Vancouver’s Sub Area’s being updated

Tom Ikonomou East Vancouver Realtor

Changes to the Vancouver East Sub Areas

The east/west border of Renfrew & Renfrew Heights is now E Broadway.

South Vancouver now extends up to E 41 ave

New Sub Area South Marine is located south of S.E Marine Drive

Sub Area Hastings East is now Hastings Sunrise

Sub Area Mount Pleasant (East Vancouver) now located south of great northern way from E 6 ave to E 2 ave

New Sub Area Strathcona now located north of great northern way from E 6 ave to E 2 ave and north along Main Street.

From Renting to Owning: Pros and Cons

Vancouver Rent_or_Buy

Switching your status from tenant to owner can bring its own challenges. So before you decide whether homeownership is your next step, take a glance at this list of some pros and cons below.

Pro: You can customize anything
Paint the walls. Tear out the carpet. Install a trash compactor. When you own a property, you don’t have to wait for a management company to decide when, and how, a unit will be remodeled.

Con: You pay for the upgrades
If the dishwasher breaks down in your rental, you can simply call maintenance to get the issue fixed, often within a day. When you own a home, not only do you have the headache of finding a reliable repairman available at a convenient time, but you also have to cover the cost of all repairs (and heaven forbid, replacements).

Pro: You can finally have a yard
When you upgrade from renting to owning a home, chances are you’ll be able to find a patch of grass to call your own. Think of the all the barbeques and birthdays you’ll finally have room to host! Your dog will also be grateful for the extra space to roam.

Con: You’re in charge of yard work
This one may be a matter of perspective. Some people enjoy working outside and keeping their lawn looking greener than their neighbors. Others tire easily of the mowing, weeding and fertilizing needed as just the basic steps of lawn care. You can always hire someone to help, but that’s an added cost you didn’t have while renting.

Pro: You establish roots
You needn’t worry about your rent going up next year (depending on your mortgage). If you plan to stay put for a while, you’ll build long-term relationships with your neighbors and can feel free to finally unpack that box from high school you’ve been carting around. Go ahead and grow a garden of perennials – you’ll still be around the next time they bloom.

Con: You lack mobility
When renting, it’s easy to make a change when the lease is up or even, in dire circumstances, break a lease if you have to relocate right away. If you suddenly need to relocate as a homeowner, you’ll remain responsible for the monthly mortgage until your home sells. In hot markets this isn’t a problem, but it’s not unheard of for homes to remain on the market for months until their owners have to consider a credit-damaging short-sale.

Pro: You build equity
When you sign your rent check each month you’re handing off money you will never see again. In comparison, as a homeowner your check is going toward paying down the overall price of the home. Ideally, when it’s time to move on you’ll be able to sell your home for at least as much as you paid for it.

Con: You’re at the whim of unpredictable markets
Ideally you’ll be able to sell your home for the same price you bought it for, if not more. Unfortunately, the housing market can be volatile. Some homeowners end up underwater on their home, owing more on their original loan that the property is worth.

The bottom line? When you’re ready, there are many great benefits to home ownership, but it’s not a decision to be made lightly.

Using my knowledge of the market and learning more about your personal situation, I can help you decide when the time is right to make your next move. Contact me anytime.

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Boards Real Estate Statistics October 2018

The Greater Vancouver Real Estate Association has released the latest Statistics for October 2018. Click on the image below to enlarge or PDF documents included in the links below.

Oct 2018 Market Statatistics Greater Vancouver.jpg

 

New Listing: 1046 Mathers Ave, Sentinal Hill, West Vancouver, BC $1,799,000

1046 mathers

Property Description

Build Your Dream Home with legal suite & ocean view! Permits in place allowing you to get to lock up stage by Sept 2018. Choose not to build now? This level entry 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom renovated home is located in West Vancouver steps away from schools. Features beautifully gated wrought iron entry, leaded glass windows & foyer which opens out to the large living room. Private yard fully fenced perfect for BBQ and entertaining. Kitchen has granite counters and quality stainless steel appliances. All measurements of importance to be verified by buyer. Call for more information today.

Click Here to view more photos of this home.

To view all homes for sale in the lower mainland click here.

October 2018 Metro Vancouver Highlights

Oct 2018 Market Statatistics Greater Vancouver

Posted by Craig Munn

The Metro Vancouver* housing market saw fewer home buyers and more home sellers in April.

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in the region totalled 2,579 in April 2018, a 27.4 per cent decrease from the 3,553 sales recorded in April 2017, and a 2.5 per cent increase compared to March 2018 when 2,517 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 22.5 per cent below the 10-year April sales average.

“Market conditions are changing. Home sales declined in our region last month to a 17-year April low and home sellers have become more active than we’ve seen in the past three years,” Phil Moore, REBGV president said. “The mortgage requirements that the federal government implemented this year have, among other factors, diminished home buyers’ purchasing power and they’re being felt on the buyer side today.”

There were 5,820 detached, attached and apartment properties newly listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Metro Vancouver in April 2018. This represents an 18.6 per cent increase compared to the 4,907 homes listed in April 2017 and a 30.8 per cent increase compared to March 2018 when 4,450 homes were listed.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 9,822, a 25.7 per cent increase compared to April 2017 (7,813) and a 17.2 per cent increase compared to March 2018 (8,380).

“Home buyers have more breathing room this spring. They have more selection to choose from and less demand to compete against,” Moore said.

For all property types, the sales-to-active listings ratio for April 2018 is 26.3 per cent. By property type, the ratio is 14.1 per cent for detached homes, 36.1 per cent for townhomes, and 46.7 per cent for condominiums.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $1,092,000. This represents a 14.3 per cent increase over April 2017 and a 0.7 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

Sales of detached properties in April 2018 reached 807, a 33.4 per cent decrease from the 1,211 detached sales recorded in April 2017. The benchmark price for detached properties is $1,605,800. This represents a 5.1 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 0.2 per cent decrease compared to March 2018.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,308 in April 2018, a 24 per cent decrease from the 1,722 sales in April 2017. The benchmark price of an apartment property is $701,000. This represents a 23.7 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

Attached property sales in April 2018 totalled 464, a 25.2 per cent decrease compared to the 620 sales in April 2017. The benchmark price of an attached unit is $854,200. This represents a 17.7 per cent increase from April 2017 and a 2.3 per cent increase compared to March 2018.

Click here to download the full stats package

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

 

More Loopholes coming to a close

Vancouver Condos for sale by Tom IkonomouThis post was written by;

Joanne Lee-Young
Published on: May 4, 2018

There is growing scrutiny of who is, and who is not, paying what taxes in Metro Vancouver’s presale condo market.

This part of the real estate market, which sells condos before they are built, has been exempt from the B.C. government’s foreign buyers tax and disclosure rules for “shadow flipping” — the assigning or selling of a sales contract by one buyer to another before a deal is finalized and officially registered at the land title office.

In recent years, per-square-foot prices for these condos across Metro Vancouver — which are not captured in regular, monthly real estate industry statistics because the sales are not considered finalized — have seen high, double-digit gains of between 40 to 60 per cent, and even steeper.

There is concern that initial access to these units is often limited to a circle of overseas buyers, realtors who are favoured for guaranteeing bulk sales, and the “friends and family” of developers.

These buyers are able to purchase at a lower price and then “assign” or sell their sales contracts to other buyers (who would otherwise not have access to the units) for a higher price, without necessarily paying capital gains or income taxes.

There are now signs that it is not only the sellers of presale condo contracts, but also the developers and later buyers, who may be liable, or at least complicit, in avoiding taxes.

The B.C. Ministry of Finance recently said it will require the collecting and reporting of all presale condo transactions, including assignments, which would improve clarity in the market, from the residency status of buyers and sellers to the volume of assignments at specific projects.

Ahead of this, quietly, some developers are no longer approving or allowing the assigning of presale condo contracts by non-residents (generally foreign buyers, although there are exceptions such as Canadians living abroad) to local residents, says Anne McMullin, CEO and president of the Urban Development Institute.

Some developers have always reserved the right to forbid (or they charge a small fee for approving) requests to make an assignment, but the question is why are some now changing their policies?

Lawyers who spoke off the record said they have tried hard to get clear answers from the provincial finance ministry about whether developers could be viewed as complicit in tax avoidance if they allow non-resident owners to assign a presale condo contract to a resident buyer, who does not have to pay the 20-per-cent foreign buyers tax.

McMullin says the UDI has also asked the finance ministry for an answer.

“There is a difference of opinion, and we don’t know. It’s unclear.”

The ministry says that, currently, the foreign buyers tax only applies to presale condos when the unit is constructed and the land title is registered. It adds that by tracking presale contract assignments, as it plans to do, it can stop tax evasion and understand this area of the market better.

Another possibility is that they may be wanting to stay well clear of approving assignments from non-residents to locals because of new rules unveiled by the Real Estate Marketing Act, which will increase fines for developers filing misleading information or statements about assignments from $100,000 to $1.25 million for the first offence and from $200,000 to $2.5 million for subsequent offences, says Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties and chair of the Urban Development Institute, which represents developers in B.C.

On the flip side, developers don’t want to be seen as discouraging non-resident owners from assigning their contracts to local buyers.

“Isn’t the point of the foreign buyers tax to make more homes available to locals? So when there is an assignment from a non-resident to a local buyer, you are meeting the objectives of the (foreign buyers tax) legislation,” said Stovell, even though the local buyer ends up paying a higher price under this scenario.

Local buyers seeking a presale condo assignment from a non-resident seller also need to know they may be required to withhold, and pay to the Canada Revenue Agency, a percentage of the gains made by the non-resident seller.

Developers and lawyers say the situation has been open to interpretation, but the CRA’s response to Postmedia this week was clear: When there is a sale of any residential property from a non-resident seller to a local buyer, it is the local buyer who is required to either get a clearance certificate or hold back 25 per cent of the gains in order to pay potential capital gains taxes. This is presumably because it is much harder for the CRA to track such payments from a non-resident seller.

If the CRA determines that gains from selling assignments are subject to income tax, the withholding requirement can increase to 50 per cent. This is triggered if a seller sells multiple properties rather than just a principal residence. The CRA says for income tax, the withholding rules do not specify the residency of the buyer, but if both seller and buyer are non-residents, then the requirement applies.

The CRA confirmed the same requirement exists when it comes to selling interests or options in residential real estate such as presale condo sales and assignment transfers: local buyers are required to withhold 25 per cent of the gains made by a non-resident seller.

In October last year, Stovell’s company hiked the fee it charges for allowing presale condo owners to assign or sell a contract at two of its developments, including the high-profile One Burrard project in Vancouver’s West End.

Reliance Properties started stipulating that instead of owners paying it a standard 1.5 per cent of the initial purchase price to get permission for an assignment sale, they would have to pay Reliance 25 per cent of the profit they made between the original sale and the assignment.

The company did not specify it was imposing this fee only on assignments from non-resident sellers to resident buyers. At the time, Stovell said there had been a rapid increase in requests by owners to assign presale condo units at One Burrard.

As well, he mentioned reports of “unauthorized advertising of (One Burrard) assignments” online, in particular, on private realtor websites and through emails and social media.

He explained that Reliance was hoping to dampen speculation. The presale units had long been sold out, and had increased in per-square-foot value by an estimated 40 per cent since they were released on the market in late 2015.

Asked to clarify if what he meant to say the company’s new policy was designed to curb assignments, and in doing so also mitigate any possibility of approving assignments where buyers might not complying with tax withholding rules that haven’t been clear, Stovell said that “the buyer is the assignee, not us, and they would be responsible for the 25-per-cent withholding.”

He advised local buyers of assignments to seek third-party tax advice from a lawyer.

“Is it the developer’s job to warn (local) buyers (of assignments from non-residents) to withhold (money to pay for) taxes?”

jlee-young@postmedia.com