How can we determine if a house is vacant?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about imposing a new ‘Vacant Home Tax’ to be able to deter a number of vacant homes sitting around in Vancouver, and to alleviate some of the pressure on the low vacancy rates. Vancouver has been sitting around a constant 1% vacancy rate, with rent prices continuing to rise. As this has caused much concern for everyone, the Mayor has suggested a tax for people that leave their homes vacant in hopes that if they do not want to get taxed, they will rent it out. People debate how we will be able to determine a house as ‘vacant’, and now they are considering asking owners to declare what they will use their house as and the city will also do audits to catch the people that aren’t as honest. Details on tax rates, exemptions, and penalties are still up in the air. With not much details, we can already think of loopholes that people will probably try to get away with, so how effective will this new tax be?

Read more about this here

BCREA releases stats about the market in Greater Vancouver

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released some new information on how the market is going compared to last year. To make our post a little more focused, we will be talking particularly about Greater Vancouver. In August 2015, the average residential price for a home was $900,592 and this year it has dropped to $833,065 resulting in a -7.5% change. One point to consider is that with the new 15% foreign investor tax, we see most of the interest shifting away from high-priced luxury homes on the west side of Vancouver. It is possible that the luxury homes took the biggest hit and so their prices affect the average price of a residential home.

Last year, there were 11,492 active listings in Greater Vancouver, and this year it has dropped -23% to 9,198 active listings. One of the major drivers of causing a market to skyrocket is basic supply and demand. If the 15% tax does deter some of the foreign investors, there are still the locals that have been trying to fight against these bidders. In the near future, we could see the locals feeling a burst of confidence and will want to enter the market. Will this decline in active listings cause low supply with high demand? It is still too soon to determine what will happen with our market.

Read more about the stats here.

Two investment companies to bring more affordable housing to Vancouver

OceanRock Investments is investing with New Market Funds for plans to build more affordable housing buildings in Vancouver. Not much information is determined yet regarding pricing and location, however, we do know that they plan to bring in 358 new homes. This is exciting news for citizens of Vancouver since the rental vacancy is still extremely low. We expect that whenever this project will go up, the homes will be filled out immediately. Hopefully the City will plan to have more affordable housing provided in the future.

Read more about this here

Despite New 15% Tax, Interest from Foreign Investors Continue Rising

Although we have seen a slowdown in the market, it is more geared towards the luxury homes. It is possible that with the new 15% tax, foreign investors are now more interested lower priced homes such as condos and townhouses. According to Juwai, interest in homes under $1,000,000 have increased. Since it has still only been a little while since the 15% tax was introduced, we will still have to wait and see what the market will turn into.

Read more on this article here.

Attached home pre-sales still going strong

Although the market has shown some signs of slowing down, the pre-sales market is said to be stronger than ever, with new buildings downtown selling at $1500/SqFt or more! Pre-sale projects are not recorded on MLS so it is hard to determine straight numbers and facts. Seems to be the supply of condos and townhouses are still not meeting the demands of our market. Most projects now are sending out ‘Suite Request Forms’ with your top 3 choices and appointments to purchase are made on a first come, first serve basis. Prospective buyers are reminded to have more than one choice since projects sell out so quickly now. With new projects constantly popping up all over the Metro Vancouver area, will we see a slow-down any time soon?

Read more about this here.