Archive for August, 2018

TREB issues warning about sold data use

Friday, August 31st, 2018

TREB outlines how to use public sold data

Neil Sharma

The Toronto Real Estate Board is reminding its membership not to compromise sales history.

In light of sold data being opened after the Supreme Court of Canada last week refused to hear TREB’s appeal in its litigation against the Competition Bureau, brokerages began posting sold data within hours. However, according to the Tribunal Order, sold data can only be posted on password-protected virtual office websites.

“This is required by the Tribunal Order,” said Brian Facey, a TREB legal representative. “It applies to VOWs, which are password protected, as defined in the Order.”

The country’s largest real estate board put out a FAQ about how brokerages are to proceed in presenting the public sold data. John Pasalis, president of Realosophy, a VOW that testified against TREB during the seven-year-long litigation, agrees with that a measure of responsibility is necessary in presenting sold data.

“I think you have to have some rules around how it’s being used, so I don’t disagree with TREB clarifying that,” said Pasalis. “We do need some clarity because you can’t have half the brokerages doing whatever they want, posting it without registration, and the others following the rules and requiring sign-ins, so it’s important for them to clarify these issues.”

The real estate board provided its membership with information and compliance guidelines, going so far as to threaten revoking membership and access to its MLS if guidelines are ignored. In a statement, TREB warned non-compliant individuals and service providers that it would pursue legal action against them.

“We are working with our members to ensure TREB is in full compliance with the order. TREB has issued a document to our membership on the decision and what it means,” TREB President Garry Ghaura said in a statement.

In the FAQ, TREB is clear that sold data cannot be “scraped, mined, sold, resold, licensed, reorganized or monetized in any way, including through the sale of derivative products or marketing reports. The data cannot be used for commercial purposes other than to provide residential real estate brokerage services between a realtor and client or customer. Breach of this by either a member or the member’s clients or customers may result in legal action (including damages) against the member and the cancellation of TREB membership and TREB MLS system access.”

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Move over millennials, Gen Z are weighing homeownership

Friday, August 31st, 2018

51% of 18-24 year olds desire to own a home

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

While millennials have shown desire to become homeowners even though affording that move has been tough, the next generation has grown old enough to contemplate their desire to own a home.

Older members of Generation Z, now 18-24 years old, are concerned about when they will be able to buy a home according to a new survey from RE/MAX.

The survey, carried out by Leger Consulting, found that around three quarters of 18-24s in BC and Ontario are stressed when thinking about buying a home.

And the desire is there with 46% of that age group who do not own a home, wanting to do so within the next few years; although 38% said they have no desire to become homeowners.

The desire to own is strongest in the Greater Vancouver Area (51%) while those in the GTA are less keen (42%).

Mortgage, real estate professionals must educate Gen Z “While the prospects of home ownership may seem daunting, that doesn’t mean that Generation Z should give up hope,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Region. “It will be more important than ever for financial institutions and real estate professionals to educate this generation and reach them through the platforms they frequent, such as social media and online.”

Becoming a trusted advisor through educating the next generation of buyers would be a wise move for mortgage and real estate professionals.

The poll shows that about half of both Gen Z groups in B.C. (50%) and Ontario (45%) agree they have limited knowledge of the housing market but are interested in learning more.

“Gen Zers are interested in learning more, and a greater effort needs to be made to educate them about the benefits and potential risks of home ownership,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “As Gen Z looks ahead, it’s important that they have a trusted team and good resources to turn to, to alleviate stress and empower them in the process to becoming first-time homebuyers in the future. While the survey showed interesting trends across two of the hottest markets, the Gen Zers we speak to are eager to become informed and excited about the future of home ownership.”

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Strata sections comparable to provincial municipalities

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

A strata corporation is created when the strata plan is registered in the Land Title Registry

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony: Could you please explain the difference between sections, types and air-space parcels to our strata corporation of 171 units?

Our property manager is insistent that if the residential and commercial agree, we don’t need to have a joint section council or meetings. We understood there was no choice.

We have commercial offices, residential units and a restaurant. Since we started operating a few years ago, this has been a constant source of confusion over how bills are allocated, how decisions are made and who has voting rights at different meetings.

Karen D., Vancouver

Dear Karen: There is no such entity as a joint section. A strata corporation is created when the strata plan is registered in the Land Title Registry. It shows the boundaries of strata lots, common property, limited common property, residential and non-residential strata lots. The strata corporation must operate in full compliance with the Strata Property Act, regulations and any bylaws as amended by the owner developer or the strata corporation.

In some circumstances, there may be minimal operating obligations for the strata corporation, but any common expenses such as insurance or any operating or utility costs not exclusive to a section are approved in the annual budget of the strata corporation, and the strata corporation must elect a strata council at its annual general meeting.

Think of your strata corporation as the province of B.C. Sections are created through the bylaws and are like municipalities within the province. Those common exclusive expenses, bylaws and matters that affect only the strata lots identified in the section bylaws are approved by the section — in your case, the residential strata lots — and administered by the executive council elected at the AGM of the residential section.

The same applies to the commercial section(s). In basic terms, a section can do anything a strata corporation can, but within the entity of the corporation. However, they are all separate legal entities.

What this really means is you have three separate management contracts, three budgets, three councils, possibly three sets of bylaws or other matters that would be exclusive to one of your sections. 

One of the common misconceptions applied to sections is that costs may be allocated between sections based on the formulas filed in the bylaws. If the expense is not a sole expense of a section, it is an expense of the strata corporation and shared by everyone. The amount or ratio of cost is irrelevant and bylaws cannot reallocate common expenses. 

Types can be administered within the strata corporation or a section and they apply only to operating costs. For example, if only 25 units had access to natural gas for heating and fireplaces, the strata corporation may adopt a bylaw that creates the classification of types and only those 25 strata lots would pay for the gas based on their relative unit entitlement. Types are a simple method of allocating an operating cost only to those entitled users without the need for a higher level of administration. 

I have reviewed your registered strata plan and documents and discovered an error in how your strata corporation and sections are being administered. The restaurant is not part of your strata corporation. If you look closely at your registered strata plan, you will see it is a separate property, partly under your building, where an air-space parcel agreement was created. An air-space parcel agreement is an easement/contract filed on the Strata Corporation General/Common Index that defines how multiple property owners share use and liability of properties within the same air space.

Your ASP sets out use of parking, shared cost formulas for joint areas and terms for shared liability. In your ASP, the restaurant owner has no voting privileges or rights to attend your general meetings of the corporation or sections, even though some of your current general meetings indicate they were at the meetings, made motions and voted on matters.

It would be valuable for your strata corporation to speak with a lawyer to explain the formulas and obligations of the ASP to ensure the fees and allocations of costs and use are being properly administered.  Go to and type in the search “Understanding Air Space Parcel Agreements” for an extensive guide on the subject.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Dwell24 at 2565 Runnel Drive Coquitlam 24 townhomes from 1,323 to 1,638 square feet by Epix Developments and The Circadian Group

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

At Dwell24, the finishes are both practical and appealing

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Dwell24, a project from Epix Developments and The Circadian Group, comprises 24 townhomes in Coquitlam.

A bedroom imagined for a young occupant at Dwell24.

Banquette seating in the dining room is topped by a large mirror and features storage underneath

The kitchen features smooth and sleek finishes in light monotone shades


What: 24 townhomes

Where: 2565 Runnel Drive, Coquitlam

Residence sizes and prices: Three- and four-bedroom townhomes ranging from 1,323 to 1,638 square feet; from $898,900

Developer: Epix Developments and The Circadian Group

Sales centre: 101 — 2565 Runnel Drive, Coquitlam

Hours: Saturday — Wednesday, noon — 5 p.m.

Telephone: 604-461-6698

With her deft handling of monochromatic shades, rich textures and innovative storage, designer Samantha Muller brings shape to the interiors at Dwell 24, a new townhome community in Coquitlam from Epix Developments and the Circadian Group.

With her deft handling of monochromatic shades, rich textures and innovative storage, designer Samantha Muller brings shape to the interiors at Dwell 24, a new townhome community in Coquitlam from Epix Developments and the Circadian Group. Muller, a principal at Kleen Design, introduced subtle layers of shade and minimalist cabinetry to offer visitors ideas on how to make their home decor practical and beautiful. Kleen Design integrates storage into the decor of the spacious living rooms. Muller takes advantage of all the space available on a full wall, creating a “line” for the eye to follow from one area to another.

“I’m a lover of clean, simple lines and minimal clutter… I extended the cabinets into the living room and kitchen areas to provide extra storage, and added seamless banquette dining to continue the palette visually. We have loaded up the great room with practical storage solutions for the future homeowners.”

That banquette seating in the dining area is topped by a large mirror and features storage underneath. In effect, the entire wall in the dining area is lined with cabinetry. Muller has integrated the storage so well it becomes a vital part of the decor itself. “By designing practical storage for these homes, you can achieve the clutter-free look.” The kitchen appears larger with smooth finishes in light monotone shades. Muller describes it as “light, large, open utilizing a monochromatic palette, no visual pulls and integral fridge to visually expand the look of the space.” In one bedroom, a long plush panel stretches from one end of a wall to the next, a simple piece of decor that doubles as a headboard. Muller keeps the shades simple, restricted to whites and greys.

Muller is both a stickler for detail and a fan of the big statement bound to capture visitors’ attentions. She points to an open staircase with a glass partition wall as one feature she’s particularly proud of. “Usually, this is reserved for single-family homes,” she says. “This detail really gives these homes a high-end single-family feel.” Dwell24 consists of five buildings and 24 three-storey townhomes. Homes have three or four bedrooms, single or double garages and decks or patios on every level. Potential homebuyers can see the entire layout of their homes in a cross-section diagram: it offers an effective way of showing a plan that shows potential occupants how they can relax, work and entertain in comfort. “It does give you a better idea of how you could utilize the space,” Muller says.

“Many people can’t imagine walking through a space when looking at a floor plan, and this is a mindful tool to help future homeowners envision maneuvering through the space.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Vancouver home price growth not the fastest nationwide

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Prices increase by 6.68% in July

Ephraim Vecina
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

In its latest analysis using data from CREA, Better Dwelling arrived at a surprising result: Vancouver was not even in the top three markets in Canada that had the strongest price growth.

The study – which covered year-over-year figures up to July 2018 – reported that Vancouver exhibited only the fifth fastest growth rate nationwide in terms of home prices, at 6.68%.

The city still remained Canada’s most expensive housing market, however, with an average price of $1,087,500.

The other popularly acknowledged red-hot market, Toronto, had the third least affordable homes in the country at an average of $768,400 in July. This represented a slight 0.6% decline compared to the same time last year.

Three other markets in B.C. posted the fastest pace of home price growth nationwide last month.

Fraser Valley had the highest year-over-year increase at 13.83%, with an average home price of $831,300 that made it the second priciest across Canada.

Coming up second was Vancouver Island, which had a 13.75% increase (up to $489,800). Just behind was Victoria with 8.24% growth (up to $672,800).

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

B.C. Realtors still not allowed to openly publish home sale prices

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Toronto real estate agents ordered to release data to general public while it remains restricted to real estate professionals in Metro Vancouver

Frank O’Brien With files from Joannah Connolly
Western Investor

Last week, for the first time in Canada, the general public could see exactly what any home sold for through the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), but that information is not permitted to be published by real estate agents in B.C.

The release of sale price data in Toronto follows a Supreme Court decision August 21 in favour of a Competition Tribunal order that allowed publication of home sales price information. The decision forced TREB, which has been fighting against the ruling for seven years, to allow agents to make the information publicly available.

A number of Toronto real estate companies and listing services immediately put the data online through password-protected sites. All the user has to do is register and provide a password to access the information.

In a scroll through one listing service’s web page, it appears that most Greater Toronto homes are being sold for close to their listing price, which may not be the case in much of Metro Vancouver, where home sales have plunged about 32 per cent so far this year compared with 2017.

John Barbisan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, said his board cooperates with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and the Chilliwack Real Estate Board to provide Multiple Listing Service data in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

He said officials at all three boards have discussed the Competition Tribunal order, but could not say if or when sale price information would be accessible on agents’ websites in the region.

“It has only been three days [since the Supreme Court decision],” he said, adding that the boards will be meeting on the issue. “There has been no public pressure here to release home sale prices.”

Barbisan said a key issue is striking a balance between the public’s right to know and right of an individual to privacy.

In May this year, Glacier Media’s property portal began listing sale prices and other information about homes in the Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island via its Property Insights pages. The free, non-registration service allows users to plug in an address to find the home’s most recent transaction history, including prices and dates (on completed sales of the property), as well as similar nearby listings and the median price of those listings, the home’s BC Assessment value and other data.

© Copyright 2018 Western Investor

Tighter policies attractive to Toronto, Vancouver residents

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Angus Reid poll says residents want tighter policies

Ephraim Vecina

A recent Angus Reid Institute poll has found that residents of Toronto and Vancouver are chafing from the pressure of the outsized housing price growth that has characterized the markets in recent years.

The study also found that in both cities, residents indicated a desire for tighter housing policies at the federal and provincial levels, CBC News reported.

Among their preferred measures are restrictions on the number of properties that foreigners are allowed to buy, and speculation levies for those who don’t pay provincial taxes.

56% of Toronto’s residents said that they are laboring under the burden of soaring home prices. 13% added that they would like to see costs fall by 30% or more, and 22% said that a 10% price decline can make ownership more accessible to would-be buyers.

“The people of Greater Toronto are certainly more alive to [inflamed price growth] than they were three years ago,” the Angus Reid report stated.

Toronto’s location was deemed the leading factor fuelling price growth, followed by low interest rates and foreign investors.

As for Vancouver, Angus Reid found that nearly 75% of residents polled believed that housing costs have become “unreasonably high”. 20% of respondents said that prices need to shrink by 30% or more, while 29% said that their budgets would welcome at least a 10% drop.

Vancouver’s home owners cited foreign buyers, wealthy investors, and the market’s desirable location as the top 3 factors propelling price growth.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Apartment building owners face tougher times, but prices remain high

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Purpose-built rental buildings increase

Frank O’Brien
Western Investor

The signs are subtle so far, but they may represent the first downdraft in Metro Vancouver’s multi-family apartment building market after years of record-snapping demand and prices. And yet, multi-family investment insiders remain confident of future performance.

The warning signals include a rush of new purpose-built rental buildings, an increase in rentals due to a housing sales slump that has shoved more rentals on the market and extremely skinny capitalization rates. And, of course, upcoming changes to the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act that many believe will tilt regulations in favour of tenants.

If a correction is coming, however, it has yet to show up in sales and prices of apartment buildings that have continued a sizzling pace this year.

During the first half of 2018, 89 apartment buildings sold in Metro Vancouver for a total dollar volume of $1.4 billion. This is up from the same period in 2017 when 87 buildings sold for a total volume of $1.3 billion. The most dramatic change is in the price per suite: this year it is an average of $494,723 per door, up 21 per cent from the first half of last year, according to the Goodman Report 2018 Mid-Year Review, published by David Goodman and Mark Goodman of HQ Commercial.

Older apartment buildings with a solid potential for land development have seen the most startling price increases. Examples: an aging eight-suite apartment building on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver that sold for $800,000 per door; and a 66-suite old-timer on Alberni Street in the West End that sold for an eye-popping $1.9 million per apartment.

Speculation on future rezoning

But multi-family investors speculating on future land demand without the necessary zoning in place will face headwinds.

“We are seeing property sitting on the market because the vendor is wanting to achieve development values but there is not a subscribed redevelopment plan in place for the property; it is only speculation,” said David Venance, vice-president and multi-family specialist with JLL Canada in Vancouver. “[Such properties] are perceived as being overpriced.”

With an average multi-family capitalization rate of 2.8 per cent, most investors are unwilling to risk such low yields on a speculative play, Venance explained.

He said investors should check the local municipality’s official community plan and zoning parameters to know if there is a potential for a rental property to be developed into higher-density residential.

Spike in apartment inventory

Another spook in the rental space is the spectre of an inventory spike in a market accustomed to the tightest vacancy rate of any major Canadian city.

In the city of Vancouver, the number of rentals available in July increased 15.1 per cent from the same month a year earlier to 5,319 listings.

“Summer is usually tight relative to the rest of the year for rental supply, but we saw more listings this July than any month in 2017,” said Louie Dinh, a data analyst at Quantitative Rhetoric. Dinh compiles his information from online rental advertising listings.

He added that Vancouver rent increases have stalled, albeit at nosebleed levels, since January. Current advertised rents in Vancouver are $1,950 for a one-bedroom, with two-bedrooms at an average of $2,650 per month.

Dinh suggests the increase in rentals is linked to the 30 per cent plunge in housing sales this year in Metro Vancouver compared with 2017.

“Now that price growth has stalled, owners have to generate cash flow to cover their costs. Therefore, we should see more rental listings,” Dinh explained.

As well, there are now 17,296 new rental units under construction, approved or proposed across Metro Vancouver, the largest purpose-built rental construction blitz in decades. So far this year 1,265 new rentals opened. It could take five years for all the new product to complete, however.

Demand remains strong

Mark Goodman is among those convinced Metro’s multi-family market will continue strong, despite recent challenges. He points to high immigration levels including a record level of foreign students, a 0.9 per cent rental vacancy rate and low-cost, long-term government-insured mortgages for multi-family projects as reasons for confidence.

“The market is very much alive, if not thriving,” Goodman said.

Vancouver residents want home prices to fall

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

A survey found 44% of homeowners affected by high costs

Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Residents of Canada’s priciest housing market want prices to fall, some by almost a third.

A survey of Vancouver residents – both renters and homeowners – has found that 44% say they have been personally affected by the high cost of real estate, while 83% say it is damaging the region.

And some are willing to see prices fall sharply to open up the market to those who are currently priced out.

While 26% said they would like to see a 10% drop in prices, 36% said it should be closer to 30%; 62% overall want to see a price drop.

The research, carried out by the Angus Reid Institute, shows that 8 in 10 renters and three quarters of homeowners say the region’s home prices are “unreasonably high”.

Six-in-ten (59%) say it is foreign buyer investments driving up costs, and 43% say it is wealthy individuals in general.

Almost 80% of respondents believe the government should be more involved in the housing market to improve affordability and 69% think first-time buyers should be prioritized.

However, two thirds say that whatever the government does, it won’t have much impact on affordability.

This is in line with a similar study in the GTA which also found that most in the region believe there is little that can be done to improve the current high prices.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

How has the on-demand economy impacted real estate?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Clients want real estate on-demand


Everyone wants everything. Right now. For centuries, thinkers and philosophers have dreamed of a world where if you could think of something, you could have it—instantly. But now, that’s more than just a vision. Millions around the world simply can’t imagine any other way to live.

And thanks to smartphones, they can get it. With more than 207 million smartphones in the U.S. today, 2 out of 3 people use one. They love the fast, satisfying technology. But even more than that, they love the promise: Getting what you want, with a few touches. Today, not tomorrow.

A successful business is an accelerated business. Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Go, Uber and the entire mobile banking industry have all built their reputations on instant gratification. And now, real estate is joining the party, too—if you’re ready.

We asked 476 real estate agents how on-demand technology has changed client relationships. Results were surprising.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd