Real Estate Blog

Bill Morneau says getting people into affordable homeownership is top of mind, and that Liberal Party won't compromise stability of the market


Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau joins Shaw president of wireless services Paul McAleese during an announcement for Freedom Mobile during a press conference at the Delta Ocean Pointe on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. Photograph By CHAD HIPOLITO, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Finance Minister Bill Morneau, who has been meeting with business groups around the country leading up to a budget speech expected within the month, told reporters in Victoria February 8 that housing is very much top of mind.

Morneau said he wouldn’t go into specifics, but his department is

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Ninety-seven per cent of Vancouver property owners can pat themselves on the back for making their Empty Homes Tax declaration by the Feb. 4 deadline.

As for the remaining three per cent — or 4,979 property owners — they can make a late declaration, says the city.

In a press release, the city reminds residents that those who do not declare will have their properties deemed vacant by the city, and be subject to the tax at a rate of one per cent of the property’s 2018 assessed taxable value. They will also be charged a $250 bylaw fine.

This year ― the second year of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax ― the city is making late declarations available. Once the property owner pays the $250 late fee (or disputes the ticket), they can make their online

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Local real estate market has entered ‘balanced’ territory





Local real estate sales continue to decline.

While it is common to see declining sales in January, sales in January 2019 dropped almost 24 per cent (23.7 per cent) when compared to January 2018, with sales of single family homes down almost 30 per cent from January 2018.

“It’s already an interesting year for local real estate,” said Cheryl Woolley, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB). “[Realtors]are are keeping busy showing homes and writing offers, however actual sales are slower than we would expect in an average January.”

She said buyers are hesitant to purchase for many reasons. “For instance, changes to mortgage lending rules have decreased

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It's no secret that home prices across Metro Vancouver have been falling in recent months, but a report released Wednesday by a real estate website is shedding new light on exactly how different parts of the region are being affected.

According to calculations from, the effect has been most dramatic in Vancouver's West Side.

The benchmark price for a detached home in that part of the city fell by more than 14 per cent—or about $500,000—between January 2018 and the same month this year and now sits at a little over $3 million.


West Vancouver was second on the list with a decline of 15.4 per cent or about $477,000. The average price of a house in the North Shore municipality was about $2.6 million at the time of Zoocasa's

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Vancouver home sales fall nearly 40% in January as prices pull back

"Home sales fell to the lowest January level in a decade"

Vancouver's once red-hot housing market continued to cool last month as the number of home sales fell to the lowest level seen in January in 10 years.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says 1,103 homes were sold in Metro Vancouver last month, down 39.3 per cent from the same month a year earlier.

Month-over-month, January home sales were up 2.9 per cent versus December 2018.

The board says last month's home sales were 36.3 per cent below the 10-year sales average for January, and the lowest January sales figure recorded since 2009.

Prices are falling across property type, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

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New calculation model could help renters, says Thomas Davidoff of UBC Sauder School of Business

UBC professor proposes innovative property tax system to help housing affordability

A radical, innovative property tax model to improve housing affordability for renters has been proposed by a UBC associate professor.

In new research in the Canadian Tax Journal, UBC Sauder School of Business associate professor Thomas Davidoff suggests a new method for increasing homeowners’ annual property taxes that would result in lower income and sales taxes for all residents.

In a Q&A on the research, published by the UBC website, Davidoff says, “We’ve got a really out-of-balance tax system here — it’s a great place to buy real estate but not a great place to make a living, in terms of tax policy.”

Davidoff suggests that property taxes be…
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Vancouver home being sold at auction to 'Chinese real estate investors'


A “mid-century modern Vancouver estate” is being auctioned off to target wealthy “Chinese real estate investors.”

Sitting on an 11,638 sq.ft. lot, the home — designed by renowned Vancouver architect Kenneth McKinley — will be sold to the highest bidder through luxury auction firm Concierge Auctions on its online marketplace.

6137 Collingwood Place/ Concierge Auctions

Bidding will be open online for worldwide buyers on December 14 and will close at a live auction in Hong Kong on December 19, in order to “target Chinese real estate investors,” said Concierge Auctions in a release.

The 2900 sq. ft. single-family home, located at 6137 Collingwood Place, is nestled in a cul-de-sac on Vancouver’s West Side.

The home has four

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Anti-renoviction motion could have unintended effects, landlords warn

A group representing landlords in Vancouver is warning that a newly approved motion intended to protect tenants from renoviction could do more harm than good.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday in favour of key parts of a motion tabled by COPE Coun. Jean Swanson to stop landlords from evicting tenants so they can demolish, renovate or sell their property.

"Tenants won the right to come back after a renovation," said Wendy Pedersen of the Vancouver Tenants Union. "They're not going to get evicted."

But Landlord BC said it could also mean those with genuine intentions of renovating or upgrading their properties might scrap those plans altogether.

"The reinvestment in this existing building is just not going to happen," CEO David Hutniak told

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Landlords the winners as Metro Vancouver housing sales slump

With a near free-fall in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia housing sales will plunge 23 per cent this year, according to the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), and the projected 2019 recovery will be led by centres outside of the Lower Mainland, particularly in the Kamloops region and the north.

In Metro Vancouver, the real winners in 2019 will be existing residential landlords who can expect high demand, less competition and low vacancy rates, based on Western Investor's analysis for its annual residential investment outlook. 

Metro Vancouver 

Despite a 35 per cent plunge in Lower Mainland housing sales this year, home prices remain the highest in Canada while rising mortgage rates will also help to keep buyers sidelined. As of October

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Canadians are obsessed with housing affordability — so why isn't Ottawa talking about it?

While the federal Liberals unveiled a national housing strategy last year, it's mainly focused on tackling homelessness and housing low-income Canadians

Housing may be the topic you’re most likely to hear discussed at the local coffeeshop or see on the neighbourhood Facebook page, but it’s not dominating question period.

It may seem like a slam dunk political issue for either the government to solve or the Opposition to make some hay out of, but housing affordability is a multi-jurisdictional issue that doesn’t lend itself to easy answers. And, when those answers do come, they often take months or even years to have a tangible effect, while Canadians wait anxiously.

New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh is the only federal politician

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