Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has said he doesn’t think there’s a strong correlation between interest rates and speculation, claiming even a 5% increase in rates wouldn’t have an impact on real estate speculation in Canada.
Over at BetterDwelling.com they disagree with this thought:
It was almost stupid to not buy property at these rates, since it was almost free money. This didn’t just give speculators more capital, it created speculators out of people that would normally not be able to play the game. These aren’t Bay Street suits with wads of cash. Everyone from your barber to grocery store clerks are turning into real estate speculators. Cheap rates, a larger qualified buyer pool, and the expectation that you can always make money, turned shelter into lottery tickets.
Read the full article here.
The NDP is promising to implement a $400 rental grant if elected. This grant would be applicable to all rentals and would have the side effect of pretty much putting an end to rental income tax evasion.
Christy Clark is disturbed by the idea of money going to “wealthy renters”
“That isn’t right,” Clark said. “We shouldn’t be redistributing our tax money to the very rich. We should be making sure that we spend our resources supporting people who are having trouble staying in their homes.”
The NDP also pledges to close a fixed term lease rent loophole that lets some landlords raise rents higher than otherwise allowed.
Read the full article here.
The new BC first time buyer program is proving to be popular with over 1000 applicants who will hopefully vote for the current government in the next election.
“The B.C. Liberal government has received more than 1,000 applications from first-time home buyers who have been lured by new incentives under a program designed to improve housing affordability.”
“Critics, however, say the program is adding fuel to an already heated market for condos, notably in the Vancouver region.”
““Ottawa has been saying let’s have fewer highly leveraged buyers, but the province is saying we have to help the risky, leveraged first-time buyers get into the market,” Prof. Davidoff said in an interview Sunday. “The province has sweetened the pot.””
Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.
Dave sent in the following opinion, in which he throws up his hands in despair at the state of politics in BC and its role in the housing bubble.
If there was ever an election to vote for None of the Above, this would be it.
I no longer believe that any of the three major parties represent the interests of the average British Columbian. Each have sold themselves out to Special Interest groups of one type or another.
I’ll first start with the BC Liberals because they are looking for a fifth term. I have been a party member, volunteer and voter for the BC Liberals each of the last four elections. I am also a small business owner and employer and I generate a healthy income. In theory, I’m the easiest vote the Liberals should ever get. But they aren’t getting my vote this time.
Continue reading And now a political message from Dave
Recent tweaks to housing rules are cutting into mortgage brokers business. They are asking lawmakers to relax existing rules and put the brakes on new rules:
While Ottawa considers what to include in the budget, the mortgage group is urging the government to avoid taking any drastic and unnecessary action because of isolated pockets of danger.
The new rules “disproportionately affect competitive positions of small and mid-sized lenders,” Kerzner said. “There’s a real and growing sentiment that activity in Toronto and Vancouver is negatively impacting those in the rest of the country.”
Read the full article over at the CBC.