• Victoria
  • Sidney
  • Saanich Peninsula
    250-656-4626
In your neighbourhood...
  • Victoria
  • Sidney
  • Saanich Peninsula
    250-656-4626
In your neighbourhood...

Blog

Stress Test Policy Leading To A Bottleneck Of Housing Demand

Posted by Jack Barker

As was expected by many market forecasters, the B20 Stress Test implemented as a part of Federal level mortgage policy has had negative repercussions throughout the housing market.

This is especially true here in British Columbia, with the BCREA observing that residential unit sales figures in March saw a decline of 23% from the same point last year. These figures, coupled with a decline of 5.4% in residential house prices in BC in the same period, painting a stark picture of the current housing market in the province.

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Strata Development Termination

Posted by Jack Barker

Two recent BC court cases clarify when a strata council might list a terminated development project for sale, or contract to sell it to a buyer.

Many of BC's earliest strata developments are around 50 years old. Aging strata buildings may be located in an area rezoned for higher density development, or need so much remedial work that selling the project to a developer for redevelopment is more cost effective. In 2016, the province of BC made it easier for strata owners to choose to terminate their development, lowering the threshold for a winding-up resolution to 80%. Since then, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has decided several important termination cases.

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BC Real Estate Money Laundering Investigations

Posted by Jack Barker

A recent news report suggests that up to $1 billion may have been laundered through Vancouver luxury real estate in 2016. BCREA has been supporting the provincial government's ongoing investigations and efforts to understand and eliminate money laundering vulnerabilities in BC real estate transactions.

“As the report says, money laundering is a complex problem and recognizing when sophisticated international crime syndicates – who are experts at fraud and deception – are at work behind the scenes takes significant resources,” noted BCREA CEO Darlene Hyde. “At BCREA, we are ready to make our contribution to keeping BC's economy safe from organized crime and we have committed to assisting the government.”

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Exemptions to Bill 45

Posted by Jack Barker

As of the passing of Bill 45, the Budget Measures Implementation (Speculation and Vacancy Tax) Act, the Government of British Columbia has approved additional exemptions to the tax, addressing advocacy concerns brought to the Province’s attention by BCREA. The Bill now allows for exemptions for British Columbians going through traumatic life events such as illness, divorce, or separations, and for owners of properties that are being developed or undergoing renovations.

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Local School Locations Added To REALTOR.ca

Posted by Jack Barker

New school catchment information on REALTOR.ca will roll out nationally in phases, and is already available for Victoria and Vancouver. Coverage reached 80% of school boards in Canada by September. An additional feature allowing parents to search for a property within a particular school’s catchment area will be available later in the fall.

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New Chair For The Real Estate Council of BC

Posted by Jack Barker

The Government of British Columbia has appointed Elain Duvall as the new chair of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia, with a mandate to protect the public interest in the province’s real estate sector. RECBC will be working under Ms. Duvall’s leadership to achieve a province where real estate consumers have confidence in competent and ethical real estate professionals. In co-operation with the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and the Ministry of Finance, they work to ensure that BC's real estate sector is trusted and effective.

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What Homebuyers Should Know About BC Wildfires

Posted by Jack Barker

As wildfires continue to burn across BC, thousands of British Columbians on evacuation alert, with firefighters working to protect communities, homes and businesses.

For those with pending real estate transactions in fire-affected areas, the situation is even more uncertain: you likely have questions about how the fires will affect your home insurance and your ability to close on the transaction.

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Bank of Canada Lending Rates On Hold

Posted by Jack Barker

In line with financial market expectations, the Bank of Canada announced it is keeping its trend-setting overnight lending rate unchanged at 1.25%. However the Bank reiterated that higher lending rates are still on the way, with financial markets betting the next 25 basis point hike will be at the next scheduled policy announcement on July 11.

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Teams, Agency and Disclosure: New Dual Agency Rules

Posted by Jack Barker

On June 15, 2018, consumer protection rules from the Superintendent of Real Estate will take effect. The goals of the rules are to ensure consumers are well-protected, well-informed, and can benefit from the undivided loyalty of a real estate licensee who is acting in their best interests. These rules will protect consumers by:

  • Prohibiting limited dual agency in almost all cases, and
  • Requiring new disclosures about commissions, services to expect from a licensee, and the risks of being an unrepresented party in a real estate transaction.

The Superintendent’s rules will change the way real estate is practiced in BC, and will enforce the fundamental REALTOR® duties of undivided client loyalty, confidentiality, managing conflicts of interests, and informed client consent.

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