Real Estate Blog

City of Vancouver staff propose sweeping changes to curb speculation in large area around Broadway subway

Call it Mayor Gregor Robertson's speculation tax. 

Senior staff have proposed aggressive measures to curb land speculation over a large area around around the proposed Millennium Line Broadway Extension—including development contributions designed to fatten city coffers. 

The Broadway subway will be built from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus and it will include six stations.

While a new planning process is underway, Vancouver city staff have recommended that no new rezoning applications be considered in the “Broadway Study Area”, unless they’re for 100 percent social and supportive housing, or community care facilities or group residents.

In a report going to the Wednesday (June 20) policy and strategic priorities committee, this Broadway

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Land values beckon bulldozers

The three houses on East Sixth Avenue in Vancouver would have likely lasted for years: two of them appear fairly modern, but the value of the land beneath them combined with higher-density zoning doomed them.

Assembled into a 14,000-square-foot land assembly, the detached houses sold in May for a combined $5.74 million, the equivalent of nearly $410 per square foot, for a new townhouse development.

Soaring Vancouver land values are also leading to a rush of strata windups, where owners of older townhouse or condominium projects vote to sell the entire complex for the land value. A recent example is in the West End, where a 53-unit condo project on less than half an acre sold for $52 million. In North Vancouver, sites with old townhouses on them

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Unclear if new BC real estate registry will make housing more affordable

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s too early to say if it will allow more people to enter the local housing market, but a new public registry identifying property owners has support from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Board President Phil Moore, who represents more than 14,000 realtors and brokers, says it’s difficult to predict how this will impact sales, but there’s no reason for investors to hide behind numbered companies.

“Any time that the government places in measures that make people accountable to pay the taxes that are due, when 99 per cent of the citizens are paying their taxes, we certainly endorse those changes.”

Moore adds the board spent two years consulting with the provincial government on this and it’s not clear

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B.C. government intends to crack down on hidden ownership of real estate

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is taking steps to end opportunities to anonymously invest and hide wealth in real estate.

Finance Minister Carole James says a new, publicly accessible registry is being created to identify the owners of real estate in the province.

A news release from the Ministry of Finance says the first-of-its-kind registry in Canada is aimed at improving transparency in the real estate market while ensuring owners pay their share of taxes.

Law enforcement agencies, tax auditors, as well as federal and provincial regulators will be able to access the registry when seeking details for any investigations.

Draft legislation, including a proposed land owner transparency act, has been included in a white paper

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Imagine spending your summer days on the rooftopp deck of your dreams, enjoying panoramic city & ocean views, all day and night sun and overlooking the pulse of Lower Lonsdale! 

Imagine spending your summer days on the rooftop deck of your dreams, enjoying panoramic city & ocean views, all day and night sun and overlooking the pulse of Lower Lonsdale! This chic 3 bedrooms 3 bathroom corner townhouse has been completely renovated and shows exceptionally well. This spacious home features large bedrooms, designer kitchen, 2 large outdoor spaces, wood burning fireplace, engineered hardwood floors and all the windows allow the natural light to pour in. Walk to exciting Lower Lonsdale with tons of new restaurants, shops, and Lonsdale Quay. Fantastic schools

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B.C. government will create public registry to reveal who owns real estate

VANCOUVER—In an effort to crack down on tax avoidance, the B.C. government will create a public registry to show who owns real estate in the province.

B.C.’s finance minister says the province has gotten a reputation for being a place to invest anonymously and hide wealth.

“Right now in B.C., real estate investors can hide behind numbered companies, offshore and domestic trusts, and corporations,” said Carole James in a statement. “Ending this type of hidden ownership in real estate will help us fight tax evasion, tax fraud and money laundering.”

In May, the Canada Revenue Agency reported it had identified nearly $600 million in unpaid taxes over the past three years by taking a closer look at Vancouver and Toronto’s real estate markets.

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Federal mortgage qualification rules slow real estate activity in B.C.: BCREA

Both the total dollar volume of home sales and the number of units changing hands in Greater Vancouver fell around 35% in May, according to new data from the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA).

According to the BCREA, the drop in sales was related to new federal rules that make it more difficult for buyers to qualify for a mortgage.

“B.C. home sales continued to slow in May because of more stringent qualifications for conventional borrowers,” BCREA chief economist Cameron Muir said.

“The changes in mortgage policy are taking their toll on housing demand, not only in British Columbia, but across the country by reducing household purchasing power and housing affordability.”

A total of just under $3.2 billion in real estate

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Vancouver man will build you a laneway house for free — but there's a catch

Duane Laird wants to build you a laneway house for free.

The catch? (Because you knew it was too good to be true.) Laird gets the rental income for 12 years before handing over the keys.

The local businessman came up with the idea to address Vancouver’s affordability crisis while looking for a tiny home himself.

“I live in an apartment right now, but I would like an independent home,” he said. “If you did this, I think you’d have a lineup of people who wanted to live in the city.”

On his website, freelanewayhomesvancouver.com, Laird outlines the steps he’d take if he found a willing property owner. First, the property would need to be evaluated to ensure it could support a second dwelling. The businessman figures more than 25,000 Vancouver

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B.C. real estate agents expect dual agency rules to bring frustration and confusion

New rules prohibiting real estate agents from working with both the buyer and seller of a property come into effect on Friday, and even though there have been some revisions, there is still worry from some in the industry that they will lead to frustration and confusion.

“So many people do not understand what’s happening. There have been lots of emails, but it’s not clear what’s expected. We have been discussing potential scenarios, but it’s very difficult to know what (will be considered) right,” says Mark Wiens, a realtor at Sutton West Coast Realty.

The new rules were first announced in November 2017 by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate following cases of misconduct in Metro Vancouver and concerns that, in a red-hot market,

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That's a complicated answer, since Statistics Canada only recently started tracking it

If you ask what's to blame for Vancouver's hot housing market, many people will point to foreign buyers.

 

Just how many foreign home buyers are in Metro Vancouver?

It's tempting to blame the real estate debacle on foreign buyers, but the facts don't necessarily support this.

Partially, that's because there isn't good data to support this. Statistics Canada has only recently started tracking non-resident buyers in Canada.

So what do we know? 

Watch the video with CBC's Bal Brach to see what that data tells us about foreign ownership in Vancouver. 

Continue watching Just how many foreign home buyers are in Metro Vancouver? at CBC Website

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