in a release Wednesday that it looked at anti-globalization, earthquakes, a steep oil price fall and a U.S.-style housing correction to see how its insurance portfolio would hold up. It did not look at a combination of any of those scenarios.

The verdict is a U.S.-style correction would be its worst scenario for its insurance program with a cumulative loss of $217 million from 2017 to 2022 which would come on top of a need for the Crown corporation to suspend its dividends to Ottawa. CMHC paid Ottawa a special dividend of $4 billion in June because of excess capital and issued a $240 million dividend in August.

Read the full article here.

Is more supply the answer?

Southseacompany posted a link to this story about housing supply in the Vancouver area.

“What’s causing the supply shortage is the restrictive single-family home neighborhood zoning on 85% of our residential land base. That keeps out young families, middle income earners and renters, who can’t afford single-family homes,” said Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region.

“We clearly need a regional housing strategy with more homes for more people,” she added. “That means more high-rise apartments along rapid transit corridors and more townhomes, rowhomes [and] multi-family low-rises.”

But recent studies show the reverse is true: fewer people can afford to buy condominiums in the Metro suburbs that have seen the greatest increase in supply over the past two years.

Read the full article here.

Mortgage carrying costs to rise 8% next year

Scotiabank is forecasting a big bump in mortgage carrying costs:

New buyers can expect home ownership to become even less affordable next year as mortgage costs rise, while current owners will be largely insulated from higher rates.

Add it all up, and the bank forecasts that Canada’s housing market seems to have “peaked” and is expected to cool down from its recent breathtaking pace.

Read the full article here.