Strata age restriction bylaws – BCREA Legally Speaking

March 21st, 2019

Strata age restriction bylaws are alive and well.

BCREA

When providing any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public, the provincial Human Rights Code normally prohibits one person from discriminating against another because of the other person’s age or family status, unless there is a bona fide, reasonable justification.1 But, the Strata Property Act specifically permits a strata corporation to pass an age restriction bylaw.2 A strata corporation may enforce its age restriction bylaw against any resident, regardless whether he or she is an owner or a tenant. If a strata corporation passes a new bylaw restricting the age of persons who may reside in a strata lot, that bylaw, once registered at the Land Title Office, will not apply to any person residing there when the bylaw was passed and who continues to reside there.3

Whether acting as listing or buyer agent, the Real Estate Council of British Columbia expects a REALTOR® to review a strata corporation’s bylaws for restrictions, including age restrictions.4 One must never assume from signage or advertising alone that a strata corporation is age restricted. Conversely, one must never assume from the presence of children that they are permitted in a complex.

The Real Estate Council also warns against the common misconception that a developer or a strata council can waive the application of an age restriction bylaw. The wording of the bylaw is critical. A strata council has no power to exempt someone from an age restriction bylaw unless the particular bylaw expressly says so. In one recent case, the strata corporation’s bylaws restricted residency to persons who had reached 55 years of age.5 When an elderly owner died, her 46-year-old daughter inherited sole ownership of that owner’s strata lot. Apparently assuming that strata council could exempt her from the age restriction bylaw, the daughter wrote to strata council asking for permission to reside in the strata lot.

Since there was nothing in the bylaw giving strata council authority to excuse the daughter from the bylaw, strata council refused her request. The daughter then moved in anyway. The strata corporation successfully sued the daughter for a declaration that she was residing in her strata lot in violation of the age restriction bylaw. The strata corporation also obtained judgment against the daughter for a total of $13,400 in fines at $200 per week for her continuing bylaw breach.

If the wording of an age restriction bylaw permits strata council to exempt someone from the bylaw, strata council is never compelled to do so. In Drummond v. Strata Plan NW2654, the strata corporation’s bylaw restricted residency to persons over 19 years old, unless strata council gave specific written approval otherwise, with each approval to be considered on its own merits.6 After occupying a strata lot with her 13-year-old son, an owner asked strata council to exempt her son from the bylaw. When strata council refused, the owner sued the strata corporation, claiming significant unfairness. The court dismissed the owner’s claim. The strata corporation was reasonably justified in enforcing its bylaw. Just because the decision seemed unfair to the owner did not mean there was significant unfairness contrary to the Strata Property Act.

What if a resident in an age restricted complex gives birth to a baby? In Hallonquist v. Strata Plan NW307, the strata corporation’s bylaw prohibited children under 19 years of age from permanently residing in the complex.7 When the owner bought his strata lot, he knew about the age restriction. Roughly a year later, the owner’s wife gave birth to a baby. In an effort to comply with the bylaw, the owner listed his unit for sale, but was unable to sell it. The strata corporation imposed fines for breach of the bylaw and threatened a court application to remove the child from the complex. Eventually, the owner complained to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal that the strata corporation discriminated against him on the basis of family status. The Tribunal dismissed his complaint, pointing out that the Strata Property Act allows the age restriction bylaw and the strata corporation must enforce it.

  1. Human Rights Code, RSBC 1996, c. 210, ss. 8 and 41(2).
  2. Strata Property Act, SBC 1998, c. 43, s. 123(1.1).
  3. Strata Property Act, s. 123(2).
  4. Real Estate Council of British Columbia, Professional Standards Manual, online: https://www.recbc.ca/psm/disclosure-of-restrictions-on-use/.
  5. The Owners, Strata Plan NWS3075 v. Stevens(13 July 2017), Vancouver S172207 (BCSC); 2018 BCSC 1784. See also Strata Plan NW3075 v. Stevens, 2018 BCPC 2.
  6. Drummond v. Strata Plan NW2654, 2004 BCSC 1405.
  7. Hallonquist v. Strata Plan NW307, 2014 BCHRT 117.

Copyright © British Columbia Real Estate Association

Strata must inform tenants of all bylaw changes

March 21st, 2019

Owner must provide Form K to Strata

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

 I have been a tenant since 2016 in a highrise in Vancouver. About one-third third of our building are rentals and none of the tenants has been elected to council. 

I received notice from council that l am in violation of the strata bylaws for using an electric barbecue on my balcony. I read the bylaws that were given to me by the owner of my unit at the time I rented, and they permitted only electric barbecues. 

I responded in writing, requesting the bylaw they were quoting as I have nothing in the bylaws provided by my landlord. The strata responded that it adopted new bylaws at the June 2018 annual meeting and the bylaw was amended prohibiting all outdoor cooking and it was my landlord’s responsibility to inform me of the bylaws.

Neither the strata corporation nor the landlord provided any bylaw updates. How is it possible for tenants to comply with new bylaws if they don’t know about them?

Terri M.

Dear Terri:

When an owner rents their strata lot, they must provide a completed Form K notice of tenant’s responsibilities to the strata corporation. Both the landlord and the tenant must sign the form.

The landlord’s obligation is to ensure that all current bylaws and rules of the strata corporation at the time the form is signed are attached to the form and provided to the tenant. While the form acknowledges that the tenant must comply with any changed bylaws and rules, the duty to inform the tenants of any changes of new rules or bylaws falls on the shoulders of the strata corporation.

Under the Strata Property Act, the strata corporation must inform owners and tenants of any amendment to the bylaws as soon as feasible after the amendment is approved. Unfortunately, many strata corporations and managers assume the owners will inform their tenants or that the notice of a general meeting and the minutes that follow will be sufficient. This is not formal notice in the same manner as a general meeting, but applies the general communication format your strata corporation employs, provided every tenant and owner has access to the information.

Best practice: if your strata corporation has adopted new bylaws or ratified new rules, as soon as feasible have them posted to a website where everyone has access or post them in public areas where residents will see notices, and send out a written copy advising of the new bylaws or rules. The minutes of the meeting may be an acceptable form of notice; however, attach the new ratified rules or approved bylaws so they are clearly identified. 

To ensure you have given notice of enforceable bylaws, within a week of your meeting confirm the new bylaws have been filed in the Land Title Registry before you send the minutes or notice of new bylaws. We have identified many circumstances where bylaws were adopted and never filed. Bylaws are only enforceable once they are filed in the registry. Notice of bylaw amendments after an amendment has been approved, but not filed, is required as there may be bylaws that have exemptions created for age restrictions, pet bylaws or rental restrictions, and these exemptions apply when the bylaw is approved, not when it is filed, so timing is everything.

Don’t forget if you are a landlord and renting your unit to a family member, or qualify under any of the rental exemptions, you must still provide a completed Form K to the strata corporation.

© 2019 Postmedia Network Inc.

Soleil 178 homes at 1588 Johnston Road White Rock by RDG Management

March 21st, 2019

Residents of Soleil will be but steps from hundreds of shops and services

Simon Briault
The Province

Soleil

What: 178 homes in a 26-storey tower

Where: 1588 Johnston Road, White Rock

Residence size and prices: One-, two- and three-bedroom homes ranging from 638 to 1,795 square feet; prices range from $449,900 to $2,199,900

Developer: RDG Management

Sales centre: 1588 Johnston Road, White Rock

Sales phone: 604-379-3022

For many buyers of new condos, location is everything. Soleil, a new residential tower planned for the centre of White Rock, does not disappoint on that front.

The building will stand right across the street from Semiahmoo Mall and residents will be within a few minutes walk of more than 300 hundred shops and services.

It’s a location that’s already proving popular with buyers, according to Craig Anderson, marketing and sales director at Magnum Projects, which is handling the sales and marketing for Soleil.

“This is the best-value ocean view in the Lower Mainland,” Anderson said. “At the same time, it’s an authentically urban location with everything you need right on your doorstep. When you compare these ocean views against North or West Vancouver, there’s a bunch of value here and you’re not compromising on convenience or finishes either.”

The 26-storey tower will stand at the corner of Johnston Road and North Bluff Road, right in the heart of White Rock’s downtown core, and feature 25,000 square feet of office and retail space and an 8,000-square-foot amenity space. Located on one level of the building and incorporating both indoor and outdoor space, the facilities will include two guest suites, a yoga room, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, indoor and outdoor lounges, an entertainment kitchen, a terrace, a hot tub, a children’s play area and two fire pits.

“We’ve never been in a condo before so it will be totally new for us,” said Jeff Whitford, who has bought one of the homes at Soleil. “We live in White Rock right now so we get this big view already and we didn’t want to give it up. Then we saw what the 20th floor in Soleil would look like and we thought, hey, this looks like our house. It’s the same view and we get Mount Baker thrown in as well.”

Homes feature engineered wood flooring in entries, kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and dens. Kitchens have polished stone countertops, under-counter garbage and recycling systems and full-sized Bosch stainless steel appliance packages, including stainless steel drawer microwaves. Bathrooms feature soaker tubs, frameless glass showers and large-format wall and floor tiles.

For Whitford, who has been living in White Rock for more than a decade, the location of Soleil in the centre of the city was a big factor in his decision to buy.

“I think we got a lot of a value for what we paid per square foot for our new condo compared to anywhere else,” he said. “We love the location too. We’ll be able to walk across the street and go to Brown’s, go to Starbucks, get some great sushi, go shopping or go to the liquor store. It’s all right there. It’s a two-minute walk to everything. It’s awesome.”

© 2019 Postmedia Network Inc.

REBGV launches home listings site

March 20th, 2019

Realtylink makes home buyers knowledgeable

Steve Randall
Mortgage Broker News

The Real estate Board of Greater Vancouver has launches a new home listings site on its Realtylink.org platform.

The board has worked with Quebec firm Centris to create the modern listings portal with enhanced search and filtering capabilities.

It allows users to create a profile for saving searches, which can be listed as a list, gallery, or on a map. It shows MLS listings for homes in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and northern regions of BC.

“We designed the new Realtylink to help make home buyers more knowledgeable about the homes available for sale around our province,” says Brad Scott, REBGV CEO. “It’s a powerful tool based on proven technology. We’ll continue to work with our Centris partner to add features and data to improve and grow the site over time.”

The tech that drives the site means users will get the latest listings, as it updates every 20 minutes with data from the Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, BC Northern, and Vancouver Island real estate boards.

The site also allows users to explore a home’s location through embedded Google Maps options and assess a home’s proximity to amenities through the Walk Score® rating feature.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media

Mixed reactions to budget housing measures

March 20th, 2019

No changes to stress test in budget

Steve Randall
Mortgage Broker News

The federal budget included certain measures aimed at helping the Canadian housing market but there was no change to the mortgage stress test.

The government did announce help for first-time buyers though and that has been generally welcomed.

A $1.25 billion fund administered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) over three years will provide 5% of the cost of an existing home and 10% of the price of a new home through what amounts to an interest-free loan to be repaid when the property is sold. The money would go to first-time home buyers applying for insured mortgages subject to certain conditions.

Dr Sherry Cooper, chief economist for Dominion Lending Centres, said it was a bold move although said she was awaiting clear details of how repayment would take place.

She also noted that, along with an increase in the tax-free withdrawal from RRSPs to $35,000 (from the previous $10,000) under the federal Home Buyers’ Plan, the measures focus on the demand side of housing not the badly-needed supply of affordable housing.

Builders urge swift implementation
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association is optimistic that supply will be helped by the budget measures.

“The new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which introduces shared equity mortgages for qualified first-time buyers, will make a difference if it meets the estimates government officials are suggesting: helping 100,000 Canadians achieve home ownership in the next three years. That impact would be similar to what CHBA’s proposed reintroduction of 30-year insured mortgages for first-time home buyers would achieve,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee. “This incentive cannot come soon enough, as many markets are very challenged right now. We hope the government will move very quickly to make it a reality.”

But Lee also urged the government to reconsider the mortgage stress test.

“Current restrictions on mortgage access mean that many millennials and new Canadians are seeing homeownership slipping away, and in many markets the economic impacts are substantial.”

Another form of debt
Not everyone is as positive about the first-time buyer mortgage plan.

RBC chief economist Craig Wright told the CBC that it was a “solution looking for a problem.”

And David MacDonald, senior economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives warned that it’s just another form of debt that will need to be repaid.

BCREA Pleased With Housing Focus in Federal Budget 2019

March 20th, 2019

Budget 2019 housing affordability welcomed by BCREA

BCREA

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is pleased with the measures announced in Budget 2019 that will help address housing affordability in British Columbia. REALTORS® in BC recognize that home ownership is a difficult goal to achieve for many British Columbians, and the policies announced in this budget provide meaningful assistance with this complex challenge.   BCREA supports the newly announced First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, which introduces shared equity mortgages that will help to directly foster affordability. The budget also proposes increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, further supporting first-time buyers. “British Columbians who aspire to home ownership need to be able to achieve this goal to assure a sustainable future for our province,” says Darlene Hyde, BCREA CEO. “REALTORS® have advocated for modernization of the HBP for a long time and we’re pleased to see it addressed in Budget 2019.” The BC real estate sector makes important direct contributions to economic growth in the province, ultimately accounting for close to ten per cent of real GDP in the province through new home construction and residential and commercial real estate transactions. Home sales also generate significant spin-off expenditures. According to a 2017 study from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), each home sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in BC between 2014 and 2016 generated $67,800 in related expenditures, such as moving costs, renovations and legal fees following the sale. Each transaction also generated an average of $7,000 in Property Transfer Tax. BCREA also welcomes the following measures announced in Budget 2019:

  • making the National Housing Strategy a permanent program,
  • the announcement of an additional $10 billion and an extension of the Rental Construction Financing Initiative until 2027-28—a strong policy direction that will assist with assuring market sustainability,
  • increased sharing of financial data among federal and provincial governments and their agencies as part of anti-money laundering/anti-terrorist financing efforts; this issue can be best addressed with close collaboration among the federal and provincial governments, along with industry,    
  • the announcement of an Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability. These are significant issues in British Columbia, and a well-chosen panel can bring collective expertise and forward-thinking strategy to the issue. In the near future, BCREA will provide the federal and provincial governments with recommendations for strong potential appointees. 

While we welcome the incentives for first-time home buyers, the announced measures fail to address the damage done by the mortgage stress test. BCREA is particularly encouraged that the federal government is carefully monitoring the effects of the B-20 mortgage regulations, as we recently voiced concern regarding the overreaching impact this policy is having in the Lower Mainland. We assert the federal government needs to review the policy against interest rate changes since its introduction and re-institute 30-year mortgages to further help Canadians achieve their goals of homeownership. 

Click here for the PDF.

Copyright ©2019 BCREA

Demand for commercial real estate declines in 2018

March 20th, 2019

CRE demand in the Lower Mainland weakened in 2018

other

The commercial real estate market in the Lower Mainland saw fewer sales and lower dollar volumes in 2018 compared to recent years.

There were 2,266 commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in 2018, a 13.6 per cent decrease from 2,624 sales in 2017, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland reached $15.622 billion in 2018, a 5.2 per cent decrease from $16.483 billion in 2017.

“Demand in the Lower Mainland’s commercial real estate market changed pace in 2018,” said Ashley Smith, REBGV president. “While dollar volumes remained up near the highs we’ve experienced in recent years, we’ve seen reduced demand in line with slower economic growth and rising interest rates.”

2018 activity by category

Land: There were 861 commercial land sales in 2018, which is a 20 per cent decrease from the 1,076 land sales in 2017. The dollar value of land sales was $8.281 billion in 2018, an 8 per cent decrease from $9 billion in 2017.

Office and Retail: There were 815 office and retail sales in the Lower Mainland in 2018, which is down 9.2 per cent from the 898 sales in 2017. The dollar value of office and retail sales was $4.647 billion in 2018, a 2.8 per cent decrease from $4.781 billion in 2017.

Industrial: There were 489 industrial land sales in the Lower Mainland in 2018, which is down 7.7 per cent from the 530 sales in 2017. The dollar value of industrial sales was $1.441 billion in 2018, an 11.7 per cent increase from $1.290 billion in 2017.

Multi-Family: There were 101 multi-family land sales in the Lower Mainland in 2018, which is down 15.8 per cent from 120 sales in 2017. The dollar value of multi-family sales was $1.253 billion in 2018, a 11.2 per cent decrease from $1.411 billion in 2017.

Click here to download the full package.

© 2018 Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

New First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Unveiled in Federal Budget

March 20th, 2019

The budget – Investing In The Middle Class

Penelope Graham
other

The Federal Liberal government tabled their fourth and final pre-election budget yesterday – titled Investing in the Middle Class, the spending plan continues with the theme of stimulus aimed at the middle working class while carrying a deficit, expected to grow to $16.8 billion over the next fiscal year.

The highlights include funding for new skills training programs, as well as financial support for seniors and indigenous communities. It also includes a couple of notable changes for first-time home buyers, to help ease their entry into the housing market.

There had been considerable pressure on the federal government to take action to improve affordability for homes for sale for this buyer segment, arguably the hardest hit by a combination of rising interest rates as well as a newly introduced mortgage stress test, over the last year.  In the months leading up to the budget announcement, the real estate industry had called on the feds to eradicate or reduce the stress test, or to extend the maximum amortization period to 30 years for first-time buyers. As well, a recent national survey run by Zoocasa found Canadians wanted a greater payout than the $750 they currently receive from the First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.

Government to Share First-Time Buyer Mortgage Burden

However, the government has opted for two different approaches, to be implemented over the coming year:

  • An expansion of the maximum amount of RRSP funds first-time buyers can access under the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), from $25,000 to $35,000, or $70,000 between couples buying together.
  • A brand-new $1.25-billion mortgage equity sharing program called the First Time Home Buyer Incentive, which will help offset mortgage costs for those entering the market for the first time.

How Will the First Time Home Buyer Incentive Work?

Under this new initiative, the government will provide first-time buyers with interest-free mortgage loans, up to 10% for new builds and 5% for existing housing stock, via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The CMHC then retains the equity percentage in the home until the loan needs to be paid back, either when the home is sold or the mortgage matures. To qualify, buyers must be first timers and have a combined household income of $120,000 or less – an amount that is still inclusive of those trying to purchase a home in one of Canada’s larger urban centres, who may earn a higher wage but still face a steep income gap compared to local real estate prices. However, they must have a minimum down payment (at least 5%) for an insured mortgage, and the mortgage value cannot exceed four times their household income – which, with a cap of $480,000, may still fall short in markets like Toronto and Vancouver where home values outpace wages by considerably more.

While the new initiative, which will go into effect this autumn, doesn’t reduce the tougher qualification hurdles borrowers must satisfy, having a smaller mortgage amount up front will effectively shrink monthly payments, which will make it easier to pass the stress test.  For example, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that on a $400,000 home with 10% equity sharing, the Incentive would reduce monthly payments by $225 per month, or $2,700 per year. It is anticipated 100,000 first-time buyers will benefit from the Incentive.

“That’s real help for people who want to own their own home. For young people. For families. For Canadians who need just that little extra help to make their dream of owning a home a reality,” Morneau stated in his speech to the Speaker of the House in the Budget’s unveiling.

The Canadian Real Estate Association has also spoken in favour of the new measure, with President Barb Sukkau stating, “Millennials are passionate about owning their home, but many are worried they will never be able to because of higher home prices and tougher mortgage qualification rules. REALTORS have been advocating for the modernization of the HBP and are pleased to see it addressed in Budget 2019. The measures announced today will help today’s millennials in a tangible way, while also addressing some longer-term concerns related to housing supply and sustainability.”

Other housing-related measures included in the Budget are:

  • A Rental Construction Financing Initiative that would help build 42,500 new housing units across Canada, with a particular focus in areas of low rental supply. An additional $10 billion in financing will be made available over nine years, extending the program until 2027–28.
  • A new Housing Supply Challenge that will invite communities and other groups to propose initiatives that break down barriers limiting new housing. It will run through the Impact Canada Initiative, with funding of $300 million.
  • An Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability. Jointly established between the federal government and the provincial British Columbia government, it will involve CMHC investing $4 million over two years to support the Panel’s work, and $5 million over two years for state-of-the-art housing supply modelling and related data collection in order to make better supply policy decisions.
  • New efforts to counter money laundering in the housing market, including CRA audit teams to monitor transactions, as well as $1 million in funding for StatsCanada to conduct a further data needs assessment.

© 2015-2017 Zoocasa Realty Inc.

Federal budget includes first-time buyer incentives

March 19th, 2019

Feds pick up a portion of first-time buyer?s mortgage

Jordan Press
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

On the eve of a federal election this fall, the Liberal government is looking to help more Canadians buy their first homes by picking up a portion of their mortgage costs and increasing the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment.

Helping people enter the housing market has been a growing preoccupation for the Liberals ever since they were elected in 2015, with soaring real-estate prices in some of Canada’s largest cities putting home ownership beyond the reach of many.

An estimated 1.6 million Canadian households are considered in “core housing need,” meaning people who are living in places that are either too expensive or don’t suit their needs.

The means-tested incentive the Liberals unveiled Tuesday would only be available to households with incomes under $120,000 _ roughly $50,000 more than the median household income as calculated by Statistics Canada _ and on mortgages no more than four times the household’s total income.

Eligible buyers would see the government pick up part of the costs of their mortgages to lower their monthly payments, with the amount of help determined by their incomes and whether they’re buying an existing or newly built home.

The government also plans to raise the maximum amount a first-time buyer can withdraw from an RRSP: $35,000, up from $25,000. And while the program has long been restricted to new would-be homeowners, those who are recovering from the breakup of a marriage or common-law relationship would also be allowed to take part.

The measure, expected to cost $1.25 billion over three years beginning this fiscal year, would target Canadians “that face legitimate challenges entering housing markets” after qualifying for a mortgage, the budget document says. An additional $100 million would flow to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to help organizations that already provide the so-called “shared equity mortgages.”

The government would recoup its costs when the house is sold, although the budget document isn’t clear what would happen if the home is sold for a loss.

The program, some details of which are yet to be finalized, is part of a tranche of spending that includes establishing a national expert panel on housing supply and affordability, better data collection, and $300 million for a contest to encourage cities to come up with new ways of expanding housing stock.

The new measures could increase the annual number of new homebuyers nationally to 140,000 from 100,000 by lowering monthly payments without creating higher household debt loads, said Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who was confident the measures won’t cause a spike in housing prices.

“We’re recognizing that it is challenging for people in the housing market; it’s a real issue, but what we’ve done is we’ve carefully looked at what’s the best way to deal with that issue,” Morneau told a news conference.

“It’s not going to make an impact on the overall market from a pricing standpoint, meaning people are actually going to be better off, more optimism in terms of housing, and it’s the reason we’re very excited about this measure.”

Economists and experts had been concerned that Morneau’s focus on helping millennials, in particular, get footholds in the market could juice home prices after years of trying to cool demand in places like Toronto and Vancouver. Federal efforts, such as a new financial “stress test” to make sure a buyer can afford a mortgage, have slowed prices from where they might have been.

Scotiabank economist Marc Desormeaux said the Liberals opted for a relatively modest measure, considering the options they have.

“This is providing additional support for individuals who have already qualified for homes, helps them relieve some of their monthly payments once they’ve qualified for a mortgage and entered into the contract,” Desormeaux said.

“The concerns about stoking demand from some of these measures aren’t concerns that we would raise at this time.”

What the measures should do is increase supply _ one of the measure’s stated goals. The government plans to cover five per cent of the cost of the purchase of an existing home and 10 per cent of a new build, hoping to “encourage the home construction needed to address some of the housing supply shortages” across the country, the budget document says.

Mathieu Laberge, an expert with Deloitte, said the measures appear to target people who would be willing to rent or buy smaller condominium units, for example, outside a major urban centre.

“It may shift the decision-making of some buyers in larger cities,” said Laberge, a former policy adviser to Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. “You’re changing the relevant price between rental and home ownership in those areas, like the immediate suburbs of, for example, Vancouver and Toronto, which is a way to provide more options to households that would otherwise be priced out of the market.”

Tuesday’s budget also includes $10 billion more for a program to fund the construction of new rental units _ the third time the Liberals have expanded the program, which aims to create 14,000 units over 10 years and now carries a $50-billion price tag.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media Pty Ltd

RE/MAX, Redfin announce referral relationship

March 19th, 2019

Redfin to refer only to RE/MAX in Canada

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

A strategic alliance has been announced between RE/MAX and Redfin in Canada and the United States.

Building on an established 10-year relationship that the two real estate firms already have in the US, Redfin will refer customers to other brokerages where it does not have its own agents.

In the US, these referrals may be to RE/MAX agents or to other participating brokerages; but in Canada only RE/MAX agents will receive referrals.

“Teaming with Redfin further enhances the value we offer to our network of highly productive agents and differentiates RE/MAX from the competition,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “By combining our expansive network of professional agents across the U.S. and Canada with Redfin’s massive online audience, consumers are connected with best-in-class agents, and our affiliates are given exclusive access to a rich source of referrals. Everybody wins.”

Redfin entered the Canadian real estate market in February this year with its listings site while its US operations are more mature with its own agents across multiple markets and its own mortgage operation.

The firm has announced that it is reducing its onboarding fee for RE/MAX partner agents in Canada.

Happy agents “Our own research has shown that RE/MAX agents are more likely to stay at their brokerage than agents at any other major traditional brokerage, and it is well known that RE/MAX agents are far more productive than the industry average,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Happy customers, happy agents, with significant experience at every stage of a sale: these were the reasons that we concluded a RE/MAX partnership would lead to better service for customers browsing Redfin.com and Redfin.ca in the areas where Redfin doesn’t employ one of our own agents.”

The agreement will last for an initial period of two years.

Copyright © 2019 Key Media Pty Ltd