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From $5BN to $100BN in six years: Chinese outbound property investments


 Read the Chinese outbound property investments here: 

juwai sea of money report



Real Estate News


What Would Happen If Canada's Real Estate Bubble Bursts?

Home prices in Canada are going off the charts, and even attempts to cool down the market has been met with limited success. Many people agree that this increase in prices is not sustainable, and that a correction is bound to happen down the line. However, how this correction will manifest itself is uncertain. Most are still banking on that ambiguous "soft landing" policy-makers have talked about for years; but what if a real estate market crash was to occur?

For reference, an example of a real estate market crash would be Toronto in 1989. The average cost of a home hit a 30-year high at $273,698 – then the bottom fell out. By 1996, the average had fallen to $198,150.

Admittedly, there are some owners who would be largely unaffected even if there was a housing crash. Someone who isn’t going to move and has a lot of equity in the house would be set back, but they wouldn’t be tied to monster mortgages and still have a financial cushion.

But housing isn’t just about prices, and a serious downtown may have greater implications for the economy.

Karl Schamotta, director at Cambridge Global Payments, predicts that unemployment would spike and made worse by people's reluctance to move for work because they are tied to mortgages for homes worth less than they paid. This would be bad for productivity, and make Canada’s economy less able to react to global changes. Predictably, the loonie would also fall, which would hurt imports while boosting exports.

A lot of this also depends on why prices fall in the first place. If it’s due to resolving housing supply issues, this may actually be positive for the economy. If it is due to a quick rise in interest rates, we may see a situation that is not dissimilar to the housing crisis in the United States a few years back. People would have to spend more on their mortgages, leaving them with less to spend elsewhere. Then a consumer-led recession would occur, where unemployment rises, people default, and housing prices decline. Of course, that’s the worst case scenario and many believe that it will be unlikely.

One key difference between Canada and the United States is that “everyone in this country is trying to slow down the market.” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets says, “You don't have the situation where banks are seeing green and trying to maximize profits. In fact they are really trying to slow it down. Regulators are trying to slow it down and more is coming."


Real Estate News


Aquifer Flood Causing Millions of Damage in Southwest Marine Neighborhood

Planning to purchase a home in the Southwest Marine neighborhood? If you do, make sure it’s far away from 7084 Beechwood – the site of a massive aquifer flood.

In September 2015, the owner of 7084 Beechwood, Feng Lin Liu, hired a contractor to build a mansion on his $3-million vacant lot. The contractor then hired an inexperienced team of drillers to install a geothermal heating system. Needless to say, things took a bad turn when the drillers accidentally pierced an aquifer – an accident that has caused more than 2 million litres of water to spill out. This sparked an evacuation order, and there are fears that a sinkhole could swallow about 12 nearby homes.

Since then, the drillers have fled Canada, leaving Liu liable for the damages.

By midsummer, the city hopes to have solved the issue. Currently, B.C. Groundwater has been contracted to cap the aquifer and stabilize the land that has been damaged by the aquifer breach. However, the cost of this operation is estimated to have a hefty price of $10 million.

Furthermore, a land document analysis by Postmedia News for nearby properties have seen a significant lag in value. The assessed value of 7084 Beechwood has dropped from $3 million in 2016 to $2 million in the 2017; and several homes immediately surrounding the lot have seen an increase of about 6% in value in 2017, which is a large gap from the overall 25% increase for elsewhere in Vancouver.

As of late April, a B.C. Supreme Court order has permitted CIBC (where Liu has defaulted on his $1.75 million loan) to send Liu a notice-of-foreclosure. Though, it is still uncertain as to who will be ultimately liable for the damages, given the fact that the individuals responsible for the accident have been difficult to locate.

Vancouver Sun
The Province

Real Estate News


How Effective are the New Taxes in Increasing Housing Affordability?

Last summer, the BC government implemented a foreign-buyer’s tax aimed at cooling down Vancouver’s real estate market and improve housing affordability.

However, eight months later, was the foreign-buyer’s tax actually successful?

After the tax was implemented, Vancouver-area sales, listings and prices all dropped; and prices took a step back for several consecutive months. Although, whether this has been directly due to the foreign-buyer’s tax is uncertain.

Robert Hogue, senior economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, says that the market had been “slowing for several months before the tax was even announced.” Furthermore, sales and new listings are lower from a year ago, but prices have been going back on the upswing.

And while the market isn’t overheated, it’s a near call. Overheating occurs when the demand for existing homes is significantly higher than the supply. Across the Vancouver census metropolitan area, the sales-to-new listings ratio was 73%, which is slightly below the 75% threshold that would indicate overheating.

In general, Vancouver has yet to make any significant improvements.

Detached-home ownership costs still outstrip household income in Greater Vancouver. Economists at National Bank Financial estimated that it would take a median-income household 428 months – or nearly 36 years – to save for a down payment on a non-condo dwelling (detached or row housing).

Notably, this is the first year the Empty Homes Tax will come into effect. This is yet another tax aimed at increasing housing affordability by incentivizing people to sell or rent their secondary homes. Furthermore, proceeds from this tax will go towards affordable housing initiatives. As a side note, we’ve had one client recently sell their Vancouver property as a direct response to this new tax.

(Learn more about the Empty Homes Tax in our last article!)

Either way, it can be agreed that the BC government has taken bigger steps towards trying to increase housing affordability recently. It’s still too early to tell whether these taxes will actually be effective, but it’ll be interesting to see how they pan out in the coming years.

Business in Vancouver
Globe and Mail

Real Estate News


How Fair is the New Empty Homes Tax?

2017 is the first year that the Empty Homes Tax (or Vacancy Tax) will come into effect in Vancouver. Most homeowners are probably already aware of this new tax, since those whose property is deemed “empty” will be charged a significantly higher property taxes at the end of the year. Specifically, a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed value. This tax was introduced to address the issue of housing affordability, as well as empty and under-utilized properties.

For reference, here are the important deadlines for the Empty Homes Tax:

  • Jan 1, 2017 (Start of 2017 tax year)
  • July 1, 2017 (Tenancy deadline for non-principal residences)
  • Dec 31, 2017 (End of tax year)
  • Feb 2, 2018 (Declaration deadline for 2017 tax year
  • Click HERE to learn more

Revenues from this new tax will be reinvested into affordable housing initiatives.

However, recently, the fairness and merit of this new tax has come under question – and there are definitely good arguments for both sides.

Michael Geller, a Vancouver architect and real estate consultant, believes it is “unfair to penalize those who own a secondary home in Vancouver for use as a pied-a-terre.” A pied-a-terre being a secondary residence used for either a portion of the year or of each week, usually by a relatively affluent person.

He further elaborates by saying, “We should be welcoming people who want to make Vancouver their second home. The irony is these people are paying full property taxes and placing relatively little demand on municipal services.”

On the other side of the debate, Thomas Davidoff, executive director of the UBC Sauder School of Business’s Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate, argues that a pied-a-terre doesn’t provide housing for the workforce. People are free to own multiple residences, but it is not unreasonable to charge a progressive tax on them – especially in Vancouver, where there is a current housing shortage.

Furthermore, Vancouver has relatively low property-tax rates, compared to the rest of North America. A 1% increase will bring property tax rates closer to the North American average, not significantly above it.

Lastly, Davidoff says, “If you take a step like the empty homes tax, to put more of a burden on people who don’t earn income here or pay tax on it, but do own property here, that’s a fantastic thing to do.”

Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver is willing to stick by this new tax, saying, “Careful consideration was given to the impact of the tax on owners of second homes, however, this impact was weighed against the goal of the tax and the enforceability of the program.”

Vancouver Sun
City of Vancouver

Watch the video below to learn more about the Empty Homes Tax!

Real Estate News


The Last Gas Station in Downtown is For Sale

Just last month, a Chevron gas station in downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour was sold for a staggering $72 million. The property was purchased by Anthem Properties, a real estate development firm that hopes to redevelop the site into a “stunning residential project.”

The property site falls within Area A of the Georgia Corridor in the West End Community Plan, which means a 385-foot-tall building can be constructed on the site. Given the purchase price of the land, the site will most likely be redeveloped into high-end residential units.

Was it worth it? On paper, the property was assessed to be worth $29.5 million by BC Assessment. However, given Vancouver’s hot real estate market, the large price tag isn’t too surprising. Furthermore, the property was on the southeast corner of Bidwell and West Georgia, which is located in Vancouver’s coveted Coal Harbour neighborhood.

The Chevron gas station has now been permanently closed, which leaves downtown drivers with only one gas station to fill up their tanks: the Esso station on the southwest corner of Burrard and Davie streets.

However, the last remaining gas station within the downtown Vancouver peninsula may not be open for long. This is because the 17,292 sq. ft. Esso station property has just been listed or sale. There is no price attached to the listing, but the Chevron gas station that sold for $72 million will likely be used as a comparison. 

One difference between the two gas station properties is that the Esso station sits in Area G of the Burrard Corridor, which limits the height to 300 feet – 85 feet less than the Chevron property. Although, the listing notes that “rezoning applications to increase density can be considered.”

Lastly, for those who are just worried about filling up their tanks, the closest gas stations for downtown drivers are:

  • Burrard Street. and 2nd Avenue
  • Main and 2nd Avenue
  • East Hastings at Vernon Drive

Daily Hive 1
Daily Hive 2


Real Estate News


Do you have unclaimed assets sitting at the BC Unclaimed Property Society?

The BC Unclaimed Property Society (BCUPS) is a not-for-profit society created in 2003, and was created for the purpose of reuniting owners with their forgotten or unclaimed assets.

Over the years, thousands of BC residents have “forgotten funds in long-forgotten credit union accounts, unpaid wages, over-payments to debt collectors, unclaimed proceeds from courts, pension funds, estates and forgotten real estate deposits.”

Sounds like this might apply to you? That might be the case, because currently more than $140 million in unclaimed money belonging to BC residents is sitting unclaimed at the BCUPS.

The BCUPS works diligently every year to locate owners and holders of unclaimed property, as well as maintain a public database of doorman accounts and assets. However, there is still approximately $140,255,000 at the society, with approximately $5,585,000 being received in 2016 – and only $1,219,000 was able to be returned to their rightful owners in 2016.

The society has access to several databases to aid in their searches, but due diligence of your own accounts is always the best option. BC residents can easily check for unclaimed monies through the BCUPS website. Fund are claimed through a verification process; and if approved, a cheque will be issued within 10 to 12 business days.

As Alena Levitz, executive director of BCUPS, says: “The funds are always available to the rightful owner. We have funds going back to the late 1880s and they’re certainly still with us.”

Rest assured, assets that will likely be forgotten forever is still going to a good cause! BCUPS also donates a portion of unclaimed funds ever year to the Vancouver Foundation to be used for charitable purposes. Since 2004, more than $31 million has been transferred to the foundation.

For those interested, you can search the database HERE.

Global News


Real Estate News


Vancouver rental market becoming increasingly unaffordable

Vancouver is well known to have one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world; but rental prices have also been soaring. According to the newest Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) survey, the rent for one bedrooms had a particularly steep climb this year. The median rent rose from 7.43% to $1,085 per month - for perspective, Toronto’s median rents climbed at half that rate.

Currently, the city’s west end has the highest median rents. Specifically, West Vancouver, with a median rent of $1,500 per month for a one-bedroom unit. English Bay and Downtown follows closely behind, with $1,446 and $1,400, respectively.

The lowest median rents were found in the city’s east end. Marpole saw a median rent of $910 for one bedroom, while East Hastings was a bit higher at $970.

Most concerning are the results of the early wage surveys in BC, which show that income optimistically grew at only 4%. Having the median rent increase at almost TWICE the rate of the median income is definitely a cause for concern. If this trend continues, Vancouverites will undoubtedly face an even more difficult and unaffordable housing market in the coming years.

The reason for high rental rates seem to be low inventory. Demand is high, but affordable rental units are scarce.

Notably, the vacancy tax will go into effect soon, which may help mitigate the issue. The vacancy tax was approved last year, and will charge a 1% tax on homes that are not principal residences or aren’t rented out for at least six months of the year. This tax was introduced to combat the housing crisis in Vancouver, and aims to improve rental vacancy rates. The tax will be implemented in early 2017, with first payments due in 2018.

Business Insider

Real Estate News


Top land prices are persuading churches to sell

With declining church attendance and rising real estate values in Vancouver, the sale of church property has been accelerating in recent years.

A recent case is the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, located in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, near Main Street and East 15th Avenue. The church has just been put up for sale; and with a 1.45 FSR, the land could allow for more than 41,000 sq. ft. of real estate in one of Vancouver’s prime housing markets.

Although no formal price has been set, a call for submissions to purchase has attracted 90 distinct bids from developers and a handful of other church groups.

Citing a confidentiality agreement, estimates on the worth of the property could not be disclosed. However, according to a Colliers International Metro Vancouver LandShare Report in 2016, the values per buildable square foot in the Main Street corridor were in the $250 to $380 range. For reference, a 15,000 sq. ft. site at Main Street and East 3rd Avenue sold last year for $17 million – though, the land did have a higher-density commercial zoning.

The constantly rising value of Vancouver real estate has made the sale of church properties for millions of dollars increasingly common. The currently listed Korean United Church along Vancouver’s Kingsway corridor has a pending offer at $8.8 million; and a Coquitlam church on a 71,000 sq. ft. lot listed at $4.7 million.

The amount of money involved is definitely an influencing factor; but many churches have seen this as an opportunity to downsize and use profits for community good. 

The Dunbar Ryerson United Church’s plan to partner with Wall Financial Corporation for a large residential project has stirred some opposition. Despite this, the church is still dedicated to the project, and plans to use the proceeds to rehabilitate their stone church, as well as build a new community centre. 

In the past two decades, at least two dozen Vancouver churches have sold their property; and eleven church properties have been demolished since 2000. Whether it is ‘right’ to demolish or sell church properties is up for debate. However, with the rising real estate values in Vancouver, there will always be developers snapping up these deals.

Business in Vancouver
The Georgia Straight

Real Estate News


Could the housing-price correction be over?

There are conflicting opinions on whether the housing correction is coming to an end.

Admittedly, the numbers don’t seem promising. Last year in February, 4,254 units were sold. This year, in the same month, only 2,461 units were sold – a 42% decrease. Furthermore, total dollar volume of sales fell almost 48% - from $4.7 billion last year to less than $2.5 billion.  

Many believe that the foreign-buyer tax introduced in August has played a role in cooling down the market.

Despite this, Bryan Yu, a senior economist at Central 1 Credit Union, believe that market conditions are stronger than the data suggests. The market is still “soft”, and February sales were at a subdued (yet consistent) pace; but nothing indicative of a housing crash. In fact, prices have firmed, with a 10% gain in average value from January to $863,740. This suggests positive momentum.

BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic has also commented, saying “While benchmark prices are down modestly from their August high, they appear to be creeping up again.”

Prices are being supported by inventory shortages, with both new home listings and active listings declining. Currently, it is a seller’s market – particularly for townhomes and condos.

Notably, Yu also writes, “Subdued sales reflect policy changes and affordability, not a deteriorating economy, meaning sellers are in a position to be patient or delay sales.”

Housing supply is expected to remain tight; but according to a recent forecast by Statistics Canada, construction expenditures should increase at twice the rate of overall capital investment across BC in 2017. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp) forecasts between 21,500 and 23,500 housing starts in Metro Vancouver in 2017.

However, approvals and financing for projects have been slow to come; so whether the market has already seen a correction or cooling down will continue to be up for debate.

Business in Vancouver 1
Business in Vancouver 2
Business in Vancouver 3

Real Estate News


Proposed Class Action Argues that 15% Foreign Tax is Unconstitutional

Last summer, the BC government introduced the foreign buyer’s tax in an attempt to cool down Metro Vancouver’s real-estate market. The law was passed on July 28, and came into effect on August 2 – just five days later. Predictably, this sparked a frenzy to complete property transfers before the tax kicked in. However, some weren’t so lucky.

The representative plaintiff in the proposed class action is Jing Li, a Chinese national who graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in public administration. Eight days before the law was announced, Li paid a non-refundable deposit of $55,990. When the law was announced, Li had the difficult decision of forfeiting her deposit or paying an additional $83,850 under the new foreign tax.

Situations like these is what led to a proposed class-action lawsuit against the BC government. The lawsuit was filed in September, and argues that “the tax unfairly assumes foreign nationals are wealthier than Canadians,” and that “it violates dozens of international treaties guaranteeing equal treatment to non-Canadian citizens and permanent residents.” The lawsuit was amended to also include that the “arbitrary” distinction between citizens and non-citizens is a violation of equal rights.

Furthermore, the foreign nationals’ property tax has been disproportionately affecting those from Asian countries, “a class of persons that have historically suffered discrimination in British Columbia.”

How this class-action lawsuit will pan out is uncertain, but the court documents suggest that many non-citizens and non-permanent residents are being hit hard by this new foreign tax. The lawsuit argues that “nationality and citizenship are not related to wealth,” and that this overly-inclusive tax is making the housing market even more unaffordable to those who have no more wealth than Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Notably, Premier Christy Clark tweaked the law earlier this year, exempting anyone living in B.C. on a work permit and who pays taxes in the province.

Financial Post

Real Estate News


New ‘green’ bylaw could mean even higher housing costs

Starting from May 1st, Vancouver’s Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning will come into effect. This policy is part of the city’s ambitious Zero Emissions Building Plan, which aims to reduce emissions from new buildings by 90% by 2025, and to achieve zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030.

The policy aims to achieve this through several methods - and may mean significant changes to the look of highrise buildings and new houses.

In general, there will be higher standards for building envelopes (e.g airtight design, super insulation, good ventilation). Buildings created under this standard would use little energy, and be more affordable to heat and operate.

However, under this new bylaw, only gas derived from renewable sources will be allowed – which means no more natural fireplaces and cooking elements. Notably, British Columbia is a leader in natural gas production; and natural gas costs about one-third of what electric heat costs. This move from natural gas to renewable sources will likely have a large effect on costs - especially since gas from gas from renewable sources, such as landfills, currently produce less than 1% of the gas used in BC.

Concrete balconies will also be on the decline since they allow too much heat to escape. This would require a thermal break to reduce heat transfer; but having an energy-efficient balcony means extra costs.

With all these new restrictions and requirements, industry experts predict an added 15% to 20% to the cost of new highrise condominium towers. This would equate to at least $10,000 per new condo apartment. This number is likely even higher for new low-rise condominiums, townhouses, detached houses, and substantial home renovations.

Fortunately, for concerned individuals, it will be a while before the new regulations truly hit the housing market. There is a current backlog in rezoning applications, and it typically takes four to seven years to get rezoning approval in the city of Vancouver. It will still be a few years until we see the effects of this new bylaw, and whether it will be successful in reducing building emissions.

City of Vancouver

Real Estate News


Could land trusts be the solution to housing affordability in Vancouver?

On the banks of Fraser River, a new and unique co-operative housing project is in development. By the end of 2017, residents can expect three buildings – two towers, one lower-rise building – with a total of 358 units. The address is 2910 East Kent Avenue, and is one of the ways the City of Vancouver is trying to combat the speculative market and provide affordable housing.

A new land-trust foundation in Vancouver, called the Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation (VCLTF), is the main driving force behind this project. Their number one goal, as outlined on their website, is “to provide and preserve opportunities for persons primarily of low and moderate income to acquire and occupy housing and accommodation and facilities which would otherwise be unattainable or unaffordable.” It is because of this vision that the City was willing to give, for $10, a 99-year lease for land worth $25 million.

When the buildings the VCLTF are constructing are completed, some units will be rented out at market price. However, a few others, will be rented for $375 a month – the amount that the provincial government provides for housing people on welfare. Other units will be rented to people for no more than 30% of their declared income.

The VCLTF is also in talks with other organizations and municipalities in the hopes of implementing more affordable housing projects. Currently, the foundation is in negotiations with the North Cowichan District to develop that municipality’s first-ever low-cost housing project.  They hope that their efforts will spur more construction in the low-cost-homes segment.  

If the VCLTF is successful in implementing their vision, the benefit for British Columbian citizens is a supply of quality, new low-cost housing, run by a foundation whose main priority is the people and not profits.

Source: Globe and Mail
Source: Mortgage Broker News
Source: Vancouver Sun

Real Estate News


BC Home Partnership Program Now Open!

Applications for the BC Home Partnership Program opened on January 16, 2017, and the province has already granted more than $1 million in loans to first-time home buyers.

As of February, 2017 there has been:

  • Actual applicant purchases – 67
  • Applications received – 340
  • Page views of program website - 60,000+

The BC Home Partnership Program offers loans of up $37,500, and helps first-time home buyers fund down payments on housing purchases (must be $750,000 or less) with closing dates after February 15, 2017. The loan has a 25-year term, and is interest and payment free for the first five years. After five years, buyers can repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates. Notably, the loan will be registered on the property title as a second mortgage.

Potential applicants still have time to apply, with the program running until March 31, 2020. The province anticipates spending more than $700 million over the next three years, and estimates that 42,000 British Columbians will be helped through this program.

For those who are interested in learning more about the BC Home Partnership Program, click HERE. You can find detailed information on whether you’re eligible, how to apply, and the process after your application is accepted.

Source: CBC News

REBGV Newsflash

BC government to offer down payment loans for first-time buyers

Premier Christy Clark unveiled a new loan program today to help first-time home buyers come up with their down payment.

The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program will offer qualifying home buyers loans of up to $37,500, interest and payment free, for five years.

The province will begin accepting applications on January 16, 2017.

To qualify, buyers must:

  • be buying their first home;
  • obtain a high-ratio, insured first mortgage for at least 80 per cent of the purchase price;  
  • have a combined gross household income not exceeding $150,000;
  • have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount;
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years; and
  • have lived in BC for at least the full year preceding their application.

The loans will be due in full if the buyer defaults on a payment, ceases to use the home as a principle residence or resells the home.

Key facts:

  • The loans will match a home buyer’s contribution to a down payment up to five per cent of the home’s purchase price. 
  • The maximum purchase price to qualify for a loan is $750,000 (excluding taxes and fees).
  • After five years, buyers can either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates.
  • Loans through the program are due after 25 years.

“This program will boost sales to first-time home buyers. Without question, they’ll take advantage of it wherever they can,” said Helmut Pastrick, Central 1 Credit Union chief economist.

The province estimates this initiative will help at least 42,000 buyers or households province-wide over the next three years. About half of these buyers will be in the Lower Mainland, according to Pastrick.

Click here for more information.

Federal government changes mortgage insurance rules

Federal government changes mortgage insurance rules

The federal government announced regulation changes for new government-backed insured mortgages today. Effective October 17, 2016, insured homebuyers will have to qualify at the posted five-year qualifying rate. Previously, only variable rate mortgages and mortgages with terms less than five years were subject to a higher qualifying rate.

The qualifying rate is updated weekly and available on the Bank of Canada website. The current rate is 4.64 per cent, about 200 basis points higher than the best bank offered rates. 

To qualify for mortgage insurance, a homebuyer's debt servicing ratio must be no higher than: 

• Gross Debt Service – 39 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, and heating costs.

• Total Debt Service – 44 per cent of household income, including mortgage payment, taxes, heating costs, and all other debt payments 

These changes will apply to new mortgage insurance applications received on October 17, 2016 or later. Mortgage insurance applications received after October 2, 2016 and before October 17, 2016are also not affected by the rule change, provided that the mortgage is funded by March 1, 2017. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages aren’t affected by this measure.

These changes also won’t apply to mortgage loans where: 

• the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan; 

• the borrower entered into a legally binding agreement for the property against which the loan is secured. 

The federal government is also instituting new eligibility rules for low-ratio (higher than 20 per cent down payment) mortgages backed by government insurance. As of November 30, 2016, to be eligible for government insurance, new mortgages must meet the following requirements: 

1. A loan whose purpose includes the purchase of a property or subsequent renewal of such a loan; 

2. A maximum amortization length of 25 years;

3. A maximum purchase price below $1,000,000 when the loan is approved;

4. For variable-rate loans that allow fluctuations in the amortization period, loan payments that are recalculated at least once every five years to conform to the original amortization schedule; 

5. A minimum credit score of 600 at the time the loan is approved;

6. A maximum Gross Debt Service ratio of 39 per cent and a maximum Total Debt Service ratio of 44 per cent at the time the loan is approved, calculated by applying the greater of the mortgage contract rate or the Bank of Canada conventional five-year fixed posted rate; and,

7. A property that will be owner-occupied.

These new criteria, in particular requiring a maximum purchase price below $1 million, will essentially make the majority of single family homes in Metro Vancouver ineligible for government issued insurance for low-ratio mortgages. 

The government also announced measures to ensure that the exemption from capital gains tax on the sale of a principal residence is available only in appropriate cases.

Click here for more information on these changes.

(Thanks to the BC Real Estate Association’s Economics department for this analysis.)

Vancouver Real Estate Marketing Done Right

Shangri-La unit 3602, 1111 Alberni Street in Vancouver's downtown. 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, 1618 sqft. Listed for $1,899,000 and sold in 5 days in June for $1,870,000.  This was the 2nd unit sold in the Shangri-la in one month by the Rampf Anderson Real Estate Group.  Mike Rampf and Shawn Anderson are a marketing team to be reckoned with.  This suite had a sweeping 270 degree view from the North Shore Mountains to UBC. A corner unit on the 36th floor with American walnut engineered floors, Miele, Sub-Zero and Bosch appliances and granite kitchen island and double sinks and breakfast bar. Touch pad audio-visual system and custom fireplaces in both living room and master bedrooms. Luxurious bathrooms. Corner balcony and 2 parking stalls. Fitness centre and outdoor pool.  If you are interested in working the Mike Rampf or Shawn Anderson give them a call 604-616-0115 they will make stuff happen!

To read the article


Real Estate Agent Best of Best Georgia Straight

I was very honored to be voted in the top three for the Real Estate Agent Best of the Best Readers' choice by the Georgia Straight for 2011. Thanks to my business partner Shawn Anderson and office assistant March-Ann,  they have been such a great support.    I would like to thank everyone for voting for me, much appreciated.  I love working in the Kitsilano, Arbutus Walk, Point Grey, Cambie and downtown areas and have met so many incredible clients who I would now like to call my friends. Working and living in the area is incredible. Have a look at this years Best of the Best in the Georgia Straight click here

Selling homes in a couple weeks in this slow market is possible.

So who says a house can’t sell in a week, like the good old days?

I got a call from Jeremy in the middle of September, a referral from a past client. Jeremy and his wife were looking to sell their townhouse in Fairview and move to Ontario so they could spend Christmas with their family. He asked if it could be done in this slow and uncertain market. He didn’t want to put the house on the market at a low price and just dump his real estate below market value. He needed as much money as possible. I replied confidently, “Yes, it is possible to sell before Christmas, but only if you listen to me and let me market your property correctly.” 

The townhouse was built in the mid 1980’s with minimal updates and needed lots of TLC. The unit had lots of potential but required a lot of work before it could be shown to any potential buyers. I asked the couple to clear all the clutter from shelves, walls, closets and the huge crawlspace under their unit. After a week of cleaning and de-cluttering the home was ready for pictures. After a number of professional pictures were taken we were ready to determine a price for the home. 

I looked at what buyers were paying for similar town homes in the area, this gave us a good idea of the market value of the home (what the market was WILLING to pay for the property). We priced it sharply and NOT below market value.  
I needed one week to market the home before any showings and we were ready. After the first week we had our first offer accepted and the subjects were removed 10 days later. Their home sold for $4,000 less than what we had it listed for. Jeremy and his wife are over the moon. Their families back in Ontario were in tears to hear that their kids will be back home in time for Christmas. 

If you are thinking of selling your home and need it sold fast and for top dollar, call me and I will explain how we market our homes. I will also be able to give you a rough estimate for what price and how long it will take your house to sell.

Real Estate Marketing, Done Right.