Blog › August 2016

Recently Sold Listing 225 E 36TH AVENUE, Vancouver , BC

R2082784 - 225 E 36TH AVENUE, Vancouver , BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 225 E 36TH AVENUE, Vancouver .

Royal Bank Keeping a Close Eye on Vancouver Real Estate Market

Vancouver homes downtown and port

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is keeping a careful watch over home prices in both Vancouver and Toronto, according to media reports of an August 24 conference call to discuss RBC’s quarterly results.

The news comes at a time when Canada’s biggest banks are under pressure from the federal government over mortgage underwriting, with nervousness increasing over a possible price correction in either or both cities. The Office of the Superintendent for Financial Institutions tightened mortgage underwriting rules in July, and has told banks to "stress-test" to imagine a price correction scenario of up to 50 per cent.

RBC chief executive officer Dave McKay told journalists and analysts that the bank was closely monitoring the Vancouver and Toronto markets, although he added that RBC has less exposure to Vancouver than some of its competitors and that the bank's underwriting policies were robust.

His statement follows reports of Greater Vancouver home sales dropping in July, although the real estate board reported that prices were still rising. Sales data for August so far has revealed a further slowing in sales, which experts say is likely due to a combination of a wait-and-see reaction to the overseas buyer tax, and a natural summer lull.

McKay told media that the bank supported the federal government's move to set up a working group to help with housing issues.

Recently Sold Listing 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey, BC

R2100265 - 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey.

Recently Sold Listing 201 1616 W 13TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC

R2101016 - 201 1616 W 13TH AVENUE, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 201 1616 W 13TH AVENUE, Vancouver.

Unfortunate Tales of Foreign Buyer Tax Fallout

Since August 2, there has been a stream of reports of undeserving people getting hit by crossfire from the new foreign buyer tax. Here’s a look at some of the sorriest stories so far

Stressed home buyers

August 2 saw the implementation onew 15 per cent increase in Property Transfer Tax for overseas buyers of Greater Vancouver real estate, which outraged the real estate industry and much of the wider public by being applied to existing purchase contracts. Since then, there has been a range of media articles about those caught unexpectedly in the fallout of the new tax.

Here’s a selection of some of the biggest – and sorriest – stories.

Real Estate Deals Collapse as Foreign Buyer Tax Takes Effect –

Immediately after the August 2 implementation of the 15 per cent overseas buyer tax, the real estate industry was up in arms about the previous rules not being grandfathered for purchases agreed before August 2 but closing after that date. Deals started to collapse, although at that early stage there were few concrete examples to get hold of.

However, lawyer Richard Bell of Bell Alliance has since told of an unnamed 80-year-old Vancouver woman client of his, whose home sale to an overseas buyer has fallen through because of the new tax. Bell said that his client had to walk away from her own onward home purchase, losing her $100,000 deposit in the process – but that the deposit forfeited by her own buyers has covered this loss. He added that the collapse of the sale has caused enormous stress to his client, who is now worried about being able to sell her home again for as good a price.

Bell also told of an unnamed local construction company that is recruiting a new VP from the US, who had been planning to buy a Vancouver home after taking the job. However, the recruit, who is already living in Vancouver and has a work permit and a family in the city, is now renegotiating his salary with the company as his housing costs have just increased dramatically.

Foreign Buyer Tax to Cost Iranian Immigrant Thousands on First Home –

The new tax blindsided a Vancouver man waiting for his permanent resident status to be processed, according to this August 3 story by the CBC.

Iranian-born Hamed Ahmadi, who has been living and working in Vancouver for four years, and is a BC Hydro engineer with a work permit, says he's facing thousands in unexpected costs on the $360,000 home he is buying in Coquitlam. As his permanent residency visa is not quite processed, he has suddenly become liable for an extra $54,000 tax on the property – unless he walks away from his hard-saved $18,000 deposit.

“Any way I go, I lose,” said Ahmadi.

Coquitlam Family’s Home Sale Jeopardized Because of Foreign Buyers’ Tax – Canadian Press

A local couple are on tenterhooks as they wait to see if their home sale, made earlier this year but due to close in September, will fall through as their overseas buyers may back out because of the new tax, according to this Canadian Press story on August 16.

Heather Nyberg and Dan Zimmerman are relying on the sale of the property to complete their own purchase of a nearby duplex – otherwise they will have to walk away and lose the $80,000 deposit that they put down on the home.

University Grad Faces $84K Foreign Buyers Tax on Langley Townhome –

Also published August 16, perhaps the sorriest tale of overseas buyer tax fallout could be this CBC story about a 29-year-old woman who graduated last year from the University of Saskatchewan and then moved to Burnaby to continue her life in Canada.

Hoping to put down roots, Jing Li said that she borrowed from her parents in China a 10 per cent deposit to buy a $560,000 Langley townhome. She said her parents in turn borrowed money from friends and family. But 12 days after Jing signed the contract, the new tax was implemented, adding $84,000 to the home's cost, something Jing said she can't possibly afford. But if she backs out of the deal, she will lose her deposit of about $56,000.

"Now, I can't go forward and also can't go back," she told CBC, adding that her mother cried when Jing called her parents in China to tell them. She that she feels guilty for trying to make a life in Canada, because if she had not done so, “this disaster would not happen to my family.”

New Listing 83 - 6300 Birch Street, Richmond, BC

R2103151 - 83 - 6300 Birch Street, Richmond, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 83 - 6300 Birch Street, Richmond and currently listed at $979,000.SOLD

This 2 level, 3 bedroom, 3 bath townhouse located in The Springbrook development, was built by Cressey & inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. You will love the vaulted ceiling as you enter this spacious townhome, which has high-end finishings such as hardwood flooring, granite counter tops, & air conditioning. A lovely, fenced yard is your private oasis; perfect for the kids or entertaining. Enjoy the convenience of a double attached gargage with side by side parking. There are paths and landscaping throughout while being close to parks, shopping, schools, & transit. This is what you have been waiting for. 2 pets. Call or text listing agent for more information or to view.

Recently Sold Listing 2105 888 HAMILTON STREET, Vancouver, BC

R2099333 - 2105 888 HAMILTON STREET, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 2105 888 HAMILTON STREET, Vancouver.

Recently Sold Listing TH7 7180 Barnet Rd, ,

Presale - TH7 7180 Barnet Rd, , , CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at TH7 7180 Barnet Rd, .

Recently Sold Listing 434 RICHMOND STREET, New Westminster, BC

R2089713 - 434 RICHMOND STREET, New Westminster, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 434 RICHMOND STREET, New Westminster.

Recently Sold Listing 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2098937 - 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAI have just recently sold this listing at 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate, July 2016

The number of residential properties changing hands in Greater Vancouver returned to “more historically normal” July levels, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver – which is to say that home sales were down nearly 20 per cent year over year. But that didn't stop home prices setting fresh records last month.

So how do the numbers shake down? This infographic below takes a look at the wider stats behind the headline figures.

To read the full story and analysis, click here.

REBGV Stats July 2016 infographic

New Listing 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey, BC

R2100265 - 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 416 - 13728 108 Avenue, Surrey and currently listed at $159,900.SOLD

Welcome to Quattro 3 in the hub of Surrey Centre! Unit faces the inner courtyard - popular Plan A on the quiet side of the building. This home offers Whirlpool stainless steel appliances in kitchen, granite counter tops, wood grain laminate cabinets, Samsung washer & dryer, and 9' ceilings. Loft style bed and book stair-case included. Amenities include beautiful landscaped courtyards, fitness facility and a fully equipped children's playground. Balance of 2-5-10 year New Home Warranty applies! No car? No problem - Quattro has 2 MODO car co-op vehicles right at your doorstep and close to Gateway Skytrain station! OPEN HOUSE IS CANCELLED.

New Listing 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

R2098937 - 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, CANADAView my new listing for sale SOLD at 201 - 865 W 15th Avenue, Vancouver and currently listed at $599,000.SOLD

Tiffany Oaks. Spacious 2 bedroom & 2 bathroom suite. Master bedroom has a mini walk in closet. Stainless steel appliances, corian counters, good sized pantry and breakfast bar. Functional floor plan & plenty of storage. Laminate floors, good natural light, large deck, covered patio for year round BBQs, in-suite laundry & storage & open design. 1 parking & 1 storage locker, 1 RENTAL currently available, pets allowed - 1 dog or 1 cat. Well run building with recent updates. Near VGH, Douglas Park. Open SAT Aug 13th, 2:30 PM - 4PM & SUN Aug 14th, 2:30 PM - 4PM. Agent's Open Tues, Aug 16th 10:30am-12.

Real Estate Deals Collapse as Foreign Buyer Tax Takes Effect

home buyer stress condos apartmentsWith the new 15 per cent additional Property Transfer Tax for overseas buyers of Metro Vancouver homes taking effect today (August 2), local agents are starting to report collapsing deals, according to the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB). 

The new tax, passed July 28 under Bill 28, which applies to current and future home purchases closing from today onwards, has caused much concern in the real estate industry over its retroactive nature and lack of exemptions.

The FVREB announced Tuesday morning that it is receiving numerous complaints from local REALTORS® whose overseas buyers are backing out of signed deals, choosing to walk away from their deposits over having to pay an unexpected tax bill of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is leaving local home sellers, often in purchase agreements themselves, without a buyer – potentially being forced to walk away from their own purchases and deposits if their buyer cannot be immediately replaced.

Charles Wiebe, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, stated August 2, “Consider the local seller who has proceeded with a deal involving a foreign buyer, turning down other offers and putting the work in, now being left out to dry after their arranged buyer backs out due to the tax. This impacts their next home purchase, and those buyers and sellers along the line.”

Audio of CKNW interview

Real estate agencies are scrambling to close deals in Metro Vancouver before the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax, which came into effect today. I gave an interveiw for CKNW Radio with a few of my thoughts on the matter. Click HERE to Listen.