UPDATE from Synergy Mortgage during COVID-19 Crisis

[Synergy Mortgage - March 24, 2020] We hope all of our valued clients are doing well and staying safe during these unprecedented times.  We are OPEN FOR BUSINESS as we are able to work remotely online via phone and email, as are our lenders.  Appraisers have shifted their practices and are now able to perform appraisals without physically viewing the inside of a property.  Lawyers and notaries continue to meet in person with clients in a safe manner, as they are [...]

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Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes to drop in 2020: BC Assessment

[Global News - December 9th, 2019] The government agency that assesses the value of B.C. homes says many Lower Mainland owners can expect a lower valuation next year. BC Assessment previewed 2020 home value assessments Monday, and said Lower Mainland single-family home values could fall by five to 15 per cent next year, depending on location. Condos and townhouses in the region could see a drop of zero to 15 per cent, according to the agency. On Vancouver Island, the situation is less [...]

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Property Watch: B.C’s 2020 real estate forecast is decidedly cloudy

[BC Business - December 19, 2019] Will the market continue its rebound in 2020, or fall prey to a slowdown driven by rising supply? All bets are off. It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the B.C. housing market. Gossip about real estate, often considered British Columbians’ favourite pastime, quieted to a whisper at the start of 2019. Sales volumes reached six-year lows and prices began falling—a rare event for the 68 percent of B.C. residents who own a home, [...]

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Armed with new data, B.C. set for crackdown on tax evasion in Vancouver property market

[Globe and Mail - December 11, 2019] Government policies aimed at reducing speculation in Vancouver’s property market have worked to curb foreign buying and speculative demand. That was merely part one, says high-profile immigration lawyer and analyst, Richard Kurland, who’s been studying the impact of those policies. “Part 1 was putting the machine together,” Mr. Kurland says. “Part 2 is using the machine to go after tax evaders in the Vancouver property market. At the end of the day, we are [...]

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B.C.’s speculation tax increasing from 0.5% to 2% in 2020

[CBC - December 10, 2019] The B.C. government has announced it is raising the Speculation and Vacancy Tax on Dec. 31 from 0.5 per cent to two per cent for foreign owners and for satellite families, the majority of whose income is not reported on a Canadian tax return. Some new exemptions to the tax will be brought in while others currently in place will be phased out. Stricter rules also coming for exemptions - The province says the $115 million in revenue collected from the [...]

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Pent-up demand, falling prices fuel first monthly housing sales increase in Vancouver in 18 months

[Globe and Mail - August 2, 2019] Pent-up demand helped drive Greater Vancouver housing sales higher last month as buyers on the sidelines took advantage of slumping prices. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said on Friday there were 2,557 sales in July for various housing types in the region, up 23.5 per cent from the same month in 2018. It marked the first time monthly sales have increased year over year since January, 2018. Greater Vancouver’s residential benchmark price slipped [...]

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Mortgage Stress Test Gets A Little Easier As BoC Lowers Rate

[July 19, 2019 - Huffpost] The Bank of Canada's posted mortgage rate is used in the stress test that many say has cooled Canada's housing markets. OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada has lowered the rate used by mortgage stress tests to determine whether would-be homeowners can qualify, marking the first drop in three years. The central bank’s five-year benchmark qualifying rate is now 5.14 per cent, down from 5.34 per cent. It’s the first decrease in the five-year fixed mortgage rate since September [...]

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Pre-sale condo buyers back out of contracts as market slows in Lower Mainland

[CBC - June 20, 2019] "Real estate lawyer says contracts are nearly iron-clad once buildings near completion" When the market was hot, people lined up overnight to get their hands on pre-sale condominiums. Now that the housing market in B.C.'s Lower Mainland has cooled, some buyers are trying to back out of their contracts — unable to obtain the financing they need. A Vancouver lawyer says clients are coming to him several times a week hoping he can help find loopholes to get out of [...]

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B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts lower mortgage rates in 2019

[Source: Georgia Straight - March 28, 2019] That's according to the latest mortgage rate forecast from the B.C. Real Estate Association. The cost of borrowing for a home is predicted to get a little cheaper this year. "The average contract rate for 5-year mortgages has declined about 30 basis points from its peak in 2018, reaching 3.44 per cent in March," the BCREA states in a two-page report. "Unfortunately, this still means a stress test rate of 5.44 per cent, even for [...]

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Uneasy Year of the Pig arrives for China – dependant BC companies

[BIV - February 4, 2019] Chinese New Year dawns on a jittery business landscape as Huawei dispute casts uncertainty over access to overseas markets. Not only is Chinese New Year one of the local community’s most celebrated holidays, it is also typically the time for B.C. businesses – especially those with ties to the Chinese market – to celebrate a year of gains while looking optimistically at the potential of more in the coming year. 2019, however, is not a typical year. [...]

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