Updated October, 2016
According to the BCREA (British Columbia Real Estate Association):
Housing demand in the province “continued to trend lower in September” according to BCREA Chief Economist Cameron Muir. The number of residential unit sales recorded by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in September is 7,591; down 11.2 percent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.45 billion in September, down 14.1 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $585,844, a decline of 3.2 per cent compared to the same month last year.
“While Vancouver, Fraser Valley and the North experienced year-over-year declines last month, the rest of the province posted an increase in the number of residential transactions,” added Muir.
“The average residential price in the province continued to reflect a change in the composition and location of homes sold. However, the effect was less pronounced in September than in August, when detached home sales fell to just 28 per cent of total demand in Vancouver.”
Some new developments in regulation:
We have entered a new phase of real estate regulation in the province. On September 30th, 2016 the Superintendent of Real Estate was given the authority to exercise greater oversight over the Real Estate Council of BC, and is now able to make rules governing licensees.
On October 12th, nine new members were appointed to the BC Real Estate Council.
On October 19th, Michael Noseworthy will become the next Superintendent of Real Estate. He has recently served as government regulator in Yukon.
Update on FBT (BC Foreign Buyer’s Tax):
In August, the BC government imposed a 15% Property Transfer Tax (PTT) on foreign buyers and companies buying homes in Greater Vancouver. The government can also expand FBT to other geographical areas and the tax amount can range from 10 – 20%.
This tax directly affected a number of home sales that were already underway and negatively impacted some British Columbians
As a result, the BCREA, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board submitted recommendations that future changes to PTT will not exempt transactions that are already underway. The BCREA has also requested an increase to the threshold of 2% PTT to $525,000 from $200,000 to support British Columbians. Their submission can be found here.
News on housing affordability:
The Federal government is expected to announce a new National Housing Strategy in November, as a result of over a year of intense public discussions about housing affordability and months of consultations across Canada.
In September, the BC Provincial government announced $500 million to be invested in affordable renting housing in the province, to create nearly 3,000 new affordable renting units. This money is available through the Housing Priority Initiatives program, funded largely by FBT (Foreign Buyer’s Tax). These projects are to be approved by March, 2017.
If you have any questions, please contact us at Silver Law at 604-986-2522 and our friendly staff will be able to assist you.