Sutton Showplace Realty (2015) Chilliwack

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B.C.'s housing market healthy and will bounce back

28 October 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The local housing market is healthier and will start to bounce back through 2020 and into 2021, according to the latest report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Ontario’s and British Columbia’s outlooks for sales growth are relatively strong in 2020 and 2021 when compared to other regions, consistent with growth in real disposable income that is forecast to exceed the national average over this time period.

B.C. is also expected to see relatively strong growth in new builds.

Prices are also forecast to see a modest recovery in B.C., after a dip in 2019, with B.C. seeing up to the second highest price growth after Ontario in 2021. Other regions will generally see modest gains.

However, CMHC says global trade tensions and continued high levels of household debt are still risks to both the economy and housing activity across the country.

It also says that higher interest rates or a rise in unemployment could hit already strained budgets and put pressure on housing activity.

Recent measures of overvaluation for the major markets of Vancouver and Toronto as well as for those in their vicinity indicate a general easing of vulnerabilities, as prices have been gradually aligning more with fundamentals in recent quarters.

The current outlook for renewed growth in home prices doesn’t imply overvaluation and or price acceleration measures will necessarily worsen, since growth in fundamentals over the same time period can be sufficient to support stronger resale market activity and price growth.

Housing starts across the country should come in at around 200,000 units next year after declining this year and last.

Home prices are also expected to start growing in 2020 and 2021 to raise the average price above the 2017 peak.

Article by: https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/10/24/cmhc-expects-housing-market-to-recover-in-next-two-years-after-declines/

  Buyers  News  Selling

Annual REALTORS Care Blanket Drive

21 October 2019
Sutton Showplace Realty Chilliwack

The cold weather is approaching and we're collecting gently used items to distribute to the homeless, women and children in need, and persons living in supportive housing. If you cannot drop off your donation, send us a private message and we'll come pick them up.

We will gladly accept donations of gently used:

Blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing, coats, hoodies, hats, gloves, scarves, new socks and new underwear.

Here's a list of Lower Mainland charities who receive donations from the Blanket Drive.

The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive story

Way back in 1994, some caring REALTORS® in Vancouver observed the homeless situation in the city’s East side and said to themselves, we’ve got to do something.

They put out an appeal to their colleagues for warm blankets and coats and collected enough donations to help 3,000 of Vancouver’s homeless in the downtown core.

That single act of kindness has blossomed into one of the largest annual collections of warm clothing and blankets, helping homeless people and the working poor in every single community in the Lower Mainland.

Since then, thousands of REALTORS® from Whistler to Hope have collected enough donations to help more than 385,000 people in need. Each year, more than 75 dedicated members pick-up and deliver all the donations, and well over 100 real estate offices in the Lower Mainland act as collection depots.

The REALTORS Care® Drive now collects an astonishing amount of warm, winter items on behalf of dozens of local charities to help about 35,000 people each year.


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

  Buyers  News

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

  Buyers  News

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

  News

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.



  News

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?