Okanagan Real Estate Market Statistics – July 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Okanagan listings and sales in July 2018.

Central Okanagan: Kelowna and Lake Country

There were 201 sales, 1,230 active listings, and a $782,398 average sale price for detached homes in the Central Okanagan market, including Kelowna and Lake Country. The average days on market were 44.

The condo market featured 129 sales and 571 active listings at the end of the month. The average sale price was $343,315 with 49 average days on market.

Townhome sales were 61, active listings were 361, average sale price was $518,211, and the average days on market were 60.MarketHotSheet_July2018_CentralOkanagan

[Read more…]

Squamish, Whistler and Sunshine Coast Real Estate Market Statistics – July 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Squamish, Whistler, and Sunshine Coast listings and sales in July 2018.

Squamish

In July 2018, there were 21 sales of detached homes and 157 active listings in Squamish. The benchmark sale price was $1,038,600 with an average days on market of 51.

The Condo market had 14 sales and 45 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $536,300 with an average days on market of 28.

Townhome sales were 12 sales, active listings were 40. The benchmark sale price was $874,200 and the average days on market were 31.

It’s a seller’s market for condos and townhomes.

MarketHotSheet_July2018_Squamish

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Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Statistics – July 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on the Greater Vancouver listings and sales in July 2018.

Vancouver-West

In the Vancouver Westside, there were 57 sales of detached homes and 858 active listings at the end of the month. The benchmark sale price was $3,356,500, with average days on market of 54. The hottest markets for sales were Dunbar, Kitsilano and Southlands with 7 sales each.

In comparison, the condo market had 295 sales, 1,203 active listings and a benchmark sale price of $835,200 with an average of 26 days on market. The hottest market for sales was Downtown VW, 55. sales.

Townhome sales were 39, active listings were 198. The benchmark sale price was $1,288,600 with an average days on market of 29. Kitsilano with 8 sales was the hottest market of the month.

It’s a buyer’s market for houses in Vancouver-West.

MarketHotSheet_July2018_VancouverWest

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North Delta, Surrey, Langley and Fraser Valley Real Estate Market Statistics – July 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, and Fraser Valley listings and sales in July 2018.

North Delta

In the North Delta market, the benchmark sale price was $949,200 for detached homes. At the end of the month, there were 208 active listings and 34 sales.

The condo market had 2 sales and 29 active listings. The benchmark sale price was $434,700.

Townhomes featured 6 sales, 18 active listings and a $642,300 benchmark sale price.

It’s a seller’s market for townhomes in North Delta.

MarketHotSheet_July_NorthDelta

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Greater Victoria, Parksville and Nanaimo Real Estate Market Statistics – July 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Greater Victoria, Parksville/Qualicum, and Nanaimo listings and sales in July 2018.

Greater Victoria

In July 2018, there were 285 sales of single family homes and 926 active listings in the Greater Victoria. The benchmark sale price was $741,000 with an average days on market of 36. The hottest markets for sales were Saanich East and Langford with 60 and 48 sales respectively. There were also 15 sales and 180 active listings at the end of the month for waterfront homes.

In comparison, the Condo market had 188 sales, 420 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $485,200 with an average days on market of 32. The hottest market for sales was Victoria, 70 sales.

Townhome sales were 67, active listings were 192 and the benchmark sale price was $586,100. The average days on market were 42, and the hottest market was Langford with 19 sales.

It’s a seller’s market in Victoria.

MarketHotSheet_July_Victoria

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How to Buy in Vancouver

First, you’ll want to understand the taxes you’re going to pay

It is impossible to think about buying in Vancouver as a foreigner without considering the now- infamous tax on foreign buyers and speculators introduced in 2016 to make housing in the region more affordable and cool down an extremely hot market.

In Vancouver, foreigners pay a 20% tax on top of the purchase price. The tax was introduced because of the perception that Vancouver, the most expensive market in Canada, was becoming a parking ground for global capital.

Now approaching the end of the second year, many say the tax has not had its intended effect. Jerry Wang, of MacDonald Realty, a luxury brokerage in Vancouver, said that although the tax slowed the market at the beginning, foreign buyers are back in the game.

The largest island offers proximity to a 180-mile long For the luxury “Buyers can get a mortgage fairly easily, and relatively speaking, the price point for the Vancouver area is still very reasonable,” Mr. Wang said, compared to other large cities around the world.

He said his clients have just shifted to a slightly lower price bracket to account for the tax, and are still “buying at a discount.” They also still buy at the high end. “This year we have seen so many properties over C$10 million (US$7.7 million) sold in Vancouver,” he said. “Most of them are to Chinese families still wanting to be here.”

Because of the tax, he added, it is “properties in the middle that are suffering,” referring to those in the “affordable luxury” range.

[Read more…]

Greater Victoria, Parksville and Nanaimo Real Estate Market Statistics – June 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Greater Victoria, Parksville/Qualicum, and Nanaimo listings and sales in June 2018.

Greater Victoria

In June 2018, there were 292 sales of single family homes and 920 active listings in the Greater Victoria. The benchmark sale price was $745,100 with an average days on market of 29. The hottest markets for sales were Saanich East and Langford with 51 and 60 sales respectively. There were also 12 sales and 169 active listings at the end of the month for waterfront homes.

In comparison, the Condo market had 230 sales, 445 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $486,100 with an average days on market of 28. The hottest market for sales was Victoria, 89 sales.

Townhome sales were 81, active listings were 195 and the benchmark sale price was $594,300. The average days on market were 26, and the hottest market was Langford with 14 sales.

It’s a seller’s market in Victoria.

MarketHotSheet_June2018_Victoria

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Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Statistics – May 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on the Greater Vancouver listings and sales in May 2018.

Vancouver-West

In the Vancouver Westside, there were 91 sales of detached homes and 898 active listings at the end of the month. The benchmark sale price was $3,430,500, with average days on market of 39. The hottest markets for sales were Point Grey and Cambie with 10 sales each and and Dunbar with 12 sales.

In comparison, the condo market had 359 sales, 1,149 active listings and a benchmark sale price of $845,400 with an average of 16 days on market. The hottest market for sales was Downtown VW, 71 sales.

Townhome sales were 42, active listings were 215. The benchmark sale price was $1,304,500 with an average days on market of 26. Fairview VW with 10 sales was the hottest market of the month.

It’s a seller’s market for condos in Vancouver-West.

MarketHotSheet_May2018_VancouverWest

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Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Statistics – April 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on the Greater Vancouver listings and sales in April 2018.

Vancouver-West

In the Vancouver Westside, there were 71 sales of detached homes and 874 active listings at the end of the month. The benchmark sale price was $3,404,200, with average days on market of 50. The hottest markets for sales were Point Grey and Dunbar with 10 and 11 sales respectively.

In comparison, the condo market had 351 sales, 928 active listings and a benchmark sale price of $841,700 with an average of 19 days on market. The hottest market for sales was Downtown VW, 72 sales.

Townhome sales were 42, active listings were 169. The benchmark sale price was $1,302,200 with an average days on market of 21. Kitsilano with 12 sales was the hottest market of the month.

It’s a seller’s market for condos and townhomes in Vancouver-West.

MarketHotSheet_April2018_VancouverWest

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Squamish, Whistler and Sunshine Coast Real Estate Market Statistics – March 2018

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Squamish, Whistler, and Sunshine Coast listings and sales in March 2018.

Squamish

In March 2018, there were 25 sales of detached homes and 113 active listings in Squamish. The benchmark sale price was $1,006,100 with an average days on market of 47.

The Condo market had 8 sales and 32 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $491,000 with an average days on market of 19.

Townhome sales were 14, active listings were 18. The benchmark sale price was $851,300, and the average days on market were 16.

It’s a buyer’s market for single family homes and condos.

MarketHotSheet_March2018_Squamish

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Foreign buyers not swayed by 15-per-cent housing tax, data show | The Globe and Mail

Condos in the Gilmore area of Burnaby are seen in the distance behind houses in east Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday September 20, 2015.

The proportion of foreign buyers in the Vancouver region is at its highest level since the province’s 15-per-cent tax on these purchasers came into effect a year ago, with experts and industry insiders saying international interest is strong in the surging condo market and the suburbs of Burnaby, Richmond and Surrey.

Provincial government data released on Tuesday show foreign buyers accounted for 5 per cent of homes bought in Metro Vancouver in September, with Richmond and Burnaby showing the highest levels, at 10.8 per cent and 9.6 per cent respectively. In Surrey, the city in the region where the most properties changed hands, the rate of foreign buyers more than tripled from August to September – jumping from 1.7 per cent to 5.9 per cent.

Although it is too early to say whether the September data represent a new baseline for the level of foreign buyers in the region, industry insiders and academics say these numbers are likely related to the region’s surging condo prices, which are driving Greater Vancouver’s real estate market in the wake of slowing sales in the once-mighty segment of detached houses.

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Already-tight student rental picture expected to worsen this fall | Vancouver Sun

Metro Vancouver is heading for a rental housing crisis this fall as a “perfect storm” of factors pushes an already record low vacancy rate even lower, says a leading Vancouver-based real estate firm.

“There has traditionally been a shortage of rental housing for students when they start school in the fall, but this year it looks like that shortage is going to be a lot worse,” said Nick Marini, vice-president at Macdonald Property Management.

Based on government statistics, Macdonald is forecasting a seven-per-cent increase this year in international students attending B.C. educational institutions. Meanwhile, the market-dampening 15-per-cent foreign buyers’ tax and tighter mortgage qualification requirements mean that parents of students are less likely to buy homes for their children, said Marini. As a result, a larger number of students will be hunting for rental housing this fall, increasing demand for accommodation.

Marini said the government steps to cool the red-hot housing market — such as the 15-per-cent foreign buyers’ tax and mortgage restrictions requiring that first-time buyers have higher incomes — have only pushed the housing affordability crisis to the rental market.

[Read more…]

MoneySense names top 5 Victoria neighbourhoods to buy real estate

No. 1 wins for scenic views and proximity to downtown.

moneysensevictoriaIn April 2017 MoneySense.ca  selected their top Victoria neighbourhoods to buy real estate.

By the end of last year, the benchmark price had grown almost 24% for a single-family home in the Victoria area. According to Victoria’s Real Estate Board, this spike in sales price is due, in part, to dwindling listings. Listings were down 41%, when compared to 2015, even as the number of sales last year broke new records for this west coast city. As a result, buyers looking for a home in the Greater Victoria Area are beginning to look further afield.  Read the rest of the article here. 

We’ve rounded up homes for sale in each of these Where to Buy neighbourhoods to make it easy for you.

The top 5 Victoria neighbourhoods for buyers, according to MoneySense are:

  1. Sidney South-East, Sidney

  2. Saxe Point, Esquimalt

  3. Sidney North-East, Sidney

  4. Estevan, Oak Bay

  5. Uplands, Oak Bay

To view all active listings currently for sale in one of these areas simply click the neighbourhood links above or call our head office at 1-877-278-3888 to be matched to an expert real estate agent in your area.

Active Victoria Real Estate Listings Slide Below 2,000 Mark | Times Colonist

  • vka-sold-1681-jpg
    The median sale price of a single-family home in the capital region was $759,000 last month, a 14.3 per cent increase from the $664,000 recorded in July last year. Photograph By BRUCE STOTESBURY, Times Colonist
  • 0802-realestate-jpg
    Strong sellers' market continues in Victoria Photograph By Times Colonist

With less than 2,000 active listings, Victoria’s real estate market remains firmly weighted in favour of the seller, according to data released Tuesday by the Victoria Real Estate Board.

There were 1,921 active listings at the end of last month, a drop from the 2,161 on the market in July 2016, which led to sellers getting excellent prices for their homes.

The median sale price of a single-family home in the region was $759,000 last month, a 14.3 per cent increase from the $664,000 recorded in July last year.

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Winding up a Strata Corporation

One year ago new amendments to B.C.’s Strata Property Act came into effect.   The new rules made it easier to cancel or “wind up” a strata corporation by reducing the voting threshold from unanimous approval of all owners to 80% approval.  The original requirement for unanimous approval made most wind ups all but impossible since, for example, a single owner in a 100 unit strata building could hold up the whole process even though 99% of the owners were in favour of a wind up.

West End

As a result, the owners of more and more older strata buildings are voting for a wind up.  There are a number of reasons to do this:

  1. Many older strata buildings are in bad condition and require extensive and very expensive repairs which owners do not want to pay for;
  2. Many older strata buildings were built at a time when densities were lower (fewer units permitted on the building lots). A developer purchasing such lots can build more units now;
  3. Consequently, many older strata buildings are in prime locations coveted by developers who are prepared to pay owners top dollar to sell their property.

However, winding up a strata corporation is a very complicated, time-consuming legal process requiring input from experienced commercial real estate brokers and lawyers.  At Macdonald Commercial we have a team of specialist brokers who work with strata corporations on wind-ups.

Some key points to consider if you are an owner of a strata corporation and considering a wind up:

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Top 15 South Fraser River neighbourhoods to buy real estate from MoneySense’s Where to Buy report

Million-dollar communities have more to offer than just price appreciation.

moneysensefraserIn April MoneySense.ca produced their annual list of Where to Buy South of the Fraser River neighbourhoods.  We’ve rounded up homes for sale in each of these Where to Buy neighbourhoods to make it easy for you to find your next home.

The top 15 South Fraser neighbourhoods for Buyers, according to MoneySense are:

  1. Brookswood, Langley

  2. Walnut Grove, Langley

  3. Aldergrove, Langley

  4. Guildford, Surrey

  5. Fort Langley, Langley

  6. Langley City, Langley

  7. Willoughby Heights, Langley

  8. Cloverdale, Surrey

  9. Fleetwood Tynehead, Surrey

  10. West Newton, Surrey

  11. Murrayville, Langley

  12. North Surrey, Surrey

  13. East Newton, Surrey

  14. South Surrey White Rock, Surrey

To view all active listings currently for sale in one of these areas simply click the neighbourhood links above or call our head office at 1-877-278-3888 to be matched to an expert real estate agent in the area of your choosing.

Read the rest of the MoneySense article here. 

What are the Top 25 Greater Vancouver neighbourhoods to buy real estate according to MoneySense?

Yes, good value real estate is possible in Vancouver.

moneysensevancouverIn April 2017, in their annual Where to Buy Now coverage MoneySense.ca selected their top Greater Vancouver neighbourhoods to buy real estate to see the best return on investment.

What’s a buyer to do? The best way is to buy based on solid fundamentals. In real estate this means finding good-value neighbourhoods that offer a good chance of continued momentum in the future. That’s not easy in a hot market, but this year’s Where to Buy Vancouver list shows it is possible.   Read the rest of the article here. 

We’ve rounded up homes for sale in each of these Where to Buy neighbourhoods to make it easy for you.

The top 25 Greater Vancouver neighbourhoods for Buyers, according to MoneySense are:

  1. Cedardale, West Vancouver

  2. Port Moody Centre, Port Moody

  3. Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver

  4. Pemberton NV, North Vancouver

  5. Glenmore, West Vancouver

  6. Glenayre, Port Moody

  7. River Springs, Coquitlam

  8. Cypress Park Estates, West Vancouver

  9. Edmonds BE, Burnaby

  10. Meadow Brook, Coquitlam

  11. Cape Horn, Coquitlam

  12. Hastings, Vancouver East

  13. Horseshoe Bay WV, West Vancouver

  14. Burke Mountain, Coquitlam

  15. Norgate, North Vancouver

  16. Eagle Harbour, West Vancouver

  17. Sapperton, New Westminster

  18. Ambleside, West Vancouver

  19. Mountain Meadows, Port Moody

  20. Steveston Village, Richmond

  21. Queensbury, North Vancouver

  22. Renfrew VE, Vancouver East

  23. Mount Pleasant VE, Vancouver East

  24. Windsor Park NV, North Vancouver

  25. Westwind, Richmond

To view all active listings currently for sale in one of these areas simply click the neighbourhood links above or call our head office at 1-877-278-3888 to be matched to an expert real estate agent in the area of your choosing.

Macdonald Realty: A Giant Tree from a Tiny Acorn

Vision and hard work – that sums up how Lynn Hsu grew a real estate company from one office to 20 offices and 1,000-plus employees, making it Western Canada’s largest full-service brokerage firm

  • luxury-home-listed-by-macdonald-realty
    Luxury home listed by Macdonald Realty

  • lynn-hsu-and-dan-scarrow-of-macdonald-realty
    Macdonald Realty's leaders: Lynn Hsu, owner and CEO, and Dan Scarrow, managing broker

  • the-wade-in-victoria-marketed-by-macdonald-realty-platinum-project-marketing
    The Wade in Victoria, marketed by Macdonald Realty's new-home marketing division Platinum Project Marketing

As seen in… Profiles of Excellence 2017

Originally from Taiwan, Hsu immigrated to Canada in the late 1970s – alone, with no family or friends, no job prospects and speaking little English. Today, she has turned Macdonald Realty into Western Canada’s largest full-service brokerage firm.

From the moment Hsu purchased that single boutique residential firm, she had a vision.

“The real estate industry has two distinct businesses – one creation, the other servicing. On the servicing side, almost all the companies in BC were a single-purpose company, i.e. residential or commercial brokerage, property management or project marketing firms,” says Hsu. “I wanted to create a company that could provide our clients all-encompassing real estate solutions under one roof –from guiding a home buyer through the biggest investment of their lives, helping an investor manage and add value to their properties, to assembling ground intelligence to assist developers to create the right products for the marketplace.”

Today, the company’s interests encompass residential sales, commercial sales and leasing, property management, strata management, development and project management, project marketing and mortgage brokering and lending. It now includes the Macdonald Commercial and Macdonald Realty Platinum Project Marketing divisions.

Dan Scarrow, vice-president, says it’s Hsu’s ability to hire the right people that also helped propel her to the top of the industry. “Lynn has always understood how important it is to empower employees. She is a leader who inspires people through a shared vision and she has created an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled,” says Scarrow. “Her strongest point is that she has never wavered from her commitment to serve and protect our customers.”

Hsu believes that a business model based on a fundamental principle of upholding the highest standard of excellence, coupled with a strong conviction that every problem has a creative solution, would allow Macdonald Realty to grow organically. “When you have the belief and knowledge that you are doing your best to adhere to your core values, problems, rather than deflating you, energize you to action,” adds Hsu.

Hsu went on to explain: “Professionalism and integrity mean a great deal to me and my entire team. They are our company’s core values.”

[Read more…]

Housing tax not as painful in Maple Ridge | Maple Ridge News

Currently, the real estate industry is in the middle of its usual summer slowdown. - Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS

Currently, the real estate industry is in the middle of its usual summer slowdown. — Image Credit: Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS

Slapping another 15-per-cent sales tax on homes to foreign buyers could cool the red-hot real estate market in higher priced areas of Richmond or Vancouver, but it might take longer to learn of any effect in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The announcement by the B.C. government last week saw a rush to complete deals by the Aug. 2 deadline, but Tom Garvey, managing broker with Macdonald Realty, says it will be at least a month before the full effect of the tax is known in Maple Ridge.

“There’s not a huge amount of foreign buyers who are coming out to Maple Ridge,” said Garvey, who said he hasn’t noticed any effect so far in the local market.

But it’s early yet and time will tell.

“Let’s see what happens over the next two to four weeks.”

[Read more…]

B.C. Real Estate In ‘Absolute Mayhem’ Amid Talk Of Sales Collapse|The Huffington Post Canada

Greater Vancouver’s real estate market is in the throes of chaos as buyers, sellers and industry insiders try to adapt to a new tax on foreign buyers that went into effect on Tuesday.

Though a recent poll showed nine out of 10 British Columbians back a tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate, many industry insiders and entrepreneurs are lining up against it, saying it risks destabilizing the housing market and Vancouver’s economy.

The tax has even taken on shades of a political controversy, as a prominent Vancouver real estate marketer and provincial Liberal fundraising chief denies he knew in advance the tax was coming.

B.C. Real Estate In Absolute Mayhem Amid Talk Of Sales Collapse

Vancouver realtor Steve Saretsky told Global News his analysis of MLS data found that detached home sales collapsed by 75 per cent in the few weeks after the provincial government announced it was introducing a 15-per-cent sales tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate in Greater Vancouver.

Saretsky described the market as being in “absolute mayhem.” But other realtors told media it is too soon to tell what the precise impact will be on the housing market.

[Read more…]

Foreign Buyers Tax: Realtors begin to report sales deals collapse | Vancouver Sun

Realtors and lawyers desperate to get in under the deadline filed a record-setting 15,000 property transfer applications on Thursday and Friday, the last business days before B.C.’s punishing new 15-per-cent tax on foreign property buyers went into effect.

More than 9,200 transactions were filed on Friday, breaking the June 30 record of more than 8,400 in a single day, according to the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority. It also reported over 5,800 transactions on Thursday, representing nearly as many deals registered at month’s end in April.

The demand was so heavy that it crashed the land titles office’s electronic filing service on both days, the authority said.

Now, as a new dawn breaks in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, realty companies and real estate boards are reporting the first anecdotes of deals falling through as foreign buyers forfeited deposits on binding deals rather than pay the new tax. And they report evidence of local buyers withdrawing offers in expectation that the market will soften.

Elton Ash, executive vice-president of Re/Max Western Region, said it is too early to accurately quantify how many deals fell apart, but he’s heard from realtors in some of the company’s 30 Metro Vancouver offices of cases where foreign buyers who couldn’t rearrange previously negotiated closing dates have already walked away.

“Our expectation is that there will be a percentage of transactions collapse due to the buyer basically defaulting on the contract,” Ash said.

He and other realty experts say it may take up to two or three months to gauge the full effect of the new tax.

Jonathan Cooper, vice-president of operations at MacDonald Realty, expects many cases to go to court because deposits are held in trust by realtors and usually can’t be released without a court order.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers,” Cooper said. “There are going to be cases for sellers trying to get the deposit out of trust and maybe suing the buyer for specific performance trying to get them to complete, and/or for damages if they are not able to find a buyer at a similar price point.”

[Read more…]

‘Fundamental Issue in Vancouver Market Is Supply’ | Bloomberg TV Canada

Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group joins Bloomberg TV Canada’s Rudyard Griffiths to discuss the impact of the 15 percent property tax for non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents in Metro Vancouver.

 

About Macdonald Real Estate Group
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Macdonald Real Estate Group (MREG) has an annual sales volume of over $7 billion and over $2 billion in assets under management. With more than 20 offices and nearly 1,000 staff and REALTORS®, MREG offers a full range of real estate services, including residential and commercial brokerage, property and strata management, project marketing, and the MREG Canadian Real Estate Investment Centre in Shanghai, China. Macdonald Realty is the residential division of Macdonald Real Estate Group. For more information, visit www.macrealty.com.

B.C. turns from foreign buyers to investor immigrants as Vancouver’s affordability crisis continues | Georgia Straight

A whopping 90 percent of Metro Vancouver residents support the region’s new 15-percent tax on foreign buyers of residential real estate. At the same time, only three percent of respondents to the same poll, conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, say the tax goes far enough, and 71 percent describe it as simply a step in the right direction.

While the region waits to see what kind of impact the new tax will have on the market, pundits are debating what additional measures the government should take. That’s turned a lot of attention to the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP), a path exclusively for wealthy immigrants that, despite its name, lets newcomers settle in B.C. Those home buyers are counted as locals and therefore are not subject to the region’s new tax on foreign nationals. Some observers argue the QIIP deserves much of the blame for driving up the price of a home in Vancouver.

On July 28, Premier Christy Clark revealed she’s approached her Québécois counterpart and opened discussions on the issue.

 “We’re going to work together on it,” she told Global News. “We’re going to try and support him [Premier Philippe Couillard] in finding ways to make sure their program, their investor program, is for Quebec and for Quebec alone. And that when people come into Quebec, that’s where they stay.”

But eliminating this source of wealthy immigrants might not have as sizable an effect on Vancouver real estate as some have suggested.

[Read more…]

Reality of B.C.’s foreign buyers tax begins to bite as realtors report deals collapsing | Financial Post

Realtors and lawyers desperate to get in under the deadline filed a record-setting 15,000 property transfer applications on Thursday and Friday, the last business days before B.C.’s punishing new 15-per-cent tax on foreign property buyers went into effect.

More than 9,200 transactions were filed on Friday, breaking the 2007-2008 record of more than 8,400 in a single day, according to the B.C. Land Title and Survey Authority. It also reported over 5,800 transactions on Thursday, representing nearly as many deals registered at month’s end in April.

The demand was so heavy that it crashed the land titles office’s electronic filing service on both days, the authority said.

Now, as a new dawn breaks in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market, realty companies and real estate boards are reporting the first anecdotes of deals falling through as foreign buyers forfeited deposits on binding deals rather than pay the new tax. And they report evidence of local buyers withdrawing offers in expectation that the market will soften.

Elton Ash, executive vice-president of Re/Max Western Region, said it is too early to accurately quantify how many deals fell apart, but he’s heard from realtors in some of the company’s 30 Metro Vancouver offices of cases where foreign buyers who couldn’t rearrange previously negotiated closing dates have already walked away.

“Our expectation is that there will be a percentage of transactions collapse due to the buyer basically defaulting on the contract,” Ash said.

He and other realty experts say it may take up to two or three months to gauge the full effect of the new tax.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers”

Jonathan Cooper, vice-president of operations at Macdonald Realty, expects many cases to go to court because deposits are held in trust by realtors and usually can’t be released without a court order.

“I think the next chapters in this story are going to be written by lawyers,” Cooper said. “There are going to be cases for sellers trying to get the deposit out of trust and maybe suing the buyer for specific performance trying to get them to complete, and/or for damages if they are not able to find a buyer at a similar price point.”

[Read more…]

Thousands of Metro Vancouver real estate deals caught by tax deadline

‘Last week was pretty hectic,’ realtor said of rush to avoid new tax by midnight cutoff

house-key-turning-in-lock-real-estate-tax-image

For some the last few weeks was a rush to wrap up real estate deals before Aug. 2 tax was imposed on Metro Vancouver property deals. (DeWitt Clinto/Flickr)

Thousands of home buyers and sellers in Metro Vancouver reacted with ‘shock and disbelief,’ madly rushing to beat the Aug. 2 deadline of the new 15 per cent foreign buyer real estate tax.

Realtors estimate 3,000-to-4,000 deals were affected.

“It’s so fast. Just everyone is shocked,” said Jin Liu, a realtor with Remax.

After the legal documents flutter to the floor industry watchers warn there will be challenges to the new tax, seen by many as unfair.

Some say it violates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which prohibits governments from imposing policies that punish foreigners. Top lawyers say the tax is ripe for a constitutional challenge.

The foreign buyer tax, aimed at cooling Vancouver’s torrid housing market, was announced July 25. The aim was to chill speculative investing and preserve affordable homes for people living and working in Canada.

Up to 4,000 deals affected by new tax

Buyers and sellers were caught in the sting of the Aug. 2 tax that has been applied even to deals struck long before it existed.

“We weren’t given notice …. so most likely the deals will collapse. It’s not fair for everyone,” added Liu.

[Read more…]

Vancouver just hit foreign homebuyers with a massive tax | CNNMoney

If you’re not a Canadian, buying property in Vancouver will cost you.

Starting Tuesday, foreign buyers purchasing property in the Canadian City will be hit with a 15% property transfer tax.

The swift implementation of the tax was in response to exploding home prices in the city, and goes into effect eight days after it was announced.

It will also apply to buyers already in contract.

Real estate in Vancouver has been hot lately, with home prices up 23% from a year ago, according to the the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index.

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Low inventory and strong demand has created a highly-competitive market where it’s common for sellers to get 10 offers or more.

Adding to the demand is a flood of foreign buyers investing in the city. In a five-week period earlier this summer, more than $676 million ($885 million Canadian dollars) in foreign cash poured into Metro Vancouver, according to recent government data. During that time, 10% of all purchases were made by foreign buyers.

In Richmond, a suburb within Metro Vancouver, foreigners accounted for almost 20% of total investments.

Many of the buyers are investors looking for a safe haven to park their cash, while others are emigrating to Canada, according to experts.

While there’s little disagreement that affordability has become more elusive — especially for middle-class buyers — the swift implementation and broadness of the tax has some real estate agents worried.

The tax will apply to foreign buyers who are already in contract, but not yet closed. That means their purchase is about to get 15% more expensive, even though they’ve already made the deal.

The benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $700,924 in June (917,800 Canadian dollars). The new tax would add $105,139 to the purchase price.

The tax can also have consequences for home sellers. If a foreign buyer decides to back out of the now more expensive deal, the seller could be left in the lurch if they were shopping for another home or had plans for the money from the sale.

The move has already given some foreign buyers pause.

Op-Ed by Jonathan Cooper

Jonathan Cooper, vice president, operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group

Jonathan Cooper, vice president, operations at Macdonald Real Estate Group in Vancouver, said there’s been a rush among foreign clients to close before the tax goes into effect, and that one client decided not to move forward with a purchase.

The housing crunch has been hitting middle-class house hunters particularly hard.

“It is difficult for even dual-income families to create enough to have a down payment to enter the marketplace,” said Jason Soprovich, a luxury real estate agent in Vancouver.

Soaring prices are pushing buyers outside the city to find some relief.

“North Vancouver has traditionally been a middle-class area, but the demographic is changing and young families can’t afford to live close to downtown,” said Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. “People are moving farther and farther out for affordability.”

While some government officials have said the tax aims to bring more accessibility and affordability for middle-class residents, real estate agents noted that it will be hard to prove its impact.

The market was starting to show signs of some cooling in recent weeks as more inventory has trickled online. Late summer also tends to bring a slowdown in activity.

“It was almost a knee-jerk reaction from the government,” said Soprovich. “A lot of people believe this cold be political posturing with an election coming in the fall.”


The article was originally posted on CNNMoney, August 2, 2016. Written by Kathryn Vasel.

One in 10 home sales in Vancouver region went to foreign buyers | The Globe and Mail

B.C. Premier Christy Clark says new data that show foreigners bought one in every 10 homes sold in Metro Vancouver’s superheated market over five weeks forced her government to introduce a new and substantial tax on international buyers, but she says the surprise levy is intended to stop the spike in prices, not devalue the equity built up by existing homeowners.

Foreign buyers in B.C.
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Statistics the province released on Tuesday show buyers who were not Canadian citizens or permanent residents made up 10 per cent of all home sales in Metro Vancouver between June 10 and July 14. Those transactions totalled $885-million. An earlier release of data covering June 10 to 29 and not including end-of-month sales found only 5 per cent of the sales in the region involved foreigners.

The proportion of international buyers was higher in the suburbs of Burnaby and Richmond, with nearly one in five of all homes sold in those cities going to people from countries other than Canada. The rate for Vancouver proper was 11 per cent, and 7 per cent across all of British Columbia.

“There need to be more houses on the market that are available to local people,” Ms. Clark told The Globe and Mail.

Next Tuesday, 22 communities will start levying 15 per cent in additional property transfer taxes on any foreign home buyer without permanent residency in Canada, as well as foreign corporations or Canadian-registered corporations owned or controlled by foreigners.

[Read more…]

2016 Chamber Award Nominees: Macdonald Realty Victoria and Branch Manager Nathalie Ghoos

This year our Macdonald Realty Victoria office was a finalist for Employer of the Year in the 2016 Greater Victoria Business Awards held by the Chamber of Commerce! In addition, Victoria office’s Branch Manager Nathalie Ghoos was a finalist for Employee of the Year.

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Ara Balabanian                                                   Nathalie Ghoos
Managing Broker, Victoria                                Branch Manager, Victoria

Congratulations to all the nominees, finalists, and winners who were a part of this great event. Find out more info about the Victoria office in the video below.

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Luxury Portfolio International: A New Kind of Luxury Leader

Ever wonder about the origin story behind Luxury Portfolio International®?

Luxury Portfolio International’s President, Paul Boomsma and Executive Vice President, Stephanie Pfeffer Anton are on the cover of RIS Media’s Real Estate Magazine April 2016 Edition.

Click the magazine cover and find out how market-leading independent firms joined forces to create luxury real estate’s most powerful network.

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Loonie Driving American Home Buyers Interest in BC

Jonathan Cooper, Vice President, Operations of Macdonald Real Estate Group, was on Business News Network (BNN) speaking about the pick-up in American home buyers in BC and how the loonie has been driving that interest.

Click the video to watch.

In search of a great real estate brokerage | Real Estate Magazine (REM)

When you are serious about a career in real estate and want to find a brokerage that aligns with your career aspirations, selecting the “right” brokerage is critical to your success.

A fallacy exists that higher commissions should be your ultimate goal, but agent productivity statistics repeatedly reveal that this is not case. If you receive 100 per cent of the commission, you have to ask yourself what kind of support and services you can expect from the brokerage. The answer should be obvious: you get what you pay for, but this is fine for some.

John Lusink, vice-president at Chestnut Park Real Estate in Toronto, says, “A brokerage’s financial stability question only seems to surface when the economy starts to weaken, but realistically you should always be thinking about this. I also see a shift occurring in the industry back to the ‘truly’ full service, responsive brokerage models, especially as the public and our provincial regulatory bodies focus more on professionalism and competency.”

[Read more…]