Sutton Showplace Realty (2015) Chilliwack

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First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

20 September 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive helps qualified first-time home buyers reduce their monthly mortgage carrying costs without adding to their financial burdens. This website help to determine your eligibility, calculate your maximum purchase price, and select the incentive that is right for you. Click here for more info: https://bit.ly/328Lwmw

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Is the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive a good deal for Home Buyers?

25 June 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The details of Ottawa‘s new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) are finally out, and the question for any Canadian struggling to afford their first home is: is it a good deal?

Under the program, which was first announced in the federal budget in March, the government is offering an interest-free loan to help homebuyers take out a smaller mortgage and keep monthly repayments lower. New information released on Monday clarified that, when the loan is repaid, the government will also get a share of any gains from the appreciation of the property.

Vice versa, if the value of the home has dropped, Ottawa will shoulder a percentage of the loss.

The measure will reduce monthly mortgage costs by up to $286 and is expected to help some 100,000 families become homeowners, Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, said in a prepared statement.

Sources consulted by Global News, though, had either negative or mixed reviews of the proposed incentive. Here’s what you should know:

Qualifying for the incentive

In order to participate in the FTHBI, you must meet two main requirements: be a first-time homebuyer and have an annual income of no more than $120,000.

The government sets out the criteria for who can call themselves a first-time buyer, a definition that is more nuanced than one might think. The income test is subject to requirements set out by lenders and mortgage loan insurers.

Buyers must come up with their own cash for a down payment of at least five per cent of the property value, but the incentive is meant only for mortgages greater than 80 per cent of the home value. In other words, if you’re planning on a down payment of 20 per cent or more, this isn’t for you.

The maximum home price you can aim for is four times your income plus the incentive amount.

Click here to find out how the math works, and if it's a good idea for new home buyers. The opinions mentioned herein are not that of Sutton Showplace Realty.

https://globalnews.ca/news/5398742/first-time-home-buyer-inventive-good-deal/?fbclid=IwAR1OS6el35_EXfNY40_3Tuq-28b9ofLsTk_KIJO9H1V5xh6tA6Ukz6BuN6A

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B.C. speculation tax changed to exempt Gulf Islands properties

27 March 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The changes include limiting the geographic areas of the tax to Nanaimo and Greater Victoria, exempting Parksville, Qualicum Beach, the Gulf Islands and Juan de Fuca areas that had originally fallen under the regional districts in both areas that were to be subject to the new tax.

Metro Vancouver’s scope is tightened too, with the original Fraser Valley location being reduced to Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack, meaning Kent, Hope and Harrison Hot Springs are now exempt. Bowen Island is also exempt. Whistler, which is suffering a rental crisis, was not included in the tax. However, the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna remain part of the tax, despite a request to government to be exempted

“Over 99 per cent of British Columbians will not pay the tax,” said James. “Only those who hold multiple properties and leave them empty in our province’s major cities will be asked to contribute.

“People with cottages at the lake, or cabins, or on the islands, will not pay this tax. People with second homes outside of high cost urban areas will not pay the tax. We’re going after those who are clearly taking advantage of the market and driving up prices. We’re ensuring housing stock in our major cities is available for people who work hard and live in those cities.”

The government unveiled three rate structures for the tax as well. The full rate of two per cent will be reserved for foreign property owners, a middle rate of one per cent for out-of-province owners and the lowest rate of 0.5 per cent for British Columbians who own multiple properties but don’t rent them at least six months of the year. 

“Properties that are used as qualifying long-term rentals are exempt from the tax,” read a government background document. “Homes will need to be rented out for at least three months to qualify for an exemption in 2018. Starting in 2019, homes will need to be rented out for at least six months, in increments of 30 days or more, to qualify for an exemption.”

The rate redesign comes with a change to how the speculation tax would be administered.

At first, it was proposed to be paid up front and then offset by a non-refundable income tax credit to be applied in that fiscal year, potentially months later. That’s still the case for foreign and out-of-province owners. But B.C. residents will be given an upfront tax credit program that will give them the bill, if any, without having to go through the income tax system. The credit will be up to $2,000, said James, but only applicable to one extra property.

Also, properties valued at below $400,000 in urban areas such as Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria will be exempt if owned by a British Columbian. People who own properties in condos where strata corporations don’t allow rentals will be temporarily grandfathered into the program, said James, but with a caution that government won’t allow stratas to try to change their rental rules now to avoid the tax. And there will be “special exemptions” for cases in which a senior goes into long-term care or there is a death in a family, said James.

Article sourced from The Vancouver News: https://bit.ly/30MhTH5


BC Speculation Tax

22 March 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Are you on the title of your parent or child's property?
The deadline for claiming your exemption from this new tax is March 31, 2019. The online form isn't as clear as it could be about claiming this exemption.
The following information is referred from the Government website.

Individuals Exemptions for Speculation and Vacancy Tax

 

People who own residential property within designated taxable regions of B.C. may be eligible for an exemption from the speculation and vacancy tax.

Shared Ownership

When more than one owner is on title for a residence in a taxable region, each owner claims their relevant exemption as an individual. Different eligibility requirements may apply to different owners.

Example: If a parent co-owns a home with their adult child and the adult child lives in the home and the parent lives elsewhere, then the following exemptions will apply:  

  • The child claims the principal residence exemption
  • The parents claim the tenancy exemption for family or other non-arm's-length persons

Example: An elderly parent adds their adult child on title to the parent’s condo in Vancouver for end of life planning. The parent still lives in the condo and the child lives in Prince George. The exemptions will apply as follows:

  • The parent claims the principal residence exemption
  • The child claims the tenancy exemption for family or other non-arm's-length persons

Click here for a list ofExemptions: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax/exemptions-speculation-and-vacancy-tax/individuals


New Mortgage Rules are impacting B.C. families' abilities to purchase homes.

18 March 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

B.C. real estate board urges feds to revisit mortgage stress test

Stress test reducing people’s purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent, BCREA says...

B.C.’s real estate board is joining the chorus of voices across the country urging the federal government to revisit the year-old stress test rule that has been criticized for eroding housing affordability for many.

The B-20 stress test was implemented in January 2018 to help cool down the red-hot housing market in Canada’s major cities. Would-be homebuyers now have to qualify at an interest rate two percentage points above the rate they negotiate with the bank.

The BC Real Estate Association says the test is reducing people’s purchasing power by as much as 20 per cent.

“We would like to see a review and reconsideration of the current mortgage underwriting ‘stress test,’ as well as a return to 30-year amortizations for federally insured mortgages,” chief executive officer Darlene Hyde said in a news release Tuesday.

“These rules must be changed now before B.C. families are left further behind.”

The association has pointed to the stress test as the leading reason behind dipping home sales since last summer. Sales have dropped 45 per cent in Vancouver since 2018, compared to 18 per cent nationally.

The average price of homes in the Lower Mainland nearly doubled, while it remained mostly steady across the province, up just 0.5 per cent to $716,100, in the first quarter of 2019.

Housing analysts predicted in late December that prices in the Lower Mainland will rise by just 0.6 per cent this year, compared to five per cent in 2018. If true, a home will cost an average of $1.3 million by the end of the year.

Hyde said the test is having a negative impact on other facets of the economy, such as retail spending, as home equity declines in line with decreasing benchmark prices.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has also said the mortgage rules may force builders to pull back, leading to slower growth of the housing stock and yet another supply crunch and higher prices down the road.


Article from The Progress: https://www.theprogress.com/news/b-c-real-estate-board-urges-feds-to-revisit-mortgage-stress-test/?fbclid=IwAR23SZe11mB1Y2I1N9SqdsjuPP-_KPnEM-aGnieyZpR_1c0VcVttFaXYng8


Speculation Tax and Vacancy Tax

29 January 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Banner for B.C.'s speculation and vacancy tax

The speculation and vacancy tax is a key measure in tackling the housing crisis in major urban centres in British Columbia, where home prices and rents have skyrocketed out of reach for many British Columbians.

The provincial government is taking action because people who live and work in B.C. deserve an affordable place to call home.

The speculation and vacancy tax is a part of government's 30-Point Plan to make housing more affordable for people in our province.

This new annual tax is designed to:

  • Target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here
  • Turn empty homes into good housing for people
  • Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing

All owners of residential property in the designated taxable regions of B.C. must complete an annual declaration. Over 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the tax.

HOW TO EXEMPT YOURSELF... read more here:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/speculation-and-vacancy-tax?fbclid=IwAR3_6M9UxoHmwkrT3Zd8fYuR6Y3D3bgkaRGy6RmM_Axzr542YfPnWMDNKNs

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Chilliwack’s redeveloped downtown may see new businesses as early as this Fall

24 January 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The article below is sourced from: The Chilliwack Progress.

Although revitalization plans for downtown Chilliwack were announced last summer, locals didn’t start seeing changes until December when demolition crews arrived and began excavating sites for new construction.

“We’re right on track, though … and hope to have the project done in four years,” said Dave Algra, vice-president of Algra Bros, the development company in charge of the project.

The ambitious project, which comprises four phases, will see the transformation of 3.75 acres of prime downtown Chilliwack real estate from vacant shops and empty streets, to a lively, community-driven atmosphere.

“It’s not our first rodeo, (so) we have a pretty good idea on how it’s all going to work,” explained Algra.

The company, which is located in Abbotsford, has been building in Chilliwack for several years now, says they approach their developmental undertakings as opportunities to create “spaces where people can be successful.”

“Our goal is to create something that … people enjoy being in (and) spaces to allow people to enjoy (local) businesses. We’re making a place for people,” said Algra.

The first phase of the project is the re-purposing of all existing buildings in the development area, which will also include the first part of the planned pedestrian street. And while construction is a sequential process that begins with the issuing of proper permits, which Algra is still in the process of securing, they’re expecting businesses to begin opening in new spaces come this fall.

“We hope to get them in in July or August for (tenant improvement projects),” said Jon Kinneman, Algra’s art director.

Phase two will be the construction of an 63-unit apartment building, which will significantly increase the amount of residential spaces in Chilliwack’s downtown core. There will also be 18 residential units on top of the existing buildings.

“Working with old buildings provides unique challenges,” explained Algra, “but no more buildings will be coming down. We’re trying to maintain (many of) the structures (as we) dismantle parts (and) sculpt walls into new facades.”

Phase three of the project will be a parkade, explained Kinneman, and the final phase will be a multiple-storey building that’s a mix of commercial and residential units.

With their eyes on global trends, said Kinneman, Algra Bros hopes to bring a modern, yet classical feel into the city’s aging downtown infrastructure. Walkable cities with blocks of small commercial fronts mixed with residential spaces create livable communities where local businesses thrive, which is Algra’s hope for Chilliwack’s future.

For more information on Chilliwack’s downtown redevelopment, please visit the Algra Bros project website at Chilliwackisback.com.



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Takeaways from the 2019 B.C. property assessments

09 January 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Article from: https://www.bcbusiness.ca/Takeaways-from-the-2019-BC-Property-Assessments?fbclid=IwAR3q2tqBbxFsaDgp1E0GE1PG07bnBQLva2CVaORCV7zOzOWsyIPjrhmxahw

The 2018 B.C. property assessments made headlines recently, mostly because residential estates in Vancouver fell after years of big gains. Observers attribute much of that change to new restrictions on real estate from the NDP government. But throughout the rest of the province, downturns in value weren’t really the story. And the devaluations didn’t extend to commercial or industrial properties: non-residential estates enjoyed another year of gains across the board. Overall, assessments across B.C. rose by 1.07 percent.

Here’s what else we learned from the province’s real estate breakdown. Keep in mind that the assessments reflect market value as of July 1, 2018.

  • The community with the highest uptick in single-family residential properties? The village of Sayward. According to the 2016 census, Sayward has a population of 311. It’s located on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, about an hour north of Campbell River. Sometimes statistics in a smaller community can be thrown off by an outlier or two, but the 44-percent increase seems to have affected the area somewhat equally.
  • Other small Vancouver Island communities like Tahsis (30 percent) and Cumberland (27 percent) saw massive surges in single-family assessments, too.
  • The lowest increase in single-family assessments on Vancouver Island came from Saanich, which was separated into two jurisdictions measuring 4 and 6 percent.
  • It’s not the same story in Greater Vancouver, where six regions saw a loss for single-family properties. Among them, Vancouver, Burnaby and North Vancouver each took 4-percent hits, while West Vancouver saw a 12-percent decline.
  • However, all regions in Greater Vancouver saw a rise in the assessed value of strata residential properties, with the lowest gain coming from Vancouver (6 percent). Whistler saw the highest such rise, with 23 percent.
  • Other than single-family residences in Richmond and White Rock (both down 2 percent), Fraser Valley property owners mostly got good news. Strata holders in Abbotsford (a 28-percent gain), Langley (27 percent) and Chilliwack (23 percent) did particularly well for themselves.
  • The lowest percentage uptick for strata owners in the Fraser Valley came from Delta’s 7 percent. Not bad.
  • Northern B.C. mostly saw single-family residential gains between 8 and 11 percent, with a few exceptions, notably increases in Kitimat (31 percent), 100 Mile House (20 percent) and Kitimat (20 percent).
  • However, there was a 23-percent drop in single-family residential assessments in the northeast corner of the province. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, which includes Fort Nelson, saw values plummet. Maybe not the best place to have an investment property.

What were your takeaways? 


B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

11 December 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

After years of skyrocketing real estate prices in much of urban B.C., things are finally set to cool off in the new year.

A 2019 market survey forecast from Royal LePage suggests that house prices are in the Lower Mainland will rise by just 0.6 per cent.

Last year’s forecast predicted prices would rise by five per cent.

Next year’s predicted increase would leave houses costing an average of $1.3 million by the end of the year.

Royal LePage Sterling Realty general manager Randy Ryalls said that the slowdown was a natural correction after a busy few years on the real estate market.

“The volume is down off of those crazy levels where we were selling 5000 properties a month,” Ryalls said.

“This is much more of a normalization of our market than we’ve seen in quite a few years.”

Ryalls said that the mortgage stress test brought in at the start of the year, coupled with the foreign buyers tax and other provincial policies, was helping to calm markets.

But for buyers who thought “the ship had sailed,” Ryalls said 2019 presented a new opportunity.

“The condo and townhouse market has sort of balanced itself out and detached houses are probably firmly in buyer market territory,” he said.

That means there will be opportunities for first-time millennials buyers for the first time in years.

“Where you were having to compete with several other buyers to buy a property in 2016 and 2017, now you have an opportunity to go and be the only buyer on a property and negotiate a pretty good price,” Ryalls said.

“There’s an opportunity for a millennial buyer. Now they can go and not make a decision in five minutes when they walk in the door.”

But recent buyers shouldn’t despair that they’ve bought a useless property.

B.C. still has “probably the best economy in Canada,” Ryalls noted, and with unemployment remaining low, the real estate market continues to have a strong foundation.

“There’s periods of a lot of growth in terms of prices and then it slips back a little bit,” Ryalls said.

“We’ve gone through a period when we’ve had double digit increases per year and that’s not sustainable and that’s going to correct itself a little bit.”

Credit to original article from The Progress: https://www.theprogress.com/news/b-c-s-skyrocketing-real-estate-market-will-correct-in-2019-analyst/?fbclid=IwAR3ryyK9hmHnS0v3IbXbcv6TMJF5swA7dDNnYbfuKdJmBXZ3_Kb-3_Z2FAM


Fraser Valley becomes favoured real estate investment destination

03 October 2018
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

Surrey is the fastest-growing metro centre in B.C., and its young population – 22 per cent of B.C. births are now in Surrey – is gunning to claim the title of  the province’s biggest city within a generation.


The population gap between Surrey and Vancouver will narrow to 100,000 people within three years and will be non-existent by 2040, according to a report Michael Heeney, president and CEO of the Surrey City Development Corp. (SCDC), presented September 13 at an event sponsored by the Real Estate Institute of British Columbia.



Anticipation of the light-rail transit line linking Newton with central Surrey has helped drive the cost of land zoned for higher-density multi-family in the transit corridor above $4 million per acre. | Surrey City Development.

The pace could be even quicker, based on the number of people moving south across the Fraser River to find work and affordable housing in the city of 518,000. The SCDC study showed that Surrey posted an 11 per cent population growth between 2011 and 2016, compared with 6.5 per cent in Vancouver and 6 per cent in Metro Vancouver. In the same period, Surrey’s employment growth was 51 per cent, compared with 7.2 per cent in Metro Vancouver.

The home price gap is just as revealing. In August, for instance, 229 detached houses were listed for sale in Surrey-Delta for $1 million or less, compared with just one in Vancouver. There were two-dozen in North Surrey alone, according to data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board.

The typical Surrey condo apartment sells for $340,000 compared with $846,100 in Greater Vancouver. 

Yet average family incomes in Surrey are higher than in B.C.’s biggest city, reports Statistics Canada. 

“Surrey is the future,” said Surrey developer Charan Sethi, president of Tien Sher, who has built and sold out half a dozen low-rise condominium projects in and around Surrey Centre. 

Sethi is now pulling together plans and permits for the redevelopment of the former Flamingo hotel site into Tien Sher’s first highrise residential project. 

Bigger players also have expansive plans for the city.

Walmart Canada will spend $175 million to build a 300,000-square-foot fulfilment centre in Surrey’s Campbell Heights Business Park, the giant retailer has announced. It will be part of a national plan by Walmart to offer home delivery of groceries. 

The future Surrey distribution centre will have space for frozen foods and produce as well as for shelf-stable groceries and other products. Walmart expects the centre will be operational by 2022. Construction will begin early in 2021. The site will employ between 150 and 200 people.

Walmart’s competition in the online-sales space is indisputably mega-retailer Amazon.com Inc., which already has two large distribution centres in Metro Vancouver, including one in Delta.

Walmart said its future Surrey site would deliver fresh produce and frozen grocery products to 60 Walmart locations across the province.

It also touted its future Surrey site for being “zero-waste” and having many sustainability features. Outgoing Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner praised the building’s sustainable design as a “novel, forward-thinking approach.”

Industrial strength

The selection of Surrey for a massive new distribution centre comes as no surprise to industrial real estate professionals on both sides of the Fraser River.

“Surrey has the greatest amount of industrial space under construction in Metro Vancouver, at approximately 1.05 million square feet,” noted Andrew Rojek, manager of market intelligence, Western Canada, for Colliers International.

Even with the boom in building, Surrey’s industrial vacancy rate is 1.2 per cent and its average industrial lease rate is $9.14 per square foot, both among the lowest in Metro Vancouver.

A recent report from the Vancouver Economic Commission recognized the industrial power shift that is transferring investment, and jobs, south of the river.

A squeeze on industrial space means 10 per cent of industrial businesses in Vancouver plan to relocate in the next two years, the commission found. This equates to the loss of 6,000 jobs. 

A further 40 per cent of industrial businesses are thinking about moving out of Vancouver by 2020 due to the cost of doing business in the city and the difficulty of finding workers, according to Pietra Basilij, a sustainable community development specialist with the commission and the report’s author.

Companies leaving Vancouver head for Delta, Surrey and Langley, Basilij said. 

Multi-family 

In September, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Surrey to confirm federal funding for the Surrey-Newton-Guildford light-rail transit (LRT) line. The $1.65 billion line will run 10.5 kilometres along King George Avenue and 104th Street to link Newton with the Surrey Central transit station. 

The transit link has created a development buzz in Newton because higher-density residential zoning will be allowed. But the planned route has been known for years, and some investors say the gravy train has already left the station. 

The cost of an acre of residential land in Surrey hit $3.1 million this year, according to Colliers, up from $2 million in 2016.  In the Newton area, residential land sells for $4 million to $5 million per acre, estimates land specialist Joe Varing, director of sales for Varing Marketing Group. 

“I plead with everyone, ‘find me two to five acres’ in Newton’,” Sethi joked, but he suggested land speculation has driven the prices too high for smaller multi-family developers. Still, he thinks the LRT is “pivotal” to the growth of Surrey’s downtown. 

Rental investors see fast-growing Surrey as a prime market. Giant landlord Mainstreet Equity Corp. of Calgary, for example, has been buying older apartment buildings in Surrey for years and now holds 1,775 rental units in the city. 

Even with a 21 per cent increase in the past year, the average price of a Surrey rental apartment building now averages $206,000 per suite compared with $586,000 in Vancouver and nearly $500,000 across Metro Vancouver, according to the Goodman Report from HQ Commercial.

Surrey’s rental vacancy rate is less than 1 per cent, similar to Vancouver.  Surrey rents are lower than in Greater Vancouver, but the average capitalization rates on apartment buildings are higher, at around 4 per cent, according to HQ.

Article from https://www.vancourier.com/real-estate/fraser-valley-becomes-favoured-real-estate-investment-destination-1.23451856?fbclid=IwAR02XppwQvJSTY7g4JCM67RfqPmz0vBGSIp9mcgWIoRjztyj8ZV7PR0whPE

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