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Seattle housing market white hot with Chinese demand as Vancouver's market freezes

Mainland China buyers seeking to invest overseas are fleeing Vancouver and flooding Seattle.

Figures prepared for Postmedia by Juwai.com, a popular website in China that connects investors with international home sellers and real estate agents, shows buying inquiries for Vancouver property from investors in Mainland China dropped 81 per cent in August after B.C.’s government introduced a Metro Vancouver offshore investor tax. Meanwhile, buying inquiries for Seattle homes on Juwai.com surged by 143 per cent in August, compared to August 2015.

Realtors in Seattle and Vancouver said the data suggests growing nervousness among Chinese investors over increasing regulation of Metro Vancouver’s market. As a result, Seattle, with a similar quality of life, better wages, and homes generally at least 50 per cent cheaper, is overtaking Vancouver as a preferred destination for Mainland China buyers.

“The shift to other cities has actually been going on for months, with buyer demand momentum shifting to other cities with similar appeal but lower entry prices,” said Dave Platter of Juwai.com. “Right now, Seattle is the No. 1 city in North America for Chinese buyer inquiries, even displacing Los Angeles.”

Juwai’s figures on cooling interest from Chinese buyers are confirmed by Metro Vancouver MLS figures that show deep sales drops in August, especially in housing types and neighbourhoods most popular with Chinese buyers. And MLS data from Vancouver realtor Steve Saretsky shows sales drops are even worse in September, with weakness spreading from sales of luxury detached homes to broader portions of the market including townhouses and condos.

“September is horrible,” Saretsky said. “The sales are on pace for historic lows for the past 10 years.”

Compared to the first 11 days of September 2015, Multiple Listing Service data analyzed by Saretsky shows sales of detached homes in September 2016 in Vancouver West are down 51 per cent, Vancouver East is down 80 per cent, Richmond is down 67 per cent, and Burnaby is down 69 per cent.

Saretsky said he believes Juwai.com figures on Vancouver buyer inquiries reflects on conversations that he and other agents are having with investors since the new tax was introduced. 

“My Chinese investor was in town, and he said ‘We can all afford the 15-per-cent tax, but it creates uncertainty,'” Saretsky said. “He said everybody in China is being told not to invest right now in Canada.” 

The sense from China buyers, Saretsky said, is that B.C. residents are “pissed off” about skyrocketing home prices driven by offshore investment, and that Canadian governments are starting to respond. 

In China, media coverage on the new Metro Vancouver tax has been widespread, Dave Platter of Juwai Limited said. While investors may be turned off by the Vancouver tax, most Chinese citizens seem to approve.

“Interestingly, most public comments left on the online news stories about the new tax are not complaints against Vancouver,” said Matthew Moore, president of the Americas for Juwai.com. “Quite the opposite, many people respect the decision to impose new taxes.

“They are coming from a situation where an apartment bought two years ago in Shanghai could be worth 75 per cent more today. So, many feel that more measures should be imposed to cool their own home markets and protect accessibility to property.”

Dean Jones, owner of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle, said he believes effects of the Metro Vancouver tax will accelerate already hot demand in Seattle from Mainland China buyers.

“We are seeing a rush into Seattle as the next market that matters,” Jones said. “I think for Chinese buyers it becomes like a self-fulfilling prophecy. As a group, they know they can move a market higher. It is definitely the most dominant new presence in the market.”

Jones said his company’s top sales in August were for Chinese buyers who set new prices in two Seattle neighbourhoods. They bought homes for about Canadian $6.5 million that would have cost about twice as much in comparable Vancouver neighbourhoods, Jones said. He said one of the buyers has multiple Vancouver properties. But some of his brokers are reporting that Chinese clients are dumping Vancouver property to reinvest at lower prices.

“My two big Vancouver clients are selling their assets there and coming here to do it all over again,” Seattle broker Lilli Shang said. “I have inquiries all the time from investors from China. Money is pouring in.”

Home sales in the Seattle area “continued to outpace year-ago activity,” Northwest MLS reported in early September, though across Western Washington, prices dropped slightly from early summer. MLS data shows that the Seattle neighbourhoods that have been most popular with Mainland China buyers for the past five years, according to Dean Jones, have experienced price rises from between 15 and 27 per cent in August over a year earlier. Jones said that Mainland China buyers represent 3o to 50 per cent of the market in these hot neighbourhoods, such as Bellevue. 

Just like Vancouver, Seattle has its stories about cash buyers from China. The Seattle Times reported the most expensive residence sold in 2015 was a mansion that went for Canadian $17.5 million to an unnamed buyer who paid cash and used a numbered company. Brokers confirmed the buyer was from China, the Times reported.

To illustrate market trends, Jones points to his firm’s use of the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat. Jones said his company can see “viral” interest in Seattle real estate stories on WeChat, and his brokers also use the app to facilitate direct home sales to buyers in China.

“One of our brokers just transferred a title and received a money transfer from China on WeChat,” Jones said. “We can get around China’s Internet block and directly to buyers.”

It is not hyperbole to suggest that Chinese real estate investment rushes have “gone viral” on WeChat.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that in Shanghai some realtors are under investigation by police for using WeChat to spread false rumours of a supposed government intervention to limit credit for home purchases. The alleged rumours created a social media sensation that “sparked a home-buying frenzy in late August and led to instability in the city’s real-estate market,” WSJ reported.

Not everyone in Seattle is excited about growing crowds of Mainland China investors. Seattle real estate analyst Charles Mudede has warned that unless the city learns from Vancouver’s “real estate crisis,” Seattle will also have vacant condo towers, a housing market disconnected from local incomes and traditional laws of supply and demand, and young people forced to leave the city.

“Something totally insane and even monstrous is happening in this city,” Mudede wrote Aug. 3 in a report filed from Vancouver, titled “A City of Empty Towers.”

However, Jones argues that Seattle has a more balanced economy than Vancouver with high-paying technology industry jobs, and a new homes market that is more geared to purpose-built rental units than luxury condos aimed at offshore investors.

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Couple claim they were told to fake assets to buy Richmond home

 

The prospective buyers of a $2.46 million Richmond home put down a $120,000 deposit. When they were turned down at three major national banks for financing to complete the deal, an employee at RBC Royal Bank of Canada and a real estate agent at Richmond-based Metro Edge Realty advised them to exaggerate and/or fake assets in China in order to qualify for a mortgage here, according to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court. None of the allegations in the claim have been proven in court.

Yan Zhao and Wei Na Hao, who currently live in Richmond and are originally from China, claim in court filings that they were told to persuade “family and friends in China to lend their (Chinese-language deposit slips)” and then to doctor them to look as if they were the ones with these Chinese assets.

The court documents state they were told “RBC would provide mortgage financing” if the couple did a good job of forging the certificates of deposit. 

In the end, the buyers did not apply for mortgage financing from RBC, according to court documents, but when the deal fell through they were unable to get back their deposit because the offer was subject-free. The pair launched the civil suit on June 15, 2016, for their deposit, plus legal costs.

In a response to that claim, Metro Edge denied “each and every allegation” and specifically “denied that any representations were made on its behalf as alleged”. The sellers of the home, named in the original claim as “the Chopras,” also filed a counterclaim, declaring the deposit as being “forfeitable” because the buyers didn’t complete the contract. They also filed a counterclaim against Metro Edge and, “more specifically Ms Yang.” If her “representations were not made fraudulently or recklessly” then they were made “negligently.” 

The claim states Metro Edge realtor Wendy Yang wrote the offer for the property on behalf of the buyers.

It also states a “Mr. Sun at Royal Bank of Canada” presented the buyers “with an example of a certificate of deposit that (he) indicated had been forged in the manner (he) described.”

It states the buyers told Yang they had no other assets in Canada or elsewhere with which to buy the house.

It claims Yang directed them to Sun to discuss mortgage funding, and that Sun and Yang are married.

The buyers were told, in detail by Yang, according to the court claim, they could “download forms from the internet to fake proof of assets in China” and offered a “template for the forgery.” 

Reached by telephone, Yang declined to comment, directing queries to her lawyer, who did not return a call to Postmedia News. The plaintiffs, Zhao and Hao, were also not available for comment, according to their lawyer.

Postmedia News contacted RBC ‘s Toronto-based office on Thursday afternoon, but did not get a reply by deadline.

In April 2016, the home named in the claim at 10191 Thirlmere Drive in Richmond was sold to a different buyer, Yu Lan Zhao, according to land title documents. According to information on the MLS, it was listed and sold by Yang. 

Yang was part of a group of former agents at New Coast Realty who, in March, alleged the company had not paid them commission fees for residential transactions they completed months ago. At the time, Yang estimated New Coast owed her around $200,000 in commission fees.

New Coast has been under investigation by the Real Estate Council of B.C. for its alleged high-pressure selling tactics, but nearly six months later, there has been no update. Several high-profile agents from New Coast have moved to Metro Edge.

Edited by Harvey Spector

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Canadian home sales drop 3% as Vancouver market ‘brakes more abruptly than anticipated’

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says national home sales dropped 3.1 per cent in August from July for the fourth straight monthly decline, as some markets have started to slow dramatically.

 

The association said Thursday that much of the downward movement reflects the slowing activity in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, where a foreign-buyer tax introduced last month contributed to an 18.6-per-cent drop in activity from a month earlier.

 

The monthly drop helped lead to a 24.5-per-cent year-over-year activity decline in Vancouver, and further split it from the trend in Toronto — where activity climbed two per cent in the month and is up 22.7 per cent from a year earlier.

“Vancouver has gone cold, while Toronto is heating up to a rolling boil,” said Robert Kavcic of BMO Capital Markets in an analyst note.

The swing in activity led CREA to also revise down expected B.C. sales because Lower Mainland activity has “braked more abruptly than anticipated,” while increasing the forecast in Ontario where sales “have yet to show signs of cooling.”

The association now expects B.C. to see a 14.6-per-cent increase in activity this year, down from the 20 per cent it forecast in June. Ontario activity is expected to increase 7.1 per cent, despite constrained supply, up from an expected 5.2 per cent.

The swings in the two markets largely balanced out the national figures, which are still expected to see sales increase by about six per cent this year to 535,900 units for a record high if population growth isn’t factored in.

That annual increase is anticipated despite recent numbers trending down, with national sales activity now 6.9 per cent below the record set in April. Compared to a year earlier, activity was still up 10.2 per cent.

Housing prices were up from a year ago, with the average price of a home sold in August at $456,722, up 5.4 per cent from a year earlier. However, CREA said it was the smallest increase since January 2015.

Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the average price of a home sold in August was $357,033.

CREA’s MLS home price index was up 14.7 per cent year over year as Vancouver and Toronto also pulled up the average.

With the decline in August, national sales have dropped 6.9 per cent below the record set in April, but were still 10.2 per cent above August 2015.

Along with lower sales, the number of newly listed homes dropped by 2.7 per cent in August compared with July, to keep the sales-to-new-listings ratio at what’s considered a sellers market at about 62 per cent.

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On 2016-09-11 at 9:51 AM, debluvscanucks said:

The problem's much more complex than that.

 

And I think you know that, but are trying to grasp at straws to find SOMETHING to convince the rest of us that there aren't huge and glaring issues that need action.  So to stand pat is the way?  Because it's all or nothing?

 

Nope.  It's time to start grinding the brakes.

Come to the crash thread.

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Snitch-and-audit enforcement part of Vancouver's proposed empty-homes tax

Vancouver will have a levy on empty homes in time for the 2017 tax season, and neighbours will be leaned on to help enforce it, Mayor Gregor Robertson and city staff told reporters today.

The annual tax will apply to anyone who self-declares an empty home on their tax bill and it will likely be 0.5 to two per cent of the home’s assessed value, according to a staff report prepared in advance of a council vote on the matter next week.

The empty homes tax would be a first in Canada and comes amid a near-zero rental vacancy rate in the city and on the heels of a city-commissioned study that claimed to have found 10,800 homes sitting empty year-round.

“This empty homes tax is first and foremost about bringing rental homes back onto the market,” Robertson said.

Staff plan to rely on a snitch-and-audit system to make sure homeowners comply with the tax. With Vancouver homes selling at an average of $1.1 million apiece, a two per cent amounts to $22,000, or $1,835 per month. That’s far less than such a home would generate in monthly rent, but the levy is hefty enough that some homeowners may try to dodge it.

Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, the city’s general manager of community services, explained how the city plans to catch those that do.

The city would require homeowners to declare whether their Vancouver home was their “principal residence” using a definition similar to that in the B.C. Home Owner Grant. Such residences that are regularly occupied, or secondary homes lived in by tenants or family members would be exempt from the tax.

Staff would then perform random and snitch-driven audits to sniff out homeowners who had not been truthful. Auditors would request things like drivers’ licences, health cards and documents from the Canada Revenue Agency for proof of principal residency — proof that the city can now legally demand given recent changes to the Vancouver Charter, Llewellyn-Thomas noted.

When asked if she really thought people would self-declare an empty home, Llewellyn-Thomas said: “It’s the same as the income tax process. That’s the basis of our tax system here in Canada and so the audit process and the complaints process will keep people honest.”

When people are found not to have been honest, they will be hit with a penalty. What that penalty will be is yet to be decided.

Also yet to be determined is who, precisely, will be exempted from the tax. It’s one of the biggest questions residents who find themselves away from their homes for months at a time will have about the tax, and it’s one that staff don’t have the answer to. Robertson was quick to say very few Vancouver residents would be subject to the tax, but staff plan to consult residents this fall on how far reaching it should be.

“We understand that there are lots of different reasons why people have left their homes empty,” Llewellyn-Thomas said.

“We will be testing various scenarios and asking the public to bring us scenarios as well.”

Among the exemptions staff have proposed for discussion so far include homes that are:

 In probate or whose owner or tenant is in care;

 Subject to rental restrictions;

 Undergoing major renovations.

Empty laneway houses or basement suites would not be taxed as long as at least one unit on the same parcel of land is occupied, according to the report. But as to whether a home that is empty for six months a year should be treated like one that’s empty for nine? Staff don’t know that yet either.

The most obvious homes that city staff want to tax are those that are empty year-round, year after year. When asked whether Vancouver residents could afford to rent the kinds of houses and condos whose owners can afford to keep them perpetually empty, Llewellyn-Thomas said staff expect “when the supply of rental accommodation increases, the price and the supply and demand will find an equilibrium.”

At least $2 million in revenue would be generated from the tax annually and that would be enough to cover the costs of administering it, Robertson estimated. Any revenue earned above expenses would go to affordable housing, he said.

Robertson was quick to caution that the tax “is not a silver bullet” that would lift the vacancy rate on its own, but “an important tool to start the shift.” He expected many to rent their homes rather than pay the tax.

“Some people who can afford it will not want to rent out their property, and therefore, they’re going to make a generous contribution to affordable housing in Vancouver,” he said.

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West End Vancouver condo owners say they’ve been harassed to sell

 

Residents in the West End, many of them elderly, say that some unscrupulous property investors are harassing them in an attempt to get them to sell their strata condos.

In some of Vancouver’s overheated residential areas, owners of strata properties are under tremendous pressure to sell. One homeowners’ group says that has led to bad behaviour by a small number of developers and real estate companies to force strata owners out of their buildings.

Tony Gioventu, executive director for the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC, has been advising condo owners who say they are being harassed. He says the bullying tactics started around the time the province made changes to the Strata Property Act with Bill 40, removing the requirement that all owners agree to liquidate in order to sell a building. Now, only 80 per cent of strata owners need to agree in order to start the process. That legislative change has opened the door to investors with underhanded tactics, he says. Elderly residents living on low incomes are the easiest targets. One tactic, Mr. Gioventu says, is to buy up units to obtain majority power and then try to use them as rentals. They will suggest to the minority group of owners that the new tenants may be difficult or even unsavoury.

“I’m hearing of everything from physical threats to verbal threats and harassment to threats from lawyers, and third-party agents – all kinds of aggression and attacks being targeted at the senior community and remaining owners, trying to force them out at lower-than-reasonable prices. This is the side of industry that is really appalling,” Mr. Gioventu says, stressing this is not behaviour typical of the development industry – it is something new.

“It’s a form of what they call ‘block busting,’” he says. “If you want to redevelop a neighbourhood or buy into a building and take control, just install drug-dealer tenants or whatever it takes to make circumstances unlivable. I hate to say it, but there are unscrupulous people out there.”

In one situation, an investor purchased most of the units in a larger West End building. The investor, who now holds the majority of votes on the condo board, suggested that maintenance fees would have to triple. The majority of the building residents are seniors living on pensions who won’t be able to afford higher fees.

The purchase offers, Mr. Gioventu says, are almost always lower than market value. The minority owners showed Mr. Gioventu the offers they’d received from the investor.

“They are about 30 per cent above assessed value, but really, that’s about 30 per cent below market value. So it’s not really fair.

“And he told them if they didn’t take it within 30 days, he would do everything he could to make their lives unbearable.”

For old strata-condo buildings, the pressure is on like never before.

Kirk Kuester, executive managing director at Colliers International, says the older strata buildings have become a bigger focus for his firm.

“We have never been busier putting out proposals and meeting with strata corporations and educating them on the process associated with this Bill 40 legislation,” he says.

“There is an abundance of older wood-frame tired buildings not at their highest and best use. And because of the economics of multifamily real estate development in Vancouver, when condo values have moved as much as they have over last couple of years, they are pulling land values up with them all the time. It puts all of these buildings at risk.

“It depends what side of the fence you are sitting on. Some [strata owners] are licking their chops. Others don’t care.”

With the new strata legislation, he’s heard of investors taking over just enough of the units to make it impossible for the other owners to form an 80-per-cent majority.

“There are people that are quietly out and about in some of these prime areas, and they are identifying prime buildings and trying to aggregate 21 per cent. So guess what? You and I live in a building and there are 100 suites. And we quietly watch 20 of our neighbours accept offers from a mysterious buyer and it’s ultimately one buyer. One buyer now has 21 per cent of the control. There is no more 80 per cent happening.

“They essentially freeze the strata.”

That tactic drove one group of strata residents into a panic to sell. In the West End, a senior who lives alone said a small developer has bought the majority of units in their small building and is pushing the remaining seniors to get out. We are seated in her spacious, bright apartment just off Robson, where, like many of her neighbours on the street, she’s lived for three decades. The woman, in her 70s, didn’t want to be identified because she fears for her safety. One agent warned her that if she didn’t move, the majority owner could triple her maintenance fees. He suggested that undesirable rental tenants could soon move into the building. He also asked her how she’d feel living next door to constant construction sounds, because the majority owner of her building also owns several buildings on the block.

The woman says she has several agents calling her constantly. When she refused to sell to one agent who’d called, he started yelling expletives at her on the phone. In tears, she phoned police.

“There’s been a lot of harassment,” says the woman, who says she has health problems. “I love my place. The building is in good condition.”

However, she now has to choose between a life of being bullied, which, she says, is “incredibly stressful,” or moving out, so she can find peace again. The problem is, there is nothing for her in the same neighbourhood. Like her neighbours who’ve sold, she’d have to move out of her community.

Another resident of the same building said the investor had divided the homeowners from the start.

“He made the first buyer and the second buyer all sign non-disclosure agreements, because he didn’t want us talking to each other,” says the woman, who says she’s too old to fight. “He’s smart. He took us down one by one, broke up the group, and got us all paranoid and scared. We’re pretty much living in fear.

“When it came down to the last five of us, I could tell everyone was scared. And everyone was sort of panicking because they didn’t want to be the last one out, because he could make our lives miserable.”

Lawyer Oscar Miklos is representing a group of strata residents that is being harassed by a new investor in their building. He says strata owners will always get a better deal if they stick together as a group.

“Sometimes, these people are very asset-rich but cash-poor … and they don’t have the benefits of having a lawyer on their side. And certainly, if that’s the case, then that does create a problem for them because they are victimized or prone to this type of bullying tactic.

“The developers can team up, so to speak, with their own real estate agents and the realtors can get involved as well – and depending on who the realtor is, and how aggressive, sometimes they can be the assistant to the developer and use these type of tactics.”

Mr. Miklos says strata owners facing unfair actions by a majority owner can seek help through the new Civil Resolution Tribunal, where they can represent themselves. It is like a small claims court for strata property owners, but it will also handle block-busting tactics and failure to follow strata bylaws, such as pushing for rentals when the bylaw says none is allowed.

Tom Reinarz is a retired builder who’s lived in his West End house for 40 years. He took a break from painting his house – an “oasis,” as he describes it – to talk about the changes. He has two tenants who’ve been with him 17 years, but at other buildings, he’s seeing unfair rent increases. Buildings along his street have been bought up in the past few years. He says he’s “upset” at the inflow of money coming into the city, with little regulatory controls.

“You feel like these are people who have no tie to the West End, no tie to Vancouver … It’s just the way it’s done. It’s so disturbing.

“It’s changing already. You see different people, people who have more money move in, and people that have less money – and they have to go to Burnaby or wherever – further out. So the whole thing is completely out of control.”

 

 

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Probably should have been a 5-7.5% tax instead of the 15.  The government literally threw billions away in property transfer tax as well

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Demand for office, retail, and land reaches five-year high across the Lower Mainland

Demand for commercial real estate remained robust across all major categories in the Lower Mainland in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

A record 804 commercial real estate sales were registered in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2016. This represents a 30.9 per cent increase over the 614 sales in Q2 2015, and is the most active quarter for commercial real estate in the last five years.

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q2 2016 was $4.231 billion, which is 105.7 per cent above the $2.056 billion total in Q2 2015.

“We continue to see record-setting demand in the commercial real estate market,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president. “Buyers remain active across all major commercial real estate categories in the Lower Mainland.”

Q2 2016 activity by category

Land: There were a record 340 commercial land sales in Q2 2016, which is a 73.5 per cent increase from the 196 land sales in Q2 2015. The dollar value of land sales in Q2 2016 was $1.850 billion, an 81.5 per cent increase over $1.019 billion in Q2 2015.

Office and Retail: There were a record 256 office and retail sales in Q2 2016, which is up 4.1 per cent from the 246 sales in Q2 2015. The dollar value of office and retail sales in Q2 2016 was $1.758 billion, a 190.5 per cent increase over $605 million in Q2 2015.

Industrial: There were 168 industrial land sales in Q2 2016, which is up 20 per cent over the 140 sales in Q2 2015. The dollar value of industrial sales in Q2 2016 was $267 million, a 14.1 per cent increase over $234 million in Q2 2015.

Multi-Family: There were 40 multi-family land sales in Q2 2016, which is up 25 per cent over the 32 sales in Q2 2015. The dollar value of multi-family sales in Q2 2016 was $353 million, a 79.4 per cent increase over $197 million in Q2 2015

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Quick Update for Sales in Greater Vancouver:

 

Total Sales Sept. 1-18, 2016:

 

Detached homes - 337

Attached homes (condos & townhouses) - 788

 

Total Sales Sept. 1-18, 2015:

 

Detached homes - 740

Attached homes (condos & townhouses) - 1191

 

Overall sales have decreased 54% for detached homes from last Sept. 1-18, 2015.  Overall sales have decreased 34% for attached homes from last Sept. 1-18, 2015.

 

In terms of specific areas for detached homes:

 

Vancouver West - decrease of 37%

West Vancouver - decrease of 88%

Richmond - decrease of 63%

North Vancouver - decrease of 45%

Burnaby - decrease of 47%

Coquitlam - decrease of 45%

 

It looks like the two hardest hit areas are West Vancouver and Richmond.  In West Vancouver 7 houses have sold so far this month as opposed to 40 sales from the same period last year.  In Richmond, there have been 39 sales of houses so far this month as opposed to 105 sales from the same period last year.

 

I won't have pricing and sales to active listings ratio data from this month until the REBGV releases its official numbers at the beginning of October.  I can provide a more accurate data list at that time and also go through the attached homes numbers as well.

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Province appoints superintendent of Real Estate

News Release
Victoria
Monday, September 19, 2016 11:15 AM

 

 

 

The Province of British Columbia has appointed Micheal Noseworthy as the new superintendent of Real Estate.

 

Noseworthy is an experienced regulator and public sector leader, having recently served as a senior government regulator for Yukon. Noseworthy most recently served as superintendent of Real Estate, superintendent of Insurance, registrar of Lotteries and registrar of Medical Practitioners. Prior to that, Noseworthy worked as Yukon's director of residential tenancies and Employment Standards, and was awarded the Premier's Award of Excellence for his work as part of the team that developed Yukon's first-ever Housing Action Plan. His appointment takes effect Oct. 19, 2016.

 “I look forward to drawing upon my experiences as both a regulator and a lawyer with experience in real estate and administrative law to serve the interests of British Columbia’s real estate consumers by working swiftly to implement the reforms initiated by the government,” Noseworthy said. 

Noseworthy has worked as a lawyer in private practice in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to his work with the Government of Yukon, in a practice that included real estate law and administrative law. He received both his law degree and a bachelor of arts in political science from Dalhousie University.

Changes to the Real Estate Services Act to increase oversight of the real estate industry and enhance consumer protection come into force Sept. 30, 2016. The new regulatory framework significantly increases council’s accountability to government and strengthens the overall governance of the real estate profession.

The amendments transfer rule-making powers from the Real Estate Council to the superintendent of Real Estate and enable an enhanced oversight role for the superintendent. Maximum penalties for real estate licensee misconduct are also increased.

Additional resources have been allocated to the new Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate to ensure it is well-prepared to fulfil its role. The Real Estate Council will continue to be responsible for licensing, licensee and public education, investigation of licensee conduct and licensee discipline. 

The Province has ended self-regulation of the real estate profession by replacing the 13 elected licensees with government-appointed members. Government is in the process of completing those appointments.

The creation of a dedicated superintendent of Real Estate and the legislative amendments are the result of ongoing actions by government to strengthen the regulatory framework for real estate professionals, and better protect both buyers and sellers of real estate. Many of the changes flow from recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Group, established by the Real Estate Council of B.C. earlier this year.

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B.C.'s $500-million housing affordability plan to create new rental units: Clark

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark says B.C. will use half a billion dollars in profits from the real estate sector to make the largest investment in new rental units in the province’s history.

Clark said 2,900 new rental units will be created as the government partners with non-profit groups, community agencies and the private sector to build a mix of new housing. That could include government purchasing existing homes and condos from private developers and earmarking them for lower-income residents.

“This is by far the biggest amount that any government has invested in British Columbia’s history in affordable housing, and now is the time,” she said. She acknowledged it’s not going to solve the entire problem but is part of continued announcements on the housing file.

Her government said the new housing would help “low-to moderate-income renters, seniors, youth, students, adults with developmental disabilities, Aboriginal people and women and children.”

The plan is funded with $500 million in real estate tax profits the government set aside last week for housing affordability projects.

The projects must be approved by March 2017, the end of government’s fiscal year, and completed over the following 24 to 36 months, the government said. Specific projects will be announced “in the coming months,” said a news release.

The new money is in addition to $355 million over five years — to create 2,000 new affordable housing units — that the government announced in February.

A government news release said the types of projects for consideration include purchasing or building housing for: youth aging out of care at 18 years old, seniors in rural areas, seniors in urban areas, students in partnership with post-secondary institutions, repurposed units for youth in transition, on and off reserve aboriginal housing, single women and children fleeing abuse, and “strategic acquisitions” to protect the supply of affordable rental housing.

The announcement is part of what the premier has billed as her “six key principles” to respond to the housing affordability crisis. That included removing the real estate industry’s ability to police itself and instituting a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax on Metro Vancouver real estate purchases.

Clark has also said her government needs to emphasize increasing the supply of housing and rental units, help first-time buyers get into the market, and increase density along planned new transit lines.

The Liberal government has been criticized for its slow response to the housing crisis, and for not intervening sooner as prices skyrocketed and foreign investment increased.

NDP leader John Horgan called the plan laughable, and said the Liberal government “will say anything during an election to get elected.”

Using public funds to buy private units is a bad idea, he said. “That’s transferring public wealth into private hands,” he said. “Those are the same developers financing the BC Liberal Party for the past decade, and now on the way out the door they are getting a top up.”

The NDP would first increase funding for Metro Vancouver transit projects, to help people get around, said Horgan. He said the NDP would have more solutions as it gets closer to the election.

rshaw@postmedia.com

 

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1 hour ago, Harvey Spector said:

Province appoints superintendent of Real Estate

News Release
Victoria
Monday, September 19, 2016 11:15 AM

 

 

 

The Province of British Columbia has appointed Micheal Noseworthy as the new superintendent of Real Estate.

 

Noseworthy is an experienced regulator and public sector leader, having recently served as a senior government regulator for Yukon. Noseworthy most recently served as superintendent of Real Estate, superintendent of Insurance, registrar of Lotteries and registrar of Medical Practitioners. Prior to that, Noseworthy worked as Yukon's director of residential tenancies and Employment Standards, and was awarded the Premier's Award of Excellence for his work as part of the team that developed Yukon's first-ever Housing Action Plan. His appointment takes effect Oct. 19, 2016.

 “I look forward to drawing upon my experiences as both a regulator and a lawyer with experience in real estate and administrative law to serve the interests of British Columbia’s real estate consumers by working swiftly to implement the reforms initiated by the government,” Noseworthy said. 

Noseworthy has worked as a lawyer in private practice in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to his work with the Government of Yukon, in a practice that included real estate law and administrative law. He received both his law degree and a bachelor of arts in political science from Dalhousie University.

Changes to the Real Estate Services Act to increase oversight of the real estate industry and enhance consumer protection come into force Sept. 30, 2016. The new regulatory framework significantly increases council’s accountability to government and strengthens the overall governance of the real estate profession.

The amendments transfer rule-making powers from the Real Estate Council to the superintendent of Real Estate and enable an enhanced oversight role for the superintendent. Maximum penalties for real estate licensee misconduct are also increased.

Additional resources have been allocated to the new Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate to ensure it is well-prepared to fulfil its role. The Real Estate Council will continue to be responsible for licensing, licensee and public education, investigation of licensee conduct and licensee discipline. 

The Province has ended self-regulation of the real estate profession by replacing the 13 elected licensees with government-appointed members. Government is in the process of completing those appointments.

The creation of a dedicated superintendent of Real Estate and the legislative amendments are the result of ongoing actions by government to strengthen the regulatory framework for real estate professionals, and better protect both buyers and sellers of real estate. Many of the changes flow from recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Group, established by the Real Estate Council of B.C. earlier this year.

Clarks strongest economy in the country statement.

 

Makes me laugh

 

I too can fudge numbers on the backs of a hot housing market to make it look good.  Without mentioning the highest rates of homelessness, poverty, child poverty, highest cost of living, highest cost of housing, lowest wage to living wage ratio, largest housing crisis.  Third highest utility rates, highest taxation, lowest job quality.

 

All backed by potentially laundered money by potentially crooked agencies with the help of shady bak practices, then taxed to ensure that the problem spreads out of the GVRD and across the province ensuring housing prices and sales across the entire province continue to soar while the housing crisis worsens.

 

Maybe I will take a nap and visit this BC she lives in.  The one with millions of LNG jobs and a trillion dollars in the LNG fund, with its quality jobs with benefits and pensions.  Knock on the door of her house in Westbank and all

 

 

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so.............500 million for 2,900 places.............basically 1.7ish million per place to collect $1,000

I like to assume i'm some what intelligent but maybe I am a dumbass because I can not see how this is considered smart

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15 minutes ago, Lillooet_Hillbilly said:

so.............500 million for 2,900 places.............basically 1.7ish million per place to collect $1,000

I like to assume i'm some what intelligent but maybe I am a dumbass because I can not see how this is considered smart

No you are not a dumbass. The government is pandering for votes again so this is their way of giving back. They make over $2 billion in revenue by allowing the Ponzi scheme to continue for years, then only after housing becomes completely unaffordable even for the upper class locals they institute a potentially illegal tax to pander to the masses and make themselves look good. Now they are taking $500 million of that $2 billion from their Ponzi scheme to "help" low income earners, seniors and people with disabilities. 

 

And of course the projects for housing will come into effect next March, right "before" the next election. 

 

We we are all suckers. We are not dumb. But we are treated as idiots by the people that are supposed to protect us. 

Edited by Harvey Spector
  • Upvote 1

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so in a nut shell the gov is the owner of 30 dogs, the dogs are on chains and are allowed 1 cup of food each a day while they work and collect 3 bags of dog food a day for the owner.  Then they offer 2 cups and expect us to wag our tails?

Edited by Lillooet_Hillbilly

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2 hours ago, Lillooet_Hillbilly said:

so in a nut shell the gov is the owner of 30 dogs, the dogs are on chains and are allowed 1 cup of food each a day while they work and collect 3 bags of dog food a day for the owner.  Then they offer 2 cups and expect us to wag our tails?

Christy sitting in her office...

IMG_0143.JPG

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3 hours ago, Lillooet_Hillbilly said:

so in a nut shell the gov is the owner of 30 dogs, the dogs are on chains and are allowed 1 cup of food each a day while they work and collect 3 bags of dog food a day for the owner.  Then they offer 2 cups and expect us to wag our tails?

I don't think this is for you. PWDs, seniors, youth transitioning out of care, and otherwise vulnerable people are the ones who've been hit hardest by the housing madness. Units for these groups are direly needed. What does one do when they have nothing, can't work and have lived here their entire life?

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http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-disability-rates-go-up-september-1-1.3742686

 

Imagine trying to get by on that. We're all bitter, but some of us are very out of touch with what people with legitimate barriers and limitations are forced to brave re: housing and general affordability in BC.

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I'm all for affordable housing for those people but spending 1.7million per place is not reasonable.  Sea containers double stacked or more with modified elevators would be a wiser more durable and safer alternative then just renovating a old cheap hotel

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