How the B.C. budget tackles the province’s housing crisis

[Source: BC CTV News, February 20, 2018] Ever since the B.C. NDP formed government last summer, the public has been waiting to see how the party plans to address the province's out-of-control housing market – and now the wait is over. In her 2018 budget speech Tuesday, Finance Minister Carole James highlighted some of the government's 30-point plan for making buying and renting more affordable for British Columbians. The comprehensive strategy focuses on measures to discourage speculation, decrease demand from foreign [...]

RBC hikes mortgage rates ahead of Bank of Canada rate decision

[Source: BNN, January 12, 2018] Royal Bank of Canada raised its posted five-year fixed mortgage rate on Thursday, the first of Canada’s Big Five banks to make the move ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision next week. RBC increased its posted five-year fixed rate by 15 basis points to 5.14 per cent, with more rate hikes across the board. “Rate changes reflect recent activity by competitors, and the current costs that we incur for funds on the wholesale market [...]

Will the Bank of Canada hike rates next week? It looks more and more likely

[Source: Global News, January 8, 2018] The Bank of Canada (BoC) is likely to raise interest rates again when it makes its next monetary policy announcement on Jan. 17, according to economists at Canada’s big banks. Increasing the chances of another rate hike is the upbeat tone of the latest quarterly release of the so-called Business Outlook Survey, a closely watched barometer of business sentiment in this country, which the central bank released on Monday. Canadian companies are feeling optimistic about the future and [...]

Vancouver council votes to legalize and regulate Airbnb and other short-term rentals

[Source: The Georgia Straight, November 14, 2017] “Applying filters to data presented by the Inside Airbnb website shows a large number of Vancouver listings are for an entire place that is also available for more than 90 days of the year. That suggests some of these 2,408 units may not have full-time residents and are essentially operating as hotels.” Vancouver has joined a growing list of cities that have made peace with Airbnb. Today (November 14), city council voted seven to four [...]

Starting next year, a B.C. realtor can’t represent both buyer and seller on one deal

[Source: Global News, November 15, 2017] In B.C., a single realtor can currently represent both buyer and seller on a home sale. It’s an arrangement that will end in March, as part of a slate of new rules that B.C.’s Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) introduced on Wednesday. The rules ban what’s called a “dual agency” deal, in which a realtor acts on behalf of the homebuyer and the seller at the same time. B.C. will be the first [...]

Planning a Move this Winter? Tips on How to Successfully Downsize

[Source: Next Step Organizing Services, October 22, 2017] Whether you're moving from a a big family home to a Yaletown condo or moving in with a partner, downsizing is necessary.  Moving from a large home full of your stuff to a small space can be challenging, and while it's easy to say "just eliminate the extra stuff," doing it is not so easy.  Here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible. 1. Be Prepared! Make a plan: create [...]

The Tale of Two Housing Segments Continues in the Greater Vancouver Residential Real Estate Market

[Source: Business Insider, October 12, 2017] Affordability issues and mortgage regulations spur activity in the region's entry-level market. Price gap between condominiums and two-storey homes continues to narrow, benefiting move-up buyers. VANCOUVER, Oct. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey1  released today, sales activity and consumer confidence across the Greater Vancouver residential real estate market continued to recover in the third quarter of 2017. While home price appreciation softened in the detached segment, condominiums continued to [...]

Government lowering small business tax rate to 9% over two years

[Source: CTV News, October 16, 2017] OTTAWA – The federal government is reducing the small business tax rate from 10.5% to 9%, to be phased in over two years, as it begins to unveil changes to its contentious tax reform proposal. The small business tax rate will drop to 10%, effective Jan. 1, 2018, and then to 9% effective Jan. 1, 2019. The rate reduction comes alongside other tweaks to the Liberal proposal to cut tax loopholes for businesses. The government is going [...]

B.C. the ‘bright light’ for Canada’s economy

[Source: Journal of Commerce, October 20, 2017] Economic indicators are looking good for British Columbia, Canada and the world. At a provincial level, the economy is in great shape, Central 1 deputy chief economist Bryan Yu said at the recent CanaData West conference in Vancouver. "British Columbia is doing phenomenal regarding the economy and the outlook going forward is positive," Yu said. The province's economy is showing strong job growth and consumer demand as well as positive indicators for wages, population and [...]

OSFI sets new mortgage rules beginning January 1, 2018

[Source: BIV, October 18, 2017] Starting January 1, 2018, Canadian homebuyers will need to meet stiffer guidelines in order to qualify for a mortgage with a federally regulated mortgage lender. As expected, Canada’s banking watchdog, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI), confirmed October 17 that starting next year, all borrowers – even those who have down payments of 20% or higher and do not require mortgage insurance – will need to qualify for mortgages that are two [...]