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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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 [...]

Read more...

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. [...]

Read more...

B.C. amends law in effort to address sky-high condo and townhouse insurance

[CBC - September 13, 2020] Regulatory changes end insurance referral fees to strata managers, require commission disclosure by agents The B.C. government has announced regulatory changes aimed at bringing more transparency to condo insurance premiums, which have risen by as much as 40 per cent. The Finance Ministry says effective Nov. 1, insurers or insurance agents will be required to give 30 days' notice to condo or "strata'' corporations if they intend not to renew a policy or to make any changes. It [...]

Read more...

B.C.’s devastated tourism industry faces bleak outlook after summer season that never was

[CBC - September 7, 2020] Some businesses have tried to adapt, others face prospect of closure As summer winds down, tourism operators across the province are looking at staggering losses from a season constricted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Royce Chwin, the president of Tourism Vancouver, says 98 per cent of his group's members have reported a drop in revenue — at 50 per cent or more — for the first half of this year. "With the borders being shut down, either the U.S. or the [...]

Read more...

B.C.’s projected deficit soars to $320M due to COVID-19 pandemic

[News 1130 - August 31, 2020] VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The province is looking at a $320 million deficit instead of the $200 million surplus forecast just six months ago, according to the latest financials from the B.C. government. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the province into millions of dollars worth of emergency spending to help British Columbians weather the health crisis, all while revenue from taxation, Crown corporations, and natural resources has been down. "The pandemic led to lower tax revenues, [...]

Read more...

Sharp drop in foreign students and immigrants slowing real estate

[Vancouver Sun - August 27, 2020] House prices are more or less flat in Vancouver and Toronto, which are considered gateway cities for global migrants. Rental prices are softening in Vancouver and Toronto and housing prices are soon to follow as the number of new immigrants and foreign students falls sharply because of border restrictions aimed at combatting the spread of COVID-19. Average rents have dropped by eight per cent in Vancouver and Toronto in recent months. Hundreds of thousands of dwellings [...]

Read more...

A tax on home equity would hurt Canadians during the best of times — but right now it would be reckless

[The Star - August 15th, 2020] Every so often, an idea comes along that is so out of touch and unfair that it unites pretty much everyone in their disapproval. Recently, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) appeared to be doing exactly that when media reports suggested the federal housing agency is researching a new home equity tax on primary residences. According to reports, CMHC is spending $250,000 in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Population to investigate [...]

Read more...