Archive for the ‘Real Estate Related’ Category

Low vacancies, rising prices pressuring Vancouver industrial market

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Steve Randall

Metro Vancouver’s vacancy rate for industrial real estate is trending lower, pushing up prices and creating pressure in the market.

The vacancy rate hit 1.6% at the end of the third quarter of 2017, down from the 1.8% a year earlier. Avison Young says the decline was despite the addition of 3.1 million square feet of new inventory, the same rate as every year since 2014.

“Metro Vancouver’s industrial development pipeline remains robust, but limited by a constrained supply of available industrial land,” comments Avison Young Principal Garth White. “Tenants seeking to expand or relocate should be in the market at least 12 to 24 months in advance of their lease expiry and will have to consider preleasing as an option.”

Metro Vancouver’s industrial market will surpass 200 msf in 2018 amid record sale prices and double-digit lease rates in many markets, Avison Young reports.

There were recorded vacancies above 2% in four Metro Vancouver markets: Burnaby (2.4%), Delta (2.7%), Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows (2.4%) and Port Coquitlam (2.2%).

Meanwhile, four markets recorded vacancie rates below 1%: Richmond (1%), Surrey (1%), North Vancouver (0.7%) and New Westminster (0.0%).

Copyright © 2017 Key Media Pty Ltd

Viridian 57 townhomes at 3618 150th Street Surrey by Portrait Homes Viridian Ltd

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

Viridian showcases both style and substance

Mary Frances Hill
The Province


Where: 3618 150th St., Surrey

What: 57 townhomes with two-car garages

Residence sizes and prices: Two to three bedrooms, 2,060 – 2,486 sq. ft., between $919,900 and $1,299,900.

Developer and builder: Portrait Homes Viridian Ltd.

Sales centre address: 3618 150th Street, Surrey

Sales centre hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat. — Thurs.

Behind the traditional decor in the display home at Viridian, Portrait Homes’ community of townhomes in Surrey, visitors can find the substance and strength of carefully selected materials.

“We carefully research every finish we select for performance, not just looks,” says Lisa Perry, i3 Design’s director of interior design, who worked with Portrait Homes on the project.
The collaborators made sure every detail met their standards for resilience, choosing flooring from Germany, a country with strict environmental requirements for these materials, she says. “You know exactly what is being used in their manufacture.”
They also decided on what Perry calls a “registered emboss” (a texturing of sorts to mimic real wood) with a low sheen on the laminate flooring; this also makes the flooring easy for homeowners to clean and maintain.

Floor tiles in the display home are also full-body porcelain, a durable material that doesn’t scratch or chip, Perry adds. Comfort comes in the form of laminated fibreglass shingles with a 30-year lifespan, high-efficiency gas furnaces, rough-ins for central vacuum systems and energy-efficient windows.

The project backs on to park land and is just above the Nicomekl River

Greys with varied shades of blue and green make up the dominant shades in the open-concept space, reflecting the true meaning of Viridian, a tone inspired by the outdoors, Perry says. “We took cues from the natural beauty surrounding the site and coastal tones.”

Though the general style of decor leans to traditional or transitional style, Perry brings in an industrial tone with metal kitchen island chairs and a dining room pendant lighting. These pieces soften up the general formality of the home, and add a casual flair. “Many purchasers will be coming from larger single-family homes and may want to bring their bedroom or dining sets with them,” Perry says. “We wanted to show people that you can mix old and new for a more eclectic look.”

Granted, Perry wasn’t alone in the decision-making. She says that the collaborative working relationship with Portrait Homes was critical to the selection of materials. i3 Design worked with the entire Portrait Homes team, including the developer’s senior management, customer services sales and site staff. It was a memorable experience.

“Their walk-throughs [close examinations of the homes], are the most thorough I have ever encountered in this industry,” she says. Perry adds that she enjoyed seeing diplomacy and collaboration at work within a smaller family-based company.

“Everyone’s opinions are heard and the group comes to a consensus to ensure the best result for the purchaser…They have us provide samples of new products so they can test them in-house before they approve them to be used in their homes.”

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

How to Sell a Home When You Have Pets

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Mariko Baerg

While some homeowners have strict outside-only pet rules, most allow their animals inside their homes and their pets are considered as part of the family. If you are selling a home with pets, it is very likely that you’ll need to do some serious housecleaning and possibly some repair work before you list your home.

Love is blind, and that cat fur embedded in the carpets, the litterbox, the hole in the wall chewed by your dog are all things that can easily be overlooked when your pet is your best friend. However, just because you’re able to turn a blind eye, it does not mean every home-buyer will be as forgiving. Home sellers who adore their pets (me included) can have a hard time imagining the negative attitudes that others have towards their pets. Nevertheless, if you truly want to receive top dollar for your house, make sure to follow these top tips and notes for selling a home with pets by reading this article.

Why Don’t Home Buyers Like Your Pet?

Don’t take it personally – it’s not you, it’s them! To make sure that you’re fully on board with our tips, here are some reasons why home buyers may not like your pet:

Nervousness: Pets make some people uncomfortable because pets are not always predictable. Keep in mind that a lot of people may have not grown up with a family pet and are inexperienced being around animals.

Fear (both real and irrational): If someone has had a bad experience with a pet in the past then his or her first reaction to seeing a pet will be fear. Regardless of whether the home buyer has a rational or irrational fear, you never want them to feel afraid when they come to your house… it’s just not good for a top-dollar sale.

Your pets aren’t their pets: Most pet owners, including potential buyers who have their own pets, thinks their pets are perfect but have a false illusion that yours will bark, scratch, snap, bite and so on. Like we said, love is blind!

Allergies: A number of people are allergic to dogs and cats, and having them around – or even just their residual fur – may set off the sneezing and coughing in a potential buyer. They’ll be out of the showing before they can fall in love with your home.

Overcoming the Problems

So, how do you overcome all those negatives associated with your pets and ensure that buyers will focus only on the great things about your home? Minimize the objections and nuisance factors, real or otherwise, by paying attention to the following tips and tricks: 

Temporarily relocate your pets: The best way to ensure that you receive the highest price for your home is to relocate your pet while you are on the market. If your pet can only be relocated for a short period of time, try to have them away from the time that you first list the property until you have an accepted offer that is firm. For the best results, consider one of the following options for your best bud(s):

  • Send them on a vacation to hang out with your friend or relative.
  • Board them at a kennel.
  • Bring them to work with you.
  • Move out first, and take your pets with you.

In the case that your pet cannot be relocated for an extended period of time, then at the very least it is best to make sure that they are not present at the showings and open houses.

Repair any damage: Where there are pets, there is typically house damage. If your pet has stained a carpet, chewed through your wall, scratched your doors, or damaged the home in any way, it is extremely important that the damage is repaired prior to showing your home. If buyers see something that’s damaged and related to a pet, they’ll start looking for or assume there are other issues somewhere else in the home. While it may be a costly upfront investment to ensure that everything is in top shape, the value that you will get for your house will be well worth paying for the repairs.

Clean up poop in the yard: Make it your mission to clean up all the poop in the yard before every showing and open house (or better yet, at soon as the deed is done!). There aren’t very many things that will make a worst first impression than stepping in dog poop as you’re checking out a back yard! Furthermore, don’t forget to do this once more right before you handover the keys and move out.

Remove carpet and floor pet stains: If your carpet is really beat up, you may want to consider replacing your flooring. In the case that you’ve thought of switching over to hardwood flooring anyways, now may be the time to do it! At the very least, make sure that your carpets are professionally cleaned prior to listing to ensure that the stains are taken out to the best of your ability. A steam-clean can do wonders, and your clean will more than pay for itself in the perceived value of your property.

Tuck away dog and pet accoutrements: Just because you have a pet doesn’t mean that you need to advertise this fact to the home-buying world. Try and follow these simple steps to putting all the “stuff”’ away to ensure that you have an image of clean throughout your home:

  • Put away food and water bowls.
  • Hide away any pet rags.
  • Pick up pet toys and put them away.
  • Pack up cat trees and scratching posts.
  • Pack up all cages, carriers, etc.
  • Clean up their fur and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Pro tip: If you live in a large home, try restricting your pet’s access to only a portion of the house to reduce the number of rooms you need to thoroughly clean on a regular basis while your home is on the market.

Try to mask smells: Ever seen or heard that Febreze commercial where they talk about going “nose blind” to the odours in your house? As humans, our senses can adapt so well that it is easy to get accustomed to a strong pet smell over time. Before listing your home for sale you should give it a thorough clean from top to bottom and eliminate anything that gives out any pet-related odour. Start with this list:

  • Thoroughly wash the floors.
  • Have your carpets cleaned.
  • Feed dry food instead of canned (the smell lingers longer than you realize).
  • If your dog has a pee rug, dispose of it.
  • Throw out old stuffie toys.
  • Put away dog and cat beds.
  • The litter box – enough said.

If you’re still unsure about the smell after all of your efforts, bring in a neighbour for a smell check!

Preparing your home to show for sales is always a lot of work, but especially if you are selling a home with your pets. However, your efforts to keep your property as clean and presentable as possible will pay off, in your time on the market and your sales price.

Putting in effort by following the tips above when preparing your home for sale will ensure that buyers are confident in the quality of your home, which will boost the likelihood of a multiple-offer scenario. 

© 2017

Pacific Heights by Foxridge Homes 16752 18th Avenue Surrey 28 single-family homes

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Customizable luxury at South Surrey’s Pacific Heights

Simon Briault
The Vancouver Sun

Pacific Heights by Foxridge Homes

Project location: 16752 — 18 Ave., Surrey

Project size: 28 single-family homes with four or five bedrooms, starting at 3,082 square feet and priced from $1,479,900.

Developer: Foxridge Homes

Interior designer: First Impression Design

Sales centre: 16752 — 18 Ave., Surrey

Hours: open daily, noon —  5 p.m. 

Telephone: 604-427-1803


Pacific Heights by Foxridge Homes is a development of 28 luxury single-family homes with four or five bedrooms. And with units starting at more than 3,000 square feet, it may be surprising to think that many of the buyers at this emerging South Surrey neighbourhood will, in fact, be downsizers.

“We’ve had young families and move-up buyers, as well as downsizers moving out of acreages with absolutely enormous houses on them,” said Diane Zarola, Foxridge Homes’ director of sales and marketing. “Those people are still looking for single-family homes, but smaller ones where they don’t have acres of land to look after.”

Carolyn Young is a perfect example of what Zarola is talking about. She and her husband, who live in the Elgin Chantrell neighbourhood of South Surrey, have bought a home at Pacific Heights and expect to take possession in the spring.

“Our current place is about 5,000 square feet on a half-acre lot,” Young said. “I realize we’re moving to a smaller lot and a smaller home, but we’re at a point in our lives where my eldest son is in college and my younger son is in Grade 10, so we really don’t need this much space. I’m tired of housework and my husband is tired of yard work.”

Along with all the benefits of moving into a home that involves far less upkeep, Zarola says many downsizers are attracted by the thought of having all new kitchens and bathrooms, rather than having to go through the stress of renovations.

“The construction techniques have become so much more advanced since those old acreage homes were built,” she said. “All of the new technology makes a big difference — better materials, more efficient furnaces and water tanks, state-of-the-art appliances, better insulation, higher quality windows, longer-lasting roofs and the list goes on and on.”

“The building standards have improved so much over the years,” Zarola added. “Everything’s brand new and it’s all under warranty. On top of that, you get all the latest designs and colours in terms of sinks and countertops and fittings. Those things weren’t so available 20-odd years ago.”

There are two different styles of homes on offer at Pacific Heights by Foxridge – some with a full walk-out basement and others that have a much larger ground floor and a ground level that leads straight out to the back yard, with an underground basement.

Homes feature 10-foot-high ceilings and oversized windows throughout the main floors. There are contemporary designer-selected light fixture packages, hardwood flooring throughout the main levels (including the powder rooms) and linear gas fireplaces in the great rooms.

The kitchens have open-concept layouts with oversized centre islands, abundant storage and large pantries. There are high Shaker-style maple cabinets with soft-close doors and drawers. Buyers will also get quartz or granite countertops and full-height backsplashes, undermount stainless steel double bowl sinks and premium Bosch stainless steel appliance packages that include built-in microwaves, wall ovens and five-burner gas cooktops. Ensuite bathrooms feature Mirolin freestanding soaker tubs, separate frameless glass shower and double vanities. There are granite or quartz countertops and ceramic tile floors.

While Pacific Heights by Foxridge Homes benefits from a quiet location, Zarola is keen to stress that all the shopping in South Surrey at Morgan Crossing is within a few minutes drive, as is the aquatic centre.

“All the amenities you could think of are right there – everything from Canadian Tire to Aldo shoes,” she added. “Everything is so close, but not in your face. It’s a lovely location and some of the homes will also have views of Semiahmoo Bay and the Strait of Georgia.”

Young said she stumbled upon the subdivision and decided to find out which builders were going to be building homes there.

“Foxridge was one of them and I really liked their floor plans,” she said. “The other thing that really made a difference for me was that other developers offer you three or four set colour schemes, but with Foxridge you can pick anything you want. I loved the fact that we could personalize our home.”

The show home at Pacific Heights by Foxridge Homes includes the company’s famous design centre, where buyers can choose from a wide range of colours, materials, finishes and upgrades.

“We’re the only builder in the Lower Mainland that encourages our buyers to make their own decisions for their home when it comes to the colours and the finishes,” said Zarola. “It gives them the opportunity to customize their home in almost every way, both inside and out. Those are choices that nobody else provides and it definitely sets Foxridge Homes apart. No fixed colour schemes – our buyers can choose exactly what they want.”

Prices start at $1.47 million and the show home at 16752-18 Avenue is open from noon to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

B.C. real estate watchdog bans controversial practice of ‘dual agency,’ despite industry objections

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

B.C. real estate regulator bans dual agency

Dan Fumano
The Province

Over objections from the industry, B.C.’s real estate regulator will prohibit the controversial practice of dual agency — where a single realtor represents both the seller and buyer in a transaction — saying the ban will improve transparency and protect consumers.

The dual agency ban announced Wednesday is part of the first major rules to be introduced by B.C.’s Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate since the provincial government ended self-regulation of the real estate industry last year and transferred rule-making powers from the Real Estate Council of B.C. to the office of the government-appointed superintendent.

Last year’s regulatory changes, which included the appointment of a new superintendent of real estate with expanded oversight powers, were made after media scrutiny and widespread public concern over the Real Estate Council’s oversight of misconduct in the province’s red-hot housing market. B.C. adopted changes to the Real Estate Services Act, which the government said were intended “to increase oversight of the real estate industry and enhance consumer protection.”

Micheal Noseworthy, appointed in September, 2016, as B.C.’s superintendent of real estate, said in a media release Wednesday: “These rules will significantly change the way that real estate services are provided in British Columbia. … Ending dual agency removes the potential for conflict and serious problems. We want to create transparency for both consumers and licensees to ensure everyone understands in whose interest licensees must be working.”

In a September meeting with The Vancouver Sun and Province editorial board, Noseworthy said that after he took the position last year, “right away, I identified as the top priority figuring out what to do about so-called dual agency.”

“Dual agency, the way it’s allowed to be practised now, can lead to conflicts for consumers,” Noseworthy said then. “It’s a situation, a practice that’s unfortunately open to abuse, and I think it’s better for consumers if we close it, so there’s no opportunity for it to be abused.”

After his office released the proposed rule changes in September, the B.C. Real Estate Association, representing 22,000 real estate agents, opposed ending dual agency, with association CEO Robert Laing telling Postmedia: “Our biggest concern is the consumer’s right to make a choice about who they work with is being taken away from them. … The superintendent is trying to protect the consumers, but we think he is forgetting that, in a free-enterprise market, the consumer needs choice.”

Along with the dual agency ban announced Wednesday, other new rules are coming into effect next year nhance disclosure requirements for information that must be provided to clients about remuneration obtained by brokers and agents through commissions.

Ontario has also recently proposed banning dual agency, the Toronto Star reported in June, after government officials said consumers had raised concerns that financial incentives in double-ended deals could lead agents to engage in “unethical behaviour.”

Realtors can apply for an exception to the dual agency ban if a transaction occurs in a remote or underserved area of B.C. with limited access to licensed realtors.

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

Second + Main 180 East 2nd Avenue 233 homes in a 12-storey building by Create Properties

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Second + Main reflects the comforts of home

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

There’s the rigor of work, there’s the comfort of home and there’s the good fortune of Lucas van den Berg, who recognized the warmth and familiar features of his own home while at work as development manager at Second + Main, a residential community planned for Mount Pleasant.

Van den Berg and his family enjoy many of the features in the interiors, chosen by False Creek Design, in his own home, he says.

“The esthetic and design elements False Creek Design brought to the project are both very refined and very comfortable — the same features my family loves about our own home,” says van den Berg, a developer with Create Properties, which works with Northchild Developments on the project. “I have a lot of the same elements in my own home, from the Liebherr fridges and wall-hung European styled toilets, to the hot-rolled steel feature elements found in the common areas.”

The plan for the site includes commercial space, affordable housing and artists’ space, which reflects the needs of the population of Mount Pleasant, and which steered the developers’ and designers’ creativity in space planning, says van den Berg. They knew buyers would be keen to use mobile and space-saving features, such as a kitchen island with a pull-out table and mobile storage space, to suit their needs.

Van den Berg points to the customizable closet units with adjustable shelves and hanging space that can be moved where the homeowner needs. These mobile closets effectively change the layout of the rooms, “something that is impossible to do with fixed closets,” he says. “You can use the wardrobe units for a variety of storage without having to spend a lot of money.”

Though the design ideas are out of the ordinary, the overall finishes in the Second + Main units are simple. Embracing this no-frills simplicity was key to False Creek Design’s vision — specifically in the white kitchen food prep area that hugs the wall in an L-shape, fronted by an island with a built-in extendable dining table. “Together [with False Creek Design] we felt a European minimalist esthetic would help to achieve the space efficiency we were after,” van den Berg says.

Second + Main will offer the option of either of linear galley or L-shaped kitchen, and include European kitchen cabinetry in two colour schemes. The kitchen island was custom-designed and made locally by False Creek Design, and it’s as popular among sales centre visitors as the mobile pieces, he says.

Van den Berg says these options give the homeowners the liberty to live the way they want, unconstrained and free of fixed structures that limit their movement and decor and design choices.

“At the end of the day, we did not want to push any big personality on the homeowner, rather, provide them with a highly functional and sophisticated canvas they can make their own.”

Second + Main

Where: 180 East 2nd Ave., Vancouver

What: 233 homes

Residence sizes and prices: Studios, one-bedrooms, Micro 2 suites, two-bedrooms, two-bedroom-plus-den and three-bedroom suites, 479 to 999 square feet, from $579,000s to $1.5 million

Developer and builder: Create Properties

Sales centre: 180 East 2nd Ave.

Telephone: 604-877-3222

Hours: Sat — Thurs from noon — 5 p.m. Doors open at noon on Saturday for the grand opening of the “reserve collection” of suites

© 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.

How to Avoid the New Mortgage “Stress Test”

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Joannah Connolly

Home buyers in BC and across Canada are bracing themselves for strict new qualification rules coming into force in January for mortgage applicants who have more than 20% as a down payment.

Those buyers will have to undergo the same “stress test” that was introduced a year ago for buyers who have less than 20% down.

The stress test will now require all new applicants for mortgages at federally regulated financial institutions – such as banks and monoline lenders – to income-qualify at the Bank of Canada posted interest rate, which tends to be notably higher than the rate mortgage-holders will actually pay.

The new policy is said by mortgage professionals to reduce Canadians’ home-purchasing power by around 20%, as the higher interest rate will reduce the maximum mortgage that buyers will be able to borrow.

The move was put in place by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), which is the federal agency in charge of maintaining the stability of the Canadian banking system, and is intended to prevent consumers taking on too much mortgage debt.

However, some mortgage lenders – including credit unions such as Vancity, Coast Capital and Prospera – do not come under OSFI’s jurisdiction, as they are provincially regulated by the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM). Credit unions in BC are not required to “stress test” their mortgage applicants in the way banks are.

Therefore, a buyer can get a mortgage with a credit union and income-qualify at the rate they will be paying, which may give them more purchasing power.

When asked by REW whether FICOM BC intends to follow OSFI’s lead in implementing a “stress test,” Frank Chong, acting superintendent of financial institutions at FICOM, confirmed that there were no plans to do so. He issued the following statement to REW:

“FICOM has reviewed the new requirements from the federal bank regulator (OSFI) regarding requirements for residential mortgage qualification. These changes come into effect in January 2018 for federally regulated financial institutions but will not apply to provincially regulated institutions like credit unions now regulated by FICOM. Because some borrowers will not be able to qualify for mortgages with banks, they may migrate to credit unions or private lenders where qualifying is less stringent. FICOM has a residential mortgage guideline in place for credit unions and regularly reviews that directive to determine if credit unions are managing risks effectively. In the coming months, we will be consulting with credit unions and monitoring developments in residential mortgage lending to protect the interests of consumers and credit union members.

“We will continue to assess the situation, but no changes are contemplated in provincial requirements at this time.”

Alisa Aragon, mortgage expert at Bridgestone Financing Pros with DLC Mountain View Ltd., confirmed that credit unions do not qualify applicants at the higher rate, but offered a warning to buyers before they rush out to apply for credit union mortgages.

“Credit unions could be an alternative to other lenders if you don’t qualify with the stress test, but in certain cases the rates might be higher at credit unions, or the income ratios might be tighter. While you might qualify at a credit union, our job as mortgage experts is to get the best mortgage with the best rates and terms, whether that is at a credit union, banks, monoline lender or private lender.”

© 2017

Heather and Seventeenth 717 West 17th Avenue 16 homes in a 4 storey building by Terra Blanka

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Sublime Luxury Homes at Heather and Seventeenth


West Side Vancouver is one of most sought-after and coveted neighbourhoods; home to gorgeous tree-lined streets, stately homes and is within close proximity to Cambie’s charming village – with great shopping and dining. This is where Heather and Seventeenth – Terra Blanca Development’s newest and exclusive condominium project calls home.

Heather and Seventeenth is a luxury boutique-style, four-storey concrete building showcasing an exquisite collection of 16 residences, featuring two and three bedroom and den condominiums. This newest addition to the neighbourhood embodies the evolution of the sophisticated transitional style fused with a nod to the neighbourhood.

“The quiet Westside location and only 16 residences makes Heather and Seventeenth pretty unique in this coveted neighbourhood,” says Dave Bauman, director sales and marketing, Magnum Projects. “We have sold out of our first release and we are now releasing the final six homes, starting at $1,720,900.”

Bauman went on to say that this latest condominium project is attracting those empty-nesters who want to downsize from their large Westside homes but don’t want to leave their coveted enclaves.

“It’s a boutique-style condo building for people who really want to have a more intimate lifestyle and want to be able to lock their door and go on vacation,” he notes.

The impressive overheight New York-style lobby welcomes you home in style, with its porcelain slab on the walls and wood accents throughout, while the homes’ spacious and inviting interiors, ranging from 1,184 to 1,441 square feet, are full of light and exceptional finishes.

Designed by award-winning Cristina Oberti Interior Design, the open-concept residences feature everything you’d expect from a quality-built home, including wide plank engineered hardwood flooring throughout main living area, airy nine-foot-four-inch ceilings, large Masonite heritage series doors, and air-conditioning.

The Arclinea kitchens, designed by the renowned Italian architect Antonio Citterio, are showcased with  Sub Zero and Wolf appliances, three-quarter-inch square-edged quartz countertops with full-height porcelain slab tile backsplash, wine cooler, plus an island with seating for four.

The elegance doesn’t stop there. The bathrooms are equally impressive. They feature contemporary soaker tubs, NuHeat in-floor heating in the ensuites, floating Arclinea vanities, polished porcelain tiles on the walls with complimentary mosaic accent tiles in the main and ensuite bathrooms. 

Outside, the private enclosed balconies offer cityscape and mountain vistas, making them an extension of your new home and a great place to enjoy your morning coffee.

As one of the most distinguished and walkable neighbourhoods in Vancouver, you will find plenty of amenities and recreational opportunities, such as Heather and Douglas parks, all within easy walking or driving distance. Independent boutique shops, cafes and restaurants and easy access to transit are just a few of the reasons why you want to live at Heather and Seventeenth.

The uncommon elegance and high-end features make these truly beautiful homes.

Heather and Seventeenth Sales Centre and display vignette, located at 3246 Cambie Street, is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. (closed Friday).

© 2017

Empty home tax info mailed to Vancouver homeowners

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

Steve Randall

Owners of residential properties in Vancouver are beginning to receive their advance property tax notices with an added extra –  information on how to make an empty home tax declaration.

“Vancouver renters are in crisis, with the rental vacancy rate hovering over zero for years,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The City will not sit on the sidelines as more than 25,000 empty and under-occupied properties hold back homes for people who live and work in Vancouver.

Each class 1 residential property owner is required to complete the declaration annually, with the deadline this time set for February 2, 2018.

Penalties for non-filing include an assumption that their property is vacant which means a tax of 1% of its 2017 assessed taxable value; plus a $250 fine for non-declaration.

The tax does not apply to principal residences, properties rented for at least 6 months of the year in periods of 30 or more consecutive days, or those that are subject to one of eight exemptions.

The exemptions include: occupancy for full-time work (min. 180 days in the year); owner in care; estate of deceased; transfer of property; undergoing redevelopment or major renovations; strata rental restriction; court order; or limited use residential property.

“Housing is for homes first, and as business and investments second – we need a tax on empty homes to encourage the best use of all our housing, and help boost our rental supply for locals,” added Mayor Robertson.

Copyright © 2017 Key Media Pty Ltd

Superintendent of Real Estate approves new rules to strengthen consumer protections when working with real estate licensees

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017


The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) is introducing new rules to improve consumer protection in the real estate industry. These rules will:

  • Require enhanced disclosure of real estate licensee remuneration that will inform consumers about how remuneration is to be divided between a listing brokerage and cooperating brokerage.
  • Ensure licensees inform consumers of the duties and responsibilities owed to both clients and unrepresented parties before working with consumers.  
  • Warn consumers of the risks of relying on a licensee to provide limited assistance if the licensee already represents another party to the transaction.
  • Prohibit* ‘dual agency’, the practice of acting on behalf of both the buyer and seller on the same deal. This makes BC the province in Canada to prohibit the practice.

The new rules will come into force beginning March 15, 2018.

“These rules will significantly change the way that real estate services are provided in British Columbia,” said Micheal Noseworthy, BC’s Superintendent of Real Estate. “The changes will empower consumers and provide clarity around the role of an agent. Ending dual agency removes the potential for conflict and serious problems. We want to create transparency for both consumers and licensees to ensure everyone understands in whose interest licensees must be working.”

These new rules originate from the recommendations made in the final report of the Independent Advisory Group on Real Estate Regulation in BC in June 2016. These rules are the product of extensive consultation with industry, feedback received from real estate licensees and the public, as well as from the Real Estate Council of BC.

A consultation on these rules was completed on October 6, 2017 after OSRE posted a draft version of the proposed rules for a 30 day public comment period on September 6, 2017. OSRE received strong support from the public on all proposed rules.

The feedback received from licensees indicated a strong desire for education on the new rules, something strongly supported by both OSRE and RECBC. The Superintendent will require licensees to complete education relating to the new rules and intends to publish a rule for feedback in the coming weeks to support this requirement.

The Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) is a regulatory agency of the B.C. government that carries out the regulatory, oversight and enforcement duties of the Superintendent of Real Estate. It receives its authority from the Real Estate Services Act, the Real Estate Development Marketing Act and the Strata Property Act.

*The Rules will also provide for a small exemption to the dual agency prohibition in situations where a particular property is so remote as to make finding another agent extremely difficult. Strict reporting requirements will apply in these circumstances.

Copyright © 2017, Province of British Columbia.