Category Archives: prices

BC seeks Ottawa support on money laundering

The BC Attorney General is headed to Ottawa to ask for more support to crack down on money laundering.

He plans to outline the challenges here in BC before the federal Finance Committee.

“The issues that we’re grappling with around real estate and casinos, and the seriousness of the impact that gang violence has when these gangs are able to launder money,” he outlines.

“The federal government has a huge role to play in supporting British Columbia in our fight against money laundering. The role really includes key actors like Fintrac, which is the anti-money laundering agency that receives all the reports from casinos, realtors, [and] notaries,” says Eby.

He believes drug dealers and other criminals have been spending millions of dollars in illegally gained cash at local casinos and then getting clean bills back in return. He has said the issue is so prevalent here, experts call it “the Vancouver Model.”

He’s pushing for more support and coordination to clamp down on money laundering. He also wants more public accountability.

Read the full article here.

Toronto prices drop 12% as sales plunge

Toronto is becoming a better and better investment as prices fall, you just need to buy when they’ve stopped falling. Right now they’re seeing quite a price drop.

Re-sale home prices in the Toronto region dropped 12.4 per cent, or about $110,000, year over year in February.

The average price fell to $767,818, from $875,983 for all housing categories, including detached, semi-detached, town homes and condos.

The number of sales also plunged nearly 35 per cent last month compared to Feburary 2017 — to 5,175 transactions from last year’s record 7,955, according to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) on Tuesday.

Read the full article here.

BC Speculation Tax Impact

People who own more than one home are worried about the new speculation tax:

From a Vancouver Island resident with a condo in Vancouver: “If the proposed speculation tax proceeds as you describe, the two-per-cent tax will far exceed the B.C. income tax that we normally pay. We will have no choice but to sell our Vancouver condo. We’re not speculators. We simply wanted to enjoy a few days a month in the city we used to live in, in the comfort of our own condo.”

On the problem for seniors with recreational properties that have been in the family for years: “If they pay zero income tax because their annual income is low enough to warrant no tax — i.e. married couple making around $25,000 or so — they’d never recover the amount.”

From someone with a place on Saturna: “They call it a speculation tax, but it seems more like an empty home tax. The government claims that taxing homes which remain empty most of the year will help deal with the housing shortage. If that is the case, why isn’t Whistler included? The prices are skyrocketing and there is a real housing shortage for workers. On the other hand, they include a Gulf Island like Saturna, where there isn’t a housing shortage and housing prices haven’t risen in more than eight years.”

On the perverse incentives of a tax vis-a-vis longtime residents versus actual speculators: “If you speculate and sell the property quickly, you pay the tax once, while those keeping property for years pay years of tax. The short-term speculators win!”

Read the full article here.

Negatives for real estate

Yvr2zrh shared this comment:

Wow. Quite a lot of negatives for real estate values.

1.) If you live outside Vancouver and keep an apartment empty there, you now have a very punitive tax. Total will be 3% by 2019 (only 0.5% provincial in 2018 as a bit of a leeway to allow people to sell).

2.) FBT @20% – pretty good. Big tax – starts immediately. Wow . More people will get caught again. Deals will die. Also if property is over $3M – this will make it 25% for a foreigner to buy a Van West house. Then they have to pay 3% per year ($90K?) to leave it empty. Game over.

3.) The 2% spec tax – Strange name – it’s more of an absentee owner / empty home tax. It’s pretty sizeable. It’s going to be strange but somehow I think they are going to force it onto certain “principal residences” i.e. students, 10-Year visa people – who don’t qualify for really being a resident. Then – if they really pay tax in BC there is a tax credit. Good system.

4.) Full reporting of pre-sale transactions for tax purposes. I suppose that may help but you need to require a tax withholding for non-residents because otherwise – they just won’t pay.

5.) Unveiling all the hidden ownership – starting with collecting on new transactions and forcing existing transactions to be unveiled.

So – I would say that “Housing for Housing” has been supported and properties for non-residents etc – – that will be tough. What about all the Okanagan properties owned by Albertans – – It’s going to be interesting to see how many people bail!!!