Short term AirBnB style property rentals are not permitted in Vancouver and the city can levy fines up to $10,000, but apparently there are still some of these short term rentals available.
“The difficult and complex thing comes when we move forward with prosecution,” Toma said, explaining that the city needs to connect the property owner to an online short-term rental listing without the help of a specific address.
Toma said a few cases against short-term renters are pending. Fines in those and other cases are up to the prosecutor, but staff recommend they recoup investigation expenses at minimum.
City staff are contemplating new tools to deal with the nuisance aspect of short-term rentals at the same time as assessing the industry’s impact, Toma said.
“We do have such a tight rental market,” Toma said, adding that she hoped staff could craft a smart and enforceable regulation that would also “find that sort of a sweet spot” for those sharing their home to meet their mortgage payments.
Of course there is one kind of short term rental that is currently allowed in Vancouver, but it comes with a few catches:
Bed and breakfasts are allowed in Vancouver, but under certain conditions. Homeowners need to live in the residence and they can host a maximum of four guests in two bedrooms, among other regulations. They also have to pay a one-time development and building permit fee, get a business licence and pass a safety inspection.
Read the full article over at the province.
Think of the money the government could save by closing down the Trans Canada highway! No more expensive road maintenance, and the land could be sold off to build more condos!
…Of course there may be some negatives associated with closing that highway.
Here on the coast much of our province is across water, which means the transportation system we rely on is BC Ferries.
An economic analysis shows that the expected $725k savings from recent cuts is actually causing a loss of $870k in tax revenues as tourism plunges $3.9 million following deep service cuts.
About one in five tourism- ism-based businesses in the Coast-Chilcotin region report foreclosure is a near-term possibility.
More than 40 per cent report losing most or all of their tourist bookings when agencies couldn’t sell the Discovery Coast package due to worries over ferry service.
And three in four businesses report decreased income in the year after the service cuts, according to the report by Larose Research Strategy.
Read the full article here.
RFM has updated the Vancouver Realtor Hunger Index which currently stands at 54%.
That takes it almost squarely into the middle of historical data:
The VANCOUVER REALTOR HUNGER INDEX for October 2014 was 54%. How does this compare? The 17-year average for October is 50%. At 54%, the 2014 October VRHI was higher than 8 years and lower than 8 years since 1998.
Details and comparison data for 17 years at: http://vancouverpeak.com/showthread.php?tid=64
Here’s how that number is calculated:
I start with the total reported sales from the REBGV. I assume 5% of those sales were ‘double ended’ (one realtor kept the entire commission by ‘representing’ both buyer and seller) and add to the number of ‘double ended’ commissions the number of split commissions (which I reduce by an assumed 15% ‘earned’ by realtors who handled multiple sales). I divide the resulting number of commissions by the total number of realtors and subtract that fraction from 1 to yield the percent of realtors not earning commissions and therefore going hungry. In symbols: (((sales x .05) + (sales x 1.615))/(# realtors)) – 1 = VRHI; (1.615 = .95 x 2 x .85). The REBGV website reveals neither the exact number of realtors at any particular time nor the percent actively engaged in selling residential property. I used 11,000 for 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011; 10,000 for 2010, 9,400 for 2009, 9,500 for 2008, 9,000 for 2007, 8,200 for 2006, 7,800 for 2005, 7,100 for 2004, 6,700 for 2003, 6,500 for 2002, 6,700 for 2001, 7,200 for 2000, 7,800 for 1999 and 8,500 for 1998.
It seems that more and more Canadians are self employed.
The self employed tend to have less steady income then full time employees and as a group it can be more difficult to get a mortgage or refinancing.
As a self-employed website developer who had recently restructured his business, Greg Schmidt knew that refinancing his mortgage wasn’t going to be a piece of cake.
“I had a little bit of a line of credit built up from shifting the focus of the business and my car lease had come up for being bought out, so I needed money to take care of that,” said Mr. Schmidt, a single 42-year-old who owns a home in Toronto that includes an apartment for income. “It turned out the best way to go was to do a new mortgage, increase the amount of the old one and take care of those costs.”
However, when he approached his bank, he was told “the numbers didn’t work for them.”
Read the full article in the Globe and Mail.
It’s not just Vancouver house sales that are heading down.
Business confidence in Canada dipped for a fourth month in a row and is now at a 3 year low.
This according to a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
The last time it was lower was in July of 2009, when it stood at 58.6.
CFIB chief economist Ted Mallett says the index’s current position in relation to gross domestic product puts it very close to the zero-growth mark, suggesting Canada’s economy is nearing a standstill.
On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported the economy had grown a disappointing 0.1 per cent in May, leaving the pace of the recovery at slightly below two per cent on an annualized basis.
The CFIB says confidence declined in July even in resource-rich provinces like Alberta, which saw a drop of three points to 70.3.
So taking out a home equity loan to fund your underperforming small business? Maybe not such a good idea unless the revenue is there.