How long can interest rates stay low once a vaccine arrives?

[CBC - November 10. 2020] Jubilation over the good news about a vaccine has taken markets by storm. Shortly after the news broke on Monday that the U.S. drugmaker Pfizer had a COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough that appeared 90 per cent effective, the Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 1,500 points, , a rise of more than four per cent. The Toronto market also took off. Canadian oil and gas shares shot up on the prospect of people climbing back into cars for road trips [...]

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An ‘unprecedented’ housing market maintains strong outlook

[BC Local News - November 27, 2020] Pandemic has had reverse impact on the real estate market Laws of economics would indicate a worldwide recession and pandemic would result in real estate prices and housing demand to drop. But that’s not the case, according to a few local realtors. “It’s unprecedented. We’ve never had this in any kind of market, it doesn’t make sense,” said Ron Antalek of Re/Max Lifestyles Realty in Maple Ridge. Recent Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) statistics for [...]

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B.C. real estate agents urged to suspend all open houses

[BIV - November 6, 2020] B.C.’s real estate regulation agencies have asked industry professionals to suspend holding open houses at properties slated for sale/rent due to the province’s sharp spike in COVID cases. In a statement dated Nov. 5, the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said the move is to limit face-to-face interactions in the home-buying process. Sales agents have been asked to conduct as much business [...]

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Rent Freeze

Rent freeze put in place because of COVID-19 pandemic extended in B.C.

[CTV - November 9, 2020] VANCOUVER -- A B.C. rent freeze that was put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until next summer. Originally, the rent freeze was going to expire on Dec. 1. But now, it's been extended until July 10, 2021, the province announced Monday. "We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging. For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases [...]

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Property tax hike of up to 12% needed to balance City of Vancouver’s 2021 budget

[Daily Hive - October 31, 2020] Vancouver City Council is facing some difficult choices ahead with the municipal government’s budget for 2021, based on a presentation city staff will be providing in a meeting on November 4. Due to COVID-19’s continuing impact, revenues from programs and services, parking, license, and development will still be lower, yet there will also be rising costs related to the pandemic response, such as managing street disorder, homelessness, and the opioid crisis, as well as increased [...]

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Here’s how much B.C. landlords can increase rent by next year

[CTV - September 3, 2020] VANCOUVER -- After a nearly year-long moratorium on rent increases, landlords will be able to charge more next year. The province announced Thursday that the maximum allowable increase for 2021 will be 1.4 per cent. The increase for those living in mobile homes is the same, plus a proportional amount for changes in levies and utility fees. Prior to charging more, landlords must give their tenants at least three full months' notice in B.C., using a notice of [...]

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LOTR – the Land Owner Transparency Registry

[Clark Wilson - September 16, 2020] In an effort to increase disclosure of the ownership of real estate in B.C., the Land Owner Transparency Act (“LOTA”) received royal assent and will be in force as soon as regulations are prescribed.  The Land Title and Survey Authority of BC  is advising that the Land Owner Transparency Registry (“LOTR”) will be launched soon – as early as this Fall. Once launched, transferees will be required to file a “transparency declaration” which will [...]

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James feeling optimistic despite projecting economic decline in B.C.

[Vancouver Sun - September 11, 2020] VICTORIA — Finance Minister Carole James cited grounds for optimism Thursday, even as she continues to preside over B.C.’s worst economic and financial crisis in modern times. “I don’t like to sugar-coat things — I am a realist,” James told reporters in releasing the latest economic and financial update. “I am optimistic when it is warranted. … But I am feeling optimistic about B.C.’s economic future. We have started down the road to economic recovery.” Her outlook [...]

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Rental sector navigates perilous times

[Globe and Mail - September 9, 2020] It’s been a year fraught with uncertainty and challenges for landlords and tenants, and it’s far from over. The data has yet to come in on the exact vacancy rates, or the number of tenants who haven’t been able to pay rent since the pandemic began. And the landscape changes yet again as government lifts a ban on evictions and rent increases. As of Sept. 1, landlords were able to evict tenants for failure to [...]

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Vancouver market on the uptick, but worries persist

[Globe and Mail - September 16, 2020] In downtown Vancouver, the condo market has softened considerably, with prices coming down as more units come onto the market. And although the detached house market is robust, the number of houses for sale could increase once the people who took mortgage deferrals have to start paying again. If cash is tight, they might choose to unload their houses, increasing supply. The key word for the current state of the housing market is uncertainty. [...]

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