Archive for the ‘Real Estate Related’ Category

ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX FOR FOREIGN ENTITIES AND TAXABLE TRUSTEES

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

other

  1.    Has gone from 15% to 20%, effective today.
    2.    Contracts written before Feb. 20, 2018 with a closing on or before May, 2018 are exempted, but only for Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan or Nanaimo Regional District. Note this exemption does not apply in Greater Vancouver.
    3.    Transfers pursuant to court order, order nisi of foreclosure, separation agreement, transfer from personal rep of deceased’s estate to beneficiary or transfer to surviving joint tenant are also exempt, provided the triggering event occurred before Feb. 20, 2018.
    4.    This tax applies to the Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Nanaimo Regional District and Greater Vancouver. The areas for each region can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/additional-property-transfer-tax/bc-areas
    5.    Only on residential property; if property is farmland or commercial with a residential component, tax applies on the residential component.
    6.    Exemption for BC Provincial Nominee Program still applies.

    SPECULATION TAX

    1.    Tax is meant to target foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C.
    2.    Tax will apply to same areas as foreign buyers tax apart from Okanagan, where it only applies to Kelowna and West Kelowna.
    3.    Starts in 2018 at $5.00 per $1,000.00 of assessed value, goes up to $20 in 2019.
    4.    Not sure how this will affect vacation homes, nor when this tax is payable.

    PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

    1.    Tax rises from 3% to 5% on value of homes over $3,000,000.00.
    2.    Remains at 1% on first $200,000.00, 2% on amounts between $200,000.00 and $2,000,000; 3% on amounts between $2,000,000.00 and $3,000,000.00 and 5% on amounts over $3,000,000.00.

    PRE-SALE CONDO ASSIGNMENTS

    1.    Developers will collect and report information about pre-sale condo purchases; nothing else in budget about pre-sale contracts or assignments that we have seen.

    B.C. HOME OWNER SECOND MORTGAGES  

    1.    This program is now cancelled – don’t think it was used much anyway.

Confusion beclouds B.C. housing market

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Dirk Meissner
REP

Real estate experts say the British Columbia government started to build a strong foundation for more affordable housing in Tuesday’s budget, but opinion varies on the expected outcomes.

Finance Minister Carole James is trying to ease the province’s housing crisis by introducing a new tax on property speculators, expanding and increasing a tax on foreign homebuyers and spending $6 billion to build affordable housing over the next decade.

James said she expects to see property values start to drop as her budget measures kick in.

“We’re an amazing province,” she said Wednesday after speaking to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “There’s no question people are going to want to live in B.C. But we need to see a moderation and my hope is, by addressing both supply and demand, you’ll see more supply in the market that will ease some of the cost pressures and you’ll see a moderation.”

Cameron Muir, chief economist at the Real Estate Board of B.C., said plans to help build 114,000 affordable housing units will offer much needed supply for rental and low-income properties.

But he said a tremendous undersupply of available homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna, coupled with B.C.’s strong economy, will keep home prices from dropping.

“In terms of market impacts, it may be great to raise tax revenue, but this is not going to have a demonstrable impact on housing markets,” said Muir. “The chief culprit of rising home prices is the inability to supply the housing market in a timely fashion.”

Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business said he hopes the speculation tax will help make the lower end of the market more affordable, particularly for condos.

The levy will be introduced this fall, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave homes vacant.

In the 2018 tax year, the rate will be $5 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Next year, the rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value. It will initially apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Victoria area, the Nanaimo Regional District, Kelowna and West Kelowna.

A non-refundable income tax credit will also be introduced to offset the new levy, providing relief for people who do not qualify for an exemption but who pay income taxes in B.C.

The tax makes a lot of economic sense, Davidoff said, because B.C. has high income and sales taxes but low property taxes, which encourages vacationers to buy property and makes life more expensive for workers.

“That is the worst possible idea in a market like Vancouver where you have a tremendous amenity level and it’s so hard to build,” he said. “We’re such a draw for people who don’t want to work here, but do want a lovely vacation home.”

People who are affected by the new levy might sell their properties, freeing up housing for locals, he said.

One issue the budget didn’t directly address is zoning, Davidoff said, adding that the taxes on speculation and foreign buyers might provide some indirect help because they will “bash” the high end of the real estate market. That encourages people to push for changes in zoning density to keep their property values up, he explained.

“The property they own is going to be worth a lot less than it was before this tax. When you have new zoning, there’s a trade off your property becomes more valuable because you can put greater density on it, but you don’t like what’s happening to your neighbourhood,” Davidoff said.

He said the changes make it more attractive for people to subdivide a single luxury property into five or six moderately priced properties.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Vancouver approves two new rental housing buildings

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Steve Randall
REP

The City of Vancouver has approved two new desperately needed rental housing developments.

The approval of the rezoning of two 100% rental buildings Tuesday comes at a time when the city’s rental vacancies are below 1%, pressuring rents and creating extra challenges for those renters trying to save for homeownership.

The new buildings – on Main Street and West King Edward Avenue – will add a combined 88 units to the rental market, adding to the 181 already approved this year.

“Over the last year, we’ve approved more than 3,000 new homes—rental, social, and supportive housing—for people who live and work in our city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re working hard to deliver more affordable homes for local residents by introducing Canada’s first Empty Homes Tax, implementing new regulations on short-term rentals, and providing temporary modular housing for our most vulnerable residents. Our housing agency VAHA is building more below-market housing than any other developer in Vancouver.”

The Mayor said that no other Canadian city is doing more to tackle the affordable housing issue than Vancouver.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Main & Twentieth 209 East 20th Avenue 42 homes in a 4 storey mid rise by Landa Global Properties

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

New condos on former Mount Pleasant coffee shop site now up for pre-sale

Stephanie Ip
The Vancouver Sun

Condos that will soon sit on the Mount Pleasant lot where Bean Around The World used to be are now for sale — which you can afford if you give up about 200,000 lattes or have $800,000 kicking around.

The development at Main Street and East 20th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant — named Main & Twentieth — is being marketed to pre-registered prospective buyers, and a quick glance at the floor plans and their prices is enough to make most people do a spit take.

Previously, the lot was home to Bean Around The World, where it had operated for the last 16 years. The coffee shop closed last summer to make way for Landa Global to begin construction on the development, after it had purchased the land for about $11.4 million back in 2015.

Suites range from one-bedrooms to two-bedroom and flex suites, with some laid out in a split-level loft style, and they won’t come cheap. According to a recent survey, there were no new condos available in 2017 in Vancouver for under $500,000.

But if you had double that amount, you might be able to move into one of 42 homes being constructed at 209 East 20th Ave., where residential suites will sit atop commercial units at street level.

A one-bedroom loft measuring between 620 and 647 square feet, with just under 300 sq. ft. of outdoor space, begins at $799,900. Meanwhile, two-bedroom suites measuring between 713 and 942 sq. ft., with anywhere from 64 to 658 sq. ft. of outdoor space, start at $945,900.

Let’s take a look at some of the floor plans for available suites, shall we?

Unit 210 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 747 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 67 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $968,900.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit 201 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite with two bathrooms spread over 769 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 114 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.01 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit 212 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 804 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 243 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.1 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit PH7 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 757 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 69 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.02 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

There will be 42 suites in total, set around an open-air courtyard that allows for windows on both sides of each suite.

The expected completion date of the project is winter 2019.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Musqueam development Area D, bounded by University Boulevard, Acadia, Agronomy and Toronto roads and Wesbrook Mall

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Musqueam development will double population of University Endowment Lands

Susan Lazaruk
The Vancouver Sun

Massive development by the Musqueam First Nation near the University of B.C. will almost double the population of the University Endowment Lands, and the province is developing the area’s neighbourhood plan to prepare for the influx of new residents.

And the endowment lands’ administration and some residents say this could be the start of densification of the land called Area D, which an elected council member predicts will transform the village into another concrete-and-glass neighbourhood like Yaletown.

A reconciliation deal returned 22 acres of a forested area of the endowment lands to the band, and the Musqueam were granted a zoning exemption from the four-storey building limit. That allowed the band to build residential towers as high as 18 storeys, and Mojan Nozari, a member of the Community Advisory Council for Area D, said she fears that’ll also change University Hill, where she’s lived since 2001.

“I believe it opens the gate for other owners to build higher-density developments,” she said. “It’s going to become a city, it’s not going to be a university village anymore. There is no way we can escape it.”

The province is calling for urban-planning or architecture firms to bid for a proposal to help develop Area D, bounded by University Boulevard, Acadia, Agronomy and Toronto roads and Wesbrook Mall, and home to almost three-quarters of the endowment lands’ 3,000 residents. Most live in multi-family units, including rentals.

The Musqueam’s planned 10-year development, which will add 1.2 million square feet of residential and 30,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, is expected to grow the endowment lands’ population by another 2,500 residents. The endowment lands are an unincorporated community, meaning it has no municipal council, and is directly governed by the province through the Municipal Affairs and Housing Ministry.

The ministry is appealing to professional planners for help in developing a neighbourhood plan to “guide future development, revitalize the sense of community and improve the sense of community,” and transit, ministry staff said in an email. It gives endowment lands’ residents input to “provide guidance for future development proposals.” The ministry’s call for proposals says the winning bid will help “review the structure of land-use regulation” and “identify regulatory options” for redevelopment proposals.

The endowment lands’ administration office didn’t return a request for comment.

But the latest endowment lands’ community newsletter called University Hill Connections, said the endowment lands “can also expect pressure to redevelop other portions of the multi-family neighbourhood (Area D) in the near future.” It said it also means residents can expect a rise in their taxes, now about 20- to 30-per-cent lower than Vancouver’s.

The newsletter says rising real-estate prices and speculation, Area D’s aging infrastructure and the Musqueam redevelopment, as well as a push for increased density across Metro Vancouver, are putting development pressures on Area D.

The advisory council approved the province’s call for proposals to develop a neighbourhood plan for Area D, said Justin LeBlanc, also an elected member of the advisory council for Area D. He said he supports the Musqueam’s right to develop their land as they choose to.

Residents will have a say on the future development of Area D and that doesn’t necessarily mean highrises, he said. “I’m not sure if the Musqueam development opens the door to denser or more development. Right now we have set limits for density.”

He said he wouldn’t oppose increased density as long as it included plans for affordable housing and rental accommodations.

LeBlanc, a scientist who attended UBC but who no longer works on campus, rents a suite above the shops in the village, which he says are “80-per-cent fast-food.” He said he would like to see fewer restaurants that rely on single-use, disposal-serving dishes, better waste disposal and improved bike lanes addressed in the neighbourhood plan.

Other residents’ concerns noted in a questionnaire include the increased demolition of older homes to be replaced by those of a West Coast contemporary design, the number of vacant homes, overgrown hedges, camper vans parked in residential areas, garbage and noise. Respondents in areas A, B and C, which are mostly single-family dwellings, weren’t concerned about density.

But Nozari, who owns a townhouse next to the Musqueam development, said she doesn’t welcome skyscrapers and more neighbours.

“I moved here because I liked living in nature and in a low-density neighbourhood,” she said. “I have the horizon and I can easily see the trees.”

She said she foresees traffic jams, insufficient parking and the lack of transit for residents in the university’s off-hours.

“I’m planning to move,” said Nozari, who works in architectural design. “Why should I drive all the way to my job downtown when this neighbourhood is going to look like it does downtown? That’s not what UBC should be.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Hillside East 900 homes in two towers at Concord Brentwood 4880 and 4890 Lougheed Highway Burnaby by Concord Pacific Developments

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Hillside East noteworthy for its indoor-outdoor design

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Concord Brentwood – Hillside East

What: A total of 900 units in two concrete buildings of 55 and 45 storeys each, set in Concord’s 26-acre parkside community in the emerging Brentwood town centre neighbourhood.

Where: 4880 & 4890 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby

Residence sizes and prices: Homes range from a 545- square-foot one-bedroom with balconies measuring between 158 and 276 square feet, from high $500,000s; two-bedroom from $750,000s; two-bedroom-and-den from $840,000s; two-bedroom-and-den and three-bedroom homes from the Sky Collection (floor 44 and up) start at $1.19 million

Developer and builder: Concord Pacific Developments Inc.

Sales centre address: 4750 Kingsway, Burnaby

Sales centre hours: 11:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m., daily

When Olivia Lam and her team of designers at Liv Interiors were given a chance to design the interiors of homes with retractable doors — seamlessly opening up the living space to the outdoors — they knew it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

The “convertible living balconies” at Hillside East, a two-tower addition to Burnaby’s huge Concord Brentwood project, are creating a buzz among visitors, Lam says, adding she wasn’t surprised at the positive response.

“We really love the fact that the project’s emphasis on indoor-outdoor living is getting noticed,” says the principal of Liv Interiors.

The capacity of the sliding retractable doors to open the home up to the balcony space “is a very attractive design feature, and one that we believe homeowners will really love and embrace.”

The transition from indoor to outdoor is seamless: The threshold floor level between the open-concept space and the balcony has been removed, allowing occupants to transition smoothly to enjoy fresh air.

This feature is not new to luxury homes, and furniture designers have responded to the demand for attractive furnishings and materials that can adapt to indoor and outdoor living.
“Gone are the days when outdoor furniture was big, bulky and relegated to the outdoors only,” says Lam. “Today’s more modern and more refined outdoor furniture can often be seen inside homes, offices and other interior public spaces.”

Lam says she’d advise Hillside East homeowners to bring decor often used indoors to the outside area, and vice versa.

 “When bringing the outside in, having greenery inside the home allows for a visual connection to the outdoors. Take some interior home elements outside … light fixtures, tableware and decorative accessories like trays and candles.”

Area rugs, furniture and decorative cushions in similar colours, pattern, style or form can harmonize the colour scheme, she adds.

“We also suggest homeowners keep the areas by the sliding doors as clear and uncluttered as possible. Eradicating visual barriers helps to open up the views and creates a better connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.”
Meantime, Lam and her team used large-format porcelain tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms of Hillside East. She prefers the material to the pricier marble, as porcelain is lightweight and resistant to scratches and extreme temperatures.

The Liv Interiors team also made custom closets fashioned in a millwork wood finish. “Instead of selecting a specific brand and having them design the closets for us, we design each closet in-house with full functionality mind.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Meet the realtor transforming Vancouver one block at a time

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Navigating tricky world of land assemblies can be highly profitable and controversial

Christopher Cheung
Vancouver Courier

There are three Vancouver Specials near the old Little Mountain social housing complex on Main Street. The specials were built in 1979 and were assessed at about $1.4 million each. But as a set, they sold for more than $10 million, according to Western Investor in December. That’s more than double what they would’ve fetched if sold separately.

Land assembly is kind of like the board game Monopoly: assemble a bunch of adjacent properties to get more profit. In Vancouver, it’s usually the lots of detached houses that are assembled and developed into condo apartments.

But land assembly is a tricky game to play because it involves many players and takes a lot of patience. Neighbouring homeowners not only have to collaborate, but be in consensus when selling their properties as a set to developers.

“It’s a long journey,” said Michelle Yu, “and they need to work together.”

If you recognize Yu’s name, it’s probably because you’ve seen it repeated on “for sale” signs in front of rows of detached houses on major Vancouver streets. Yu is a Re/Max specialist in land assemblies, and her team of 13 is behind deals that are transforming the residential landscape of Vancouver. To date, Yu and her team have sold 17 assembled sites in Vancouver.

Yu’s worked in Vancouver real estate since 1994, but decided to specialize in land assembly in 2010 when she realized its potential. Yu’s team gets more than 150 queries a year about possible land assembly.

“It’s not by what a seller might expect,” said Yu. “Making a house nicer doesn’t affect the value… The power to increase the value is not in their hands. It’s in the developers’ hands and the city.”

The right zoning and the right set of properties will entice a developer to pay top dollar for a site with development potential.

“Long, long time ago, people bought lots to make them smaller,” said Yu. “It’s kind of funny, now it’s the opposite.” Developers used to build nearly identical houses, to save money, on large lots before dividing them. That’s why there are adjacent Vancouver Specials in pairs around the city.

 

The business of people

Land assembly requires a range of expertise, which is why Yu has a lawyer, an engineer and an architect on her team to figure out what can be built where before selling to a developer.

Aside from the technicalities of properties and community plans, there’s the business of people.

“Some don’t want to leave the neighbourhood. They’re 90 something. Then what can you do?” said Yu. “You need to be patient and listen carefully about their concerns and why they don’t want to sell. It could be a tax reason or a tenancy reason or ‘I don’t know where to go.’”

Sometimes there’s nothing she can do to convince them. “I may just drop the deal,” she said.

Sometimes she’ll have to literally work around the problem. Yu was trying to assemble 10 properties near King Edward station, but one homeowner was absent. “Nobody ever found them,” said Yu. “Even the neighbours tried to go in to see if something was wrong inside. They even tried to make a block watch to see if anybody ever went inside but nobody came.” So Yu ignored that house and assembled the remaining properties separately. “So you may see this block with new townhomes with maybe the old house there.”

It’s not the only time Yu’s had to assemble the properties of interested homeowners and ignore the others. “Once I decided to cut a parcel of land to sell to one developer,” said Yu. “But then, the rest of the neighbours decided, ‘Oh, this is really serious business now!’ And they wanted to sell.”

Sometimes it’s not too late to add properties to a set; it depends on who the buyer is, said Yu. If it’s a developer who’s already submitted an application to city hall, it might be too late. But if an investor is just holding a set, they’re usually happy to add to it.

The entire process of gathering neighbours and selling can take as long as two years per site.

 

Cashing in on condos

Yu is about to add a new dimension to her business: selling assembled condos.

A strata corporation (the collective of condo owners in a building) used to require the approval of 100 per cent of its residents before it could be sold, also known as a strata wind-up or liquidation. But new legislation in November 2015 brought that requirement of willing owners down to 80 per cent.

Strata corporations of old condo buildings that require expensive repair but are on hot land (like near transit) have begun to cash in. Like land assembly, it can be more profitable in some cases to sell as a set than to sell a condo unit individually.

“On a block I might have to touch 10 homeowners, but now I have to touch the whole building,” said Yu. That’s homeowners in the hundreds.

Yu’s also planning to expand her business to help market new developments. From residential sales to land assembly to condo marketing, she says her team will be a “one-stop shop.” Since she already has realtors standing by, she thought why not help developers presell?

 

Criticism, context and change

There are some urban design criticisms of land assembly policies, saying that it compels massive projects that make people feel small and alienated because they’re not often designed with the human scale in mind. Specifically, lacking visual complexity, lacking harmony with existing neighbourhood buildings and lacking the ability to provide an intimate pedestrian experience. It’s not that these critics hate density or development; they just want it to be introduced with thoughtful, contextual design.

“Some people [who] have lived in Vancouver for so many years might not be used to the change, but there’s a need,” said Yu. “That’s why the city’s spending so much energy and time… trying to make high-density in certain areas or making use of the SkyTrain. Personally, I like a city with more energy.”

Glacier Community Media © Copyright ® 2013 – 2018

B.C. budget takes aim at foreign buyers

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Laura Kane
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

British Columbia is raising its foreign buyers tax and expanding it to areas outside of Vancouver, while bringing in a new levy on speculators, as part of a sweeping plan to improve affordability in the province’s overheated housing market.

The New Democrat government unveiled a 30-point housing plan in its first full budget on Tuesday that also increases the property transfer tax and school tax on homes over $3 million, and invests $6 billion in building 114,000 affordable homes over the next decade.

“Our intent is to bring stability to housing prices with these changes and have revenues to invest in building affordable housing,” said Finance Minister Carole James in a speech to the legislature.

“We recognize these are bold actions. But that’s what B.C.’s housing crisis demands.”

The previous Liberal government introduced a 15 per cent tax on homes purchased by foreigners in Metro Vancouver in 2016. Sales slowed for several months before rebounding and prices have continued to rise.

The minority NDP government will increase the tax to 20 per cent and will also apply it to homes in the Fraser Valley, central Okanagan, the Nanaimo Regional District and the Victoria area. The changes take effect Wednesday.

The speculation tax will be introduced this fall. The annual property tax will target foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave homes vacant. Satellite families, or households with high foreign incomes that pay little local income tax, will also face the levy.

Exemptions will be available for most principal residences, long-term rental properties and certain special cases, so most homeowners in B.C. won’t be affected, James said.

“This tax will penalize people who have been parking their capital in our housing market simply to speculate, driving up prices and removing rental stock,” she said.

In the 2018 tax year, the rate will be $5 per $1,000 of assessed value. Next year, the rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value. It will initially apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Victoria area, the Nanaimo Regional District, Kelowna and West Kelowna.

A non-refundable income tax credit will also be introduced to offset the new levy, providing relief for people who do not qualify for an exemption but who pay income taxes in B.C.

Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association, said the tax could hit B.C. residents who have vacation properties or second homes, as the credit may not be enough to offset it.

It’s also unfair to penalize people from other provinces who own vacation homes in B.C., Muir added.

“That’s a really big tax increase for Canadians who have done nothing wrong but own recreation property in one of Canada’s most amenable climates,” he said.

Asked whether out-of-province owners of recreation properties in B.C. would be subject to the levy, James said the government was still considering possible exemptions.

The government also moved to close loopholes that allow people to skirt tax laws. It’s building a database on pre-sale condo assignments and a beneficial ownership registry that it will share with tax authorities.

The plan also addresses supply through what the government says is the largest investment in housing affordability in B.C. history _ more than $6 billion over 10 years to deliver 114,000 homes. That includes more than 14,000 rental units, 1,750 units for Indigenous people and 2,500 homes for the homeless.

It will increase a grant for elderly renters and expand a program that helps low-income families.

The government said it’s working with municipalities to develop new tools, such as rental zoning, and creating a new office to partner with non-profits and developers to build affordable homes.

Green Leader Andrew Weaver, whose three-member caucus struck a deal to support the minority NDP government, said the speculation tax and foreign buyers’ tax should be applied province-wide.

“We support these first steps, however, our view is that they’re not really as bold as we need to actually deal with the crisis before us,” he said.

The Opposition Liberals said the New Democrats have forgotten about creating revenue and tabled a budget that relies on taxes to pay for its promises.

Finance critic Tracy Redies doubted the government would be able to reach its affordable-housing goals.

“They said 114,000 housing units. They are coming up woefully short on that,” she said.

Thom Armstrong, executive director of the Co-op Housing Federation of B.C., applauded the government’s plan. Taxes on speculators and foreign buyers will help cool the market, he said.

“Anything that moderates demand in the market and has a dampening influence on prices will help the overall situation that our members and clients face,” he said.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

 

ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX FOR FOREIGN ENTITIES AND TAXABLE TRUSTEES

1.    Has gone from 15% to 20%, effective today.
2.    Contracts written before Feb. 20, 2018 with a closing on or before May, 2018 are exempted, but only for Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan or Nanaimo Regional District. Note this exemption does not apply in Greater Vancouver.
3.    Transfers pursuant to court order, order nisi of foreclosure, separation agreement, transfer from personal rep of deceased’s estate to beneficiary or transfer to surviving joint tenant are also exempt, provided the triggering event occurred before Feb. 20, 2018.
4.    This tax applies to the Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Nanaimo Regional District and Greater Vancouver. The areas for each region can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/additional-property-transfer-tax/bc-areas
5.    Only on residential property; if property is farmland or commercial with a residential component, tax applies on the residential component.
6.    Exemption for BC Provincial Nominee Program still applies.

SPECULATION TAX

1.    Tax is meant to target foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C.
2.    Tax will apply to same areas as foreign buyers tax apart from Okanagan, where it only applies to Kelowna and West Kelowna.
3.    Starts in 2018 at $5.00 per $1,000.00 of assessed value, goes up to $20 in 2019.
4.    Not sure how this will affect vacation homes, nor when this tax is payable.

PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

1.    Tax rises from 3% to 5% on value of homes over $3,000,000.00.
2.    Remains at 1% on first $200,000.00, 2% on amounts between $200,000.00 and $2,000,000; 3% on amounts between $2,000,000.00 and $3,000,000.00 and 5% on amounts over $3,000,000.00.

PRE-SALE CONDO ASSIGNMENTS

1.    Developers will collect and report information about pre-sale condo purchases; nothing else in budget about pre-sale contracts or assignments that we have seen.

B.C. HOME OWNER SECOND MORTGAGES  

1.    This program is now cancelled – don’t think it was used much anyway.

Landlords express anxiety about impact of cannabis legalization

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Ephraim Vecina
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Canadians will soon be able to add marijuana to their collection of household herbs, and that’s creating a nightmare for the country’s landlords.

With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set to legalize recreational weed in July, apartment owners are concerned about safety and potential damage to their buildings if tenants grow plants and smoke up in their units. Landlords are lobbying provincial governments for legislation that would ban marijuana use in rental units or allow them to add restrictions to lease agreements.

“We’re hammering away at this pretty tirelessly,” according to David Hutniak, chief executive officer of Landlord BC, a housing-industry group in the province of British Columbia.

“Can you imagine you’re living in a 100-unit apartment, and in theory, there could be 100 grow-ops in that thing? I mean, that’s ridiculous,” Hutniak told Bloomberg.

Cannabis stocks have jumped and businesses are primed to cash in on Canada’s long-awaited pot party. Yet federal regulations on recreational use of the drug in the country, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2001, are still being worked out. Proposals include allowing people to smoke in private residences and to grow as many as four plants per rental unit. Provinces have the right to set rules in their own jurisdictions, including age limits for possession of weed and whether landlords can restrict use on their properties.

One reason landlords don’t want tenants lighting up is that many rental buildings are fairly old, so “smoke and smells are easily transmitted through hallways between units” and can disturb others who don’t want to partake, Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations president John Dickie explained.

Growing pot requires certain humidity levels that may damage apartment walls, and the electrical wires required to run the operation can start fires, according to Hutniak. Budding plants also give off a pungent aroma that can seep through door cracks.

Failing to implement regulations that allow landlords to ensure smoke-free, grow-free units could lead to higher rents, according to William Blake, spokesman for the Ontario Landlords Association. Some provinces, including Ontario, block landlords from extracting damage deposits from tenants, said Blake, who once spent more than $5,000 to clear the smell from a marijuana smoker’s unit.

“This is not a political issue for us – we care about taking care of our tenants and keeping costs low,” Blake said. “When we have to pay out thousands of dollars, landlords will want to raise the rents for the next tenants.”

Finding an affordable apartment in supply-squeezed cities like Toronto and Vancouver is already challenging, and vacancy rates are at record lows. For people who use pot, the search may get even tougher: It is “legal and legitimate” for landlords to select tenants who don’t smoke, Dickie argued.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge 29 single family homes of five to six bedrooms by Marathon Homes

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Living large at Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge

Simon Briault
The Vancouver Sun

Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge

Project location: 6119 146 Street, Surrey

Project size: 29 single-family homes with five or six bedrooms, ranging in size from 3,119 to 4,100 square feet, with prices starting at $1,249,900 including GST

Developer: Marathon Homes

Architect: Tyan Design

Interior designer: Creative Design Works

Sales centre: 6119 146 Street, Surrey

Telephone: 778 -565-7768

Website: hillcrestbymarathon.ca

There’s something about a newly built home. Everything is shiny and untarnished, the stylings are modern, the appliances are efficient and – if you’ve picked a good homebuilder – the construction is solid.

For Dean Scott, who with his wife has bought a home at Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge, it’s that new-home feel he’s most looking forward to when they take possession in March.

Hillcrest is the third and final development by Marathon Homes in the Sullivan area of Surrey, collectively known as Sullivan Ridge. With a total of 29 homes ranging in size from 3,119 to 4,100 square feet, Hillcrest features architecture by Tyan Design and interiors by Creative Design Works.

“We’re selling a home in Richmond and the biggest thing for us is the fact that we’ll be moving into a new house from an older one where we raised our kids,” Scott said. “The finishing work in the home is tremendous. My father-in-law has been in the design business his whole life and he spent two hours in the show home and said we’d be hard pressed to find better construction and finishes anywhere else. It’s going to be great to have air conditioning in the summer too.”

“I’m also really looking forward to our new kitchen,” Scott added. “The layout of it is perfect, the quartz countertops are beautiful and there’s a gas stove. I do the cooking in our household and I love it. It’s a hobby for me.”

Jas Gill, Marathon Homes’ managing director, said that the company has tweaked the floor plans and updated the design for this latest collection of five- and six-bedroom single-family homes, most of which will have views of the North Shore mountains.

“One thing to note about Hillcrest is that the style is more contemporary and we’ve also updated all the finishes along the way,” Gill said. “The nice thing about this last phase is that I feel like the homes have a much better indoor-outdoor flow. You have a covered deck area, which wasn’t necessarily available in previous renditions and the garages are also larger in these homes. We’ve always offered functional plans, but I think now they’re not only functional, they’re really efficient as well.”

The homes come with completed basements with all the rough-ins included and there’s an option to turn them into suites, an option Scott intends to go for. All homes feature “family-sized” laundry rooms with side-by-side Whirlpool washers and dryers, natural gas fireplaces with stone surrounds, nine-foot-high ceilings in main living areas, designer lighting fixtures and custom chandeliers in the cathedral staircases.

Kitchens feature walk-in pantries, ceiling-height Shaker cabinetry with glass displays, chrome hardware on soft‑close doors and drawers, plus under-cabinet task lighting. There are polished quartz countertops as well as ceramic tile backsplashes. The stainless-steel appliance packages are by Whirlpool and kitchens also include built-in waste disposal units, single‑lever Delta faucets and pullout vegetable sprays with flex lines.

As for the bathrooms, they include large-format ceramic tile flooring, contemporary faucets and vanity mirrors. The master ensuites come with oversized walk-in glass showers, his-and-hers vessel sinks and quartz countertops. Main bathrooms have soaker tubs with ceramic tile surrounds and glass accents.

In addition to enjoying the fineries of his new luxury home, Scott says he’s looking forward to getting to know the area better.

“My wife knows Surrey better than I do, but once I did drive around the neighbourhood a bit I began to appreciate how many things were nearby,” Scott said. “There are a lot of restaurants and banks and grocery stores and pretty much everything you need. There’s also plenty of parks around there and we’ll be a little closer to the border and to White Rock, which is an area we like very much.”

A map of the area around Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge is jam-packed with amenities. It includes no fewer than six parks and two golf courses, as well as a listing of 33 dining and shopping outlets, 12 educational institutions and nine leisure facilities.

Gill said that Marathon Homes has had a wide variety of buyers visiting the Hillcrest at Sullivan Ridge show home and several homes have already been sold. Homes are priced from $1,249,900 including GST and the show home at 6119 146 Street is open from noon until 5 p.m. every day but Friday.

“Our buyer pool has been younger families for the most part,” Gill added. “We’ve had a nice mix of families from either the Surrey area or Richmond that are moving up from townhouses or coming out of older homes in search of something more modern.”

For Dean Scott, the best bit about moving in will be that new-home feel.

“The overall esthetics of the place are incredible,” he said. “I find it quite beautiful.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.