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BC Housing Sector Urges Federal Parties to Act on Affordability Recommendations


bcrea news release

bcrea news release2

For immediate release

BC Housing Sector Urges Federal Parties to Act on Affordability Recommendations

Vancouver, BC – October 2, 2019. Too many British Columbians struggle to find an affordable home to rent or own because of a lack of housing options. Nearly six in ten uncommitted Canadian voters cite access to affordable housing as a top election issue, according to an August 2019 Angus Reid survey.
 
The next federal government has the opportunity to improve affordability by reducing taxes on new rental homes, encouraging housing supply to match transit targets and changing mortgage underwriting rules.
 
Six organizations representing the BC housing sector have partnered to make housing affordability recommendations that focus on much-needed solutions.
 
The participating organizations include the British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association – British Columbia, Landlord BC, the Mortgage and Title Insurance Industry Association of Canada, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, and the Urban Development Institute.
 

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Read their full statement:
 
BC Housing Sector Urges Federal Parties to Act on Affordability Recommendations
 
Too many British Columbians struggle to find an affordable home to rent or own because of a lack of housing options. Nearly six in ten uncommitted Canadian voters cite access to affordable housing as a top election issue, according to an August 2019 Angus Reid survey.
 
The next federal government has the opportunity to improve affordability by reducing taxes on new rental homes, encouraging housing supply to match transit targets and changing mortgage underwriting rules.
 
Six organizations representing the BC housing sector have partnered to make housing affordability recommendations that focus on much-needed solutions. In advance of the first debate, we urge each of the parties to adopt the following three recommendations to help address the housing and affordability challenges in British Columbia and the rest of Canada.
 

1. Remove GST as a major barrier to new rental housing
 
British Columbia has a rental housing shortage. Metro Vancouver’s overall rental vacancy rate has hovered around one per cent or lower for the last five years. CMHC estimates the region has had a net loss of 6,000 purpose-built rental units since 1991. At the same time Metro Vancouver’s population has grown by over one million people and is forecast to grow by an additional million in the next 20 years. This scarcity of rental housing has resulted in increased rental prices and stress for renters, a situation that will continue unless decisive action is taken.
 
A barrier to addressing the lack of new rental options is the punitive application of the five per cent GST on new purpose-built rental buildings. Under GST rules, a builder pays GST on the “self-supply” of a purpose-built rental building when construction is completed. This means that when rental developers intend to keep, manage and operate new purpose-built rental homes, GST rules require that they pay GST on the market value of the building and property at completion as if they’ve sold it. This is essentially a sales tax on an artificial transaction that adds millions of dollars to the cost of new rental buildings, even for non-profit home builders. A recent analysis of a 117-unit project in Vancouver showed how removing the GST could reduce monthly rents between 3.04 and 6.06 per cent. This additional tax negatively impacts renters, because rental providers must recover the costs through increased rents.
 
Removing the GST would make purpose-built rental projects more financially viable and could provide lower rental rates for affordable housing projects.
 
We recommend:
  • fully rebating or exempting the application of GST on new rental housing.
 
 
2. Link federal transit investments with federal housing targets
 
The federal government can encourage effective land use and transportation decisions by linking the need for more housing options with the significant federal transit funding that is planned. Setting new land use guidelines with housing targets for transit investments would unlock additional home options by supporting regional and local transportation plans.
 
We recommend:
  • leveraging contributions to local rapid transit projects by requiring housing targets,
  • providing preferred terms/rates to projects within CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing initiative that are within a specified distance from a current or planned frequent transit network,
  • topping up federal cost-share ratios for rapid transit projects, currently up to 50 per cent of non-land related capital costs, by a modest percentage for projects that meet or exceed housing targets, and
  • working with provincial and local governments, including Metro Vancouver, to explore a transit-oriented affordable housing fund to encourage more purpose-built rental housing, with a deeper level of affordability, near existing and new transit.
 
3. Adjust the mortgage stress test and amortization rules
 
In 2018, the federal government enacted new mortgage rules that require borrowers to qualify for a mortgage at the higher of either the rate they’ve negotiated with their bank plus two per cent or the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate. This B-20 stress test has had a pronounced impact in BC, causing an estimated $500 million in lost economic activity.
 
The B-20 stress test should be a flexible policy that is adjusted regularly to respond to economic trends.
 
B-20 is now due for an adjustment for the following reasons:
  • the debt burden has increased for people unable to access conventional financing who must resort to more expensive alternative mortgage financing,
  • personal incomes nationally have risen by 12.5 per cent over the last five years, and
  • a borrower’s equity position increases throughout the term of a mortgage due to principal payments.
Changing the stress test would help achieve the government’s goal of ensuring Canadians don’t take on more debt than they can bear, while acknowledging ongoing economic trends.

We recommend:
  • reinstating 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages to make monthly payments more manageable,
  • qualifying all borrowers at their contracted amortization period (e.g., 30 years) instead of a 25-year period, and
  • excluding the stress test for mortgage transfers and switches, which better enables borrowers to shop for competitive mortgage terms at renewal time, and
  • employing flexible stress tests that reflect the level of risk posed by the terms and conditions of the particular mortgage, including amortization period, fixed vs. variable rate and how interest rates are forecasted to change over the term of the loan.

For a PDF of the news release, click here

To learn more, visit bchousingaffordability.ca

 



Real Estate Market Stats Week #39


ev facebook dreamhomes couple

 09/29/2019 - 10/05/2019

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Listed: 1002 (1.35 Billion) 
-5.38% 

Sold: 36 (35.60 Million) 
-83.93% 

Price Dropped: 420 (24.47 Million) 
+2.69% 

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Listed: 526 (429.97 Million) 
-7.88% 

Sold: 7 (10.27 Million) 
-92.55% 

Price Dropped: 268 (9.40 Million) 
+3.88% 

Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board

Listed: 72 (40.89 Million) 
-11.11% 

Sold: 8 (5.00 Million) 
-63.64% 

Price Dropped: 64(1.43 Million) 
+12.28%


Courtesy of: Cindy Stanley - Engel & Völkers West Vancouver, Canada

agentphoto stanleycindy profile



Real Estate Market Stats Week #38


ev facebook followyourdream family

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Listed: 992 (1.39 Billion) 
-7.20% 

Sold: 41 (56.16 Million) 
-83.73% 

Price Dropped: 409 (25.42 Million) 
+11.44% 

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Listed: 508 (445.89 Million) 
-6.96% 

Sold: 8 (5.66 Million) 
-90.48% 

Price Dropped: 258 (8.61 Million) 
+4.45% 

Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board

Listed: 75 (40.35 Million) 
-29.25% 

Sold: 7 (4.58 Million) 
-75.86% 

Price Dropped: 57(1.73 Million) 
-6.56%


Courtesy of: Cindy Stanley - Engel & Völkers West Vancouver, Canada

agentphoto stanleycindy profile



Weekly Real Estate Market Stats Week #37


ev facebook dreamhomes 2

Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Listed: 983 (1.30 Billion)
-25.47%

Sold: 43 (44.29 Million)
-82.66%

Price Dropped: 367 (21.88 Million)
-15.44%

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

Listed: 484 (483.43 Million)
-25.08%

Sold: 5 (3.05 Million)
-94.85%

Price Dropped: 247 (11.99 Million)
-11.79%

Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board

Listed: 96 (60.69 Million)
-16.52%

Sold: 7 (4.12 Million)
-75.86%

Price Dropped: 61(1.34 Million)
-18.67%

Courtesy of: Cindy Stanley - Engel & Völkers West Vancouver, Canada

agentphoto stanleycindy profile



How to Explain Mortgage Qualifying, Pre-Approval and Approval


Mortgage Pre-Qualification vs Mortgage Pre-Approval vs Mortgage Approval

What are the differences between each stage of the mortgage process?
By Kara Kuryllowicz September 18, 2019

how to explain mortgage qualifying pre approval and approvalIn early 2019, several Canadian banks launched digital apps that offer home buyers easy, hassle-free mortgage pre-qualification in 60 seconds or less. Sounds great, right?  The problem is many consumers believe a mortgage pre-qualification is a lot like a mortgage pre-approval or mortgage approval. As a result, prospective home buyers and sellers are left expecting the financial institution associated with the app to lend them hundreds of thousands of dollars, despite the fact they simply keyed their names, addresses, contact information and gross income into various online fields.

Getting Mortgage Approval

“Every week, as many as 40% of my new clients come to me because they’ve just bought a home and discovered that mortgage pre-qualification is meaningless and that they do not have the financing required for the purchase,” says Tracy Valko, owner and principal broker of Dominion Lending Centres Valko Financial Ltd., and a director at Mortgage Professionals of Canada.



September - November Issue of GG Magazine now Available


In This Issue

gg magazine cover 09 1119 copy Je ne sais quoi is one of those wonderful French phrases that expresses the fascination with what we cannot simply put into words. So many inspiring individuals call France “home”, and their work brings out nothing but that special feeling. They run companies and create things that enrich our lives with excellence and finesse. David Holder, who took over the one and only Ladurée café in Paris when he was just 25 years old, has now expanded the brand globally and transformed the delicate and delicious Ladurée macaron into a coveted and often replicated lifestyle product. Today his café welcomes visitors from all over the world and was a site of celebration for Megan Markle’s baby shower in New York.

It would be remiss not to celebrate the architecture and beauty of France. The Fondation Maeght and the hotel and restaurant La Colombe d’Or draw art aficionados to the French Riviera. And not far away in Aix en Provence, Shirin von Wulffen and Frédéric Fekkai relax and work at their bastide, their refuge and stunning vacation home that is currently the inspiration for a new business venture. 

In the spirit of Vive la France, visit one of our Engel & Völkers shops closest to you for a complimentary copy, or click below to access the digital issue. Enjoy your read.

gg magazine read now a



June - August Issue of GG Magazine now Available


In This Issue

gg magazine cover 006 0819 It's easier than ever to hop on a plane and discover unique destinations, different countries and new cultures. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that in 1950 approximately 25 million tourists enjoyed international travel. In 2016, that number increased to 1.2 billion. With the advent of travel, we are given the opportunity to interact with incredible people and places from across the globe.

While we're always keen to broaden our horizons on a global scale, we also enjoy moments and locations tucked away from bustling ports and cities that can transport us to places of serenity and calm, ultimately providing a sense of home-away-from-home. In this issue, GG explores the new concept of sustainable travel, spotlighting some of the world's most exclusive destinations and resorts, from Greece to Thailand, that distinguish themselves for their fine living and service. GG also features several extraordinary individuals whose life work is set on making guest experiences absolutely unforgettable.

Whether at home or traveling, visit the shop closest to you today for a complimentary copy, or click below to access the digital issue. Enjoy your read.

gg magazine read now



The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is Here!


Canada’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive: Everything You Need to Know

The FTHBI is here. Learn how it can save you money on your first home purchase.
By Kara Kuryllowicz September 5, 2019

the first time home buyer incentive is here For the first time in years, Canada’s first-time buyers have a reason to feel optimistic. September 2, 2019, marked the launch of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s all-new First-Time Home Buyers Incentive (FTHBI), a financial incentive designed to help middle-class Canadians buy their first property.

 

The Perfect Time for the FTHBI

The timing for the FTHBI couldn’t be better. Beyond the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive itself, there are three key real estate factors that actually favour all buyers as we head into 2019, not just first-timers. Fixed mortgage rates remain at an all-time low. Most markets across the country are balanced or even a little soft. And maybe best of all (and as discussed in this recent Fall Trends article) buyers typically don’t buy homes in the lead-up to a federal election, giving first-time buyers some added leverage as markets slow before October 21.
 

“The First Time Home Buyer Incentive will reduce the monthly mortgage for your first home by up to $286,” says Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “This will help up to 100,000 families across Canada to buy their first home.”

Read full article... By REW Kara Kuryllowicz September 5, 2019



Recently Sold Listing Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs, BC


R2365679 - Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs.

The Top 6 Things That Will Impact Fall Real Estate in Canada


2019's fall home buying trends are looking pretty surprising.

the top six things that will impact fall real estate in canada

By Kara Kuryllowicz (REW) August 29, 2019
 

Back to school and off to work! The post-labour day time usually coincides with supply shopping  and settling in after relaxing summer vibes - but it also tends to kick off Canada’s fall real estate markets, with home buyers and homeowners looking ahead to their next steps. 

However, before they make a move, buyers and sellers should get up to speed on the factors that will affect this year’s real estate landscape, ranging from the predictable to the truly surprising. Without further ado, here are the top six things that will impact Canada's fall real estate season.

Read More ...

 

 



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