OPINION: Homeowner Property Rights in Vancouver

[Source: Shpoa, Fall 2016] Given the recent controversies arising over such issues as 'affordable' housing, heritage preservation, 'green' objectives and densification, many homeowners are affected by new laws and regulations that are, in some cases, devaluing their properties by limiting redevelopment options and disturbing the overall composition of the neighborhoods in which they live. Questions are arising about the legality of measures being taken by various levels of government, to serve their political agendas, and to the degree to which property [...]

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Real Estate Market Has a Record October but Headwinds Coming From Higher Rates

[Source: Financial Post, November 15, 2016] TORONTO — Canadian existing home sales reached a record level in October, data published Tuesday shows, but the market faces an increasing threat from tighter mortgage rules, which have helped send interest rates higher. The Ottawa-based Canadian Real Estate Association, which represents about 100 boards across the country, said there were 42,473 sales last month across the country, a two per cent increase from a year earlier and the best-ever showing for the month. October’s sales [...]

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Planning a home renovation? Tips for keeping your finances in order.

[Source: Global News] When dreaming of a home renovation, visions of new cabinets, counter tops and appliances are often the first things that come to mind. But, figuring out how you’re going to pay for it? That’s likely a little further down the line. It may not be the most exciting part of a reno, but experts say planning your financing well in advance is key to a successful project. Reprioritizing where to spend your home improvement dollars is smart, but before you [...]

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Opinion: Empty Homes Tax a Sensible Property levy for Vancouver

[Source: Vancouver Sun, November 17, 2016] Making housing affordable in Vancouver is difficult.  On the demand side, ours is a beautiful, safe and stable city. Those features are likely to grow in value over time. On the supply side, mountains and oceans impede our ability to build out and pervasive single-family zoning that makes it difficult to build up. Tax policy has also made it hard for locals to find decent homes that they can afford. We have high taxes on [...]

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Newly Built Homes PTT Exempt (up to $750,000) – Effective February 16, 2016

Chana Charach, MB The Newly Built Home Exemption reduces or eliminates the amount of property transfer tax you pay when you purchase a newly built home with a fair market value of $750,000 or less.  (A partial exemption is available up to $800,000) To qualify, you must be an individual and a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident (you will be asked to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and your birth date).  The property must be located in B.C., and used [...]

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Home Sale and Listing Activity Dip Below Historical Averages in October

Source: [Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, October 2016] Reduced home sale and listing activity are changing market dynamics in communities across Metro Vancouver. Residential property sales in the region totalled 2,233 in October 2016, a 38.8 per cent decrease from the 3,646 sales recorded in October 2015 and a 0.9 per cent decrease compared to September 2016 when 2,253 homes sold. Last month’s sales were 15 per cent below the 10-year October sales average. “Changing market conditions compounded by a series [...]

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Empty Home Tax (1%) – Effective early 2017

Chana Charach, MB Vancouver city council has voted to approve a tax on empty homes, the first of its kind in Canada. Self-reporting owners will be assessed a one per cent tax on homes that are not principal residences or aren't rented out for at least six months of the year. That means a $1-million home left vacant would be taxed $10,000.  The intention is to tax housing in Vancouver on owners who are treating housing as an investment property.  They are hoping [...]

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Vancouver to Continue to Lead Canadian Economic Growth For the Next Year

[Source: BIV,  November 14, 2016] Vancouver will lead the country in terms of economic growth in both 2016 and 2017, according to a Conference Board of Canada report released November 14. Overall this year, the city will see growth of 4%, driven in large part by the construction sector, followed by an increase of 2.8% next year. “Vancouver is on track to boast the fastest-growing metro area economy for the second straight year in 2016, as the region’s housing market remains one [...]

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New Tax Reporting When You Sell Your Home – Effective 2016 Tax Year

How principal-residence tax changes will affect every Canadian homeowner [Source: Globe and Mail, Oct. 06, 2016] Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced tax changes that were aimed primarily at foreign investors in Canadian real estate to ensure they abide by our existing tax rules. But the changes also catch many Canadian residents who, in the past, have often inadvertently escaped paying tax on their principal residences. The tax rules around principal residences are so complex that many Canadians simply don’t recognize when they [...]

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How will the new ‘Stress Test’ impact you?

Chana Charach, MB Today's home buyer will be looking at lower purchase price limits now that the new 'stress test' has taken effect. At this point it is impossible to say with absolute clarity what the impact of this change will be. It is estimated that the new 'stress test' will reduce the amount of mortgage that borrowers qualify for by about  20 - 30%.  This will have a significant effect on first time buyers because it will be harder to [...]

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