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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Home prices to drop, new report predicts — and even Toronto and Vancouver won’t be immune

[Financial Post - September 23, 2020] Moody's predicts prices for all housing types to fall more than 7 per cent The pandemic will punish Prairie house prices the most in Canada, but even hotspots Toronto and Vancouver will see prices drop on the back of rising rental market vacancies and lower immigration rates, according to a new report. Average single family detached house prices will fall by 6.7 per cent next year as the recovery stalls, economic stimulus fades and debt problems [...]

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Toronto and Vancouver now joined by two more Canadian cities with ‘overvalued’ homes

[Financial Post - September 21, 2020] Canada's housing market moderately vulnerable, CMHC says Overvalued homes continue to be a feature of Canada’s largest cities during the second quarter as the pandemic bit into the number of houses entering the market, according to the country’s largest public mortgage provider. And other Canadian cities are also seeing home prices heat up. “There was sharp pullback in new listings and resulting low levels of inventory,” the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation said in its second [...]

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Canada real estate: RBC Economics observes growing preference for single-detached homes over condos

[Georgia Straight - September 8, 2020] Last July, Statistics Canada predicted a shift in demand from condos to single-detached homes. “As working from home becomes more prevalent,” the agency stated,” we may see an increase in the demand for larger living spaces that single-family homes can offer, causing a shift in demand from condominium apartments towards single houses.” A recent housing commentary released by RBC Economics appears to validate the forecast. “Buyers nationwide are demonstrating a stronger preference for single-detached homes,” bank economist [...]

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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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Why real estate prices continue to rise despite the pandemic

[CBC - September 20, 2020] Opinion - Mark Ting, CBC's finance columnist, on the connection between unemployment, government aid, and real estate. Last May, I wrote an opinion piece titled "Time to buy? What the pandemic means for Vancouver's real estate market" where I explained that historically for every one per cent rise in unemployment there is a four per cent decrease in housing prices. However, this is not what has happened during the last several months. Between February and August this [...]

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How the pandemic has put flexibility front and center in home design

[Washington Post - September 17, 2020] Six months ago the coronavirus pandemic turned the entire nation into homebodies. Now architects, builders and interior designers are addressing the pain points that emerged when our homes became our offices, schools and entertainment venues. It’s a little too soon for completely new model homes to be built that take the new normal into account. Still, incremental changes in floor plans and interior design have been made that point the way to the future. “While there are [...]

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Mortgage delinquencies expected to jump in latter part of the year, CMHC says

[Globe and Mail - September 10, 2020] Canada’s housing agency said there could be a “significant increase" in mortgage delinquencies later this year as banks’ loan deferrals during the COVID-19 pandemicend and alternative lenders deal with more troubled borrowers. Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs), which are alternative lenders that pool investor funds to provide loans, were already seeing a rise in delinquency rates before the pandemic struck in March, according to an annual report from the Canada Mortgage Housing Corp. Then, in the [...]

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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 Mayor Kennedy Stewart seeks to permit up to six properties on one residential lot

[Globe and Mail - September 14, 2020] Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is launching a bold push to create cheaper forms of housing in Vancouver’s single-family neighbourhoods by calling for the city to allow up to six units on any residential lot. The catch is that two would have to be rented or sold at below-market rates permanently. That could be a first for Canada and is only outdone by Portland, Ore., which recently passed a similar policy in mid-August except that it [...]

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