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by Steve Randall15 Feb 2019

Most of Vancouver’s homeowners have filed their Empty Homes Tax declaration but 4,979 have yet to do so.

The City of Vancouver said this week that it’s allowing, for the second year, late declarations to be filed, although there will be a $250 bylaw ticket issued which will need to be paid or disputed before the declaration will be accepted.

Those property owners who chose not to make a declaration will have their property deemed vacant automatically and will be required to pay the tax at a rate of 1% of the property's 2018 assessed taxable value. The bylaw ticket will also need to be paid.

Those owners who are liable to pay the EHT must do so by April 12, 2019 to avoid an additional 5% surcharge. Those who haven’t paid by the end of the year will have the cost added to th

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Number of vacant properties decreased by 15 per cent between 2017 and 2018; 53 per cent back on rental market

Courier staff Vancouver Courier
February 6, 2019





 
empty homes taxVacant properties in Vancouver in 2018 based on the declarations to date is similar to last year, according to the City of Vancouver, with the largest concentration in the downtown area. Map courtesy City of Vancouver


The City of Vancouver is reporting that the number of Vancouver properties declared vacant in 2018 under the Empty Homes Tax fell by 15 per cent from 2017 and 53 per cent of those properties are back on the rental market.

The goal of the Empty Homes Tax, which was introduced in 2016, was to pressure homeowners to rent out homes they weren’t living in full time with the goal of improving the city’s low vacancy rate that sits at about .8 per cent. Any revenue collected by the city through the tax, which is implemented at a rate of one per cent of a property’s assessed taxable value, is being allocated to affordable housing initiatives.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart called the latest statistics on declarations “very encouraging,” in a press release the city issued Feb. 6.

“The main objective of Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax is to influence property owners to put their empty properties on the rental market and the data shows that is happening,” he stated.

Homeowners had until Feb. 4 of this year to file their empty homes tax declarations for 2018. As of that date, 922 properties were declared vacant, compared to 1,085 declared vacant by last year’s extended deadline of March 5, 2018, translating to the 15 per cent drop.

Properties declared vacant or deemed vacant by the city if a declaration was not submitted by the deadline will be billed for one per cent of their property’s 2018 assessed taxable value. Payments are due by April 12.

During his election campaign, Stewart said he favoured tripling the Empty Homes Tax to three per cent.

In late January, he tabled a motion, which council approved, requesting city staff report back by the end of March 2019 with a plan to review and improve the fairness and effectiveness of the tax, including a possible increase to the tax rate.

Meanwhile, most property owners — 97 per cent — met this year's declaration deadline.

Beginning on Feb. 7, property owners will have the option to make a late declaration online, after they pay a $250 penalty. It’s the first time late declarations have been allowed and it's intended to help streamline the complaints process, according to the city.




 
 
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Visual representations of dollar values by which benchmark detached home and condo prices have fallen in a year

Joannah Connolly Glacier Media Real Estate
February 6, 2019





 
Zoocasa metro vancouver detached home prices drop cropSource: Zoocasa


Earlier this week, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver issued its monthly stats report on home sales and prices, revealing that benchmark prices were sliding at an increasing rate.

Property website Zoocasa took this data one step further, and created two infographics – one for detached homes and one for condos – that show how much in dollar terms each area’s typical price has dropped over the past year.

It reveals that the vast majority of areas within the wider region saw significant benchmark price drops in the detached sector, with Vancouver West’s (West Side, Downtown West and West End) typical single-family home prices having lost more than half a million in value from a year ago.

Condo values, however, largely held their own around the region. Ten of the 21 areas examined (some of which fall within the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board) saw typical condo prices increase year over year, while 11 saw price declines. However, all the condo price changes, whether a rise or a fall, were relatively modest compared with the detached market.

Check out Zoocasa’s full infographics and price-drop rankings, below.

metro-vancouver-detached-house-price-change-zoocasaSource: Zoocasa


metro-vancouver-apartment-price-change-zoocasa
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by Steve Randall08 Feb 2019

Young Canadians are facing difficult financial decisions with the cost of living increasing and the cost of becoming a first-time homebuyers unaffordable for many.

That means that the high cost of a wedding – average $46,000 – may be the difference between homeownership as singles or married life as renters.

An analysis from RateSupermarket.ca found that an overwhelming 84% of respondents would rather spend their wedding fund on another major purchase with a home taking the joint top spot.

40% of respondents said they would rather spend their wedding fund on a down payment for a home; the same share would spend it on travel, 20% wished they’d invested it.

Janine White, Vice-President of Marketplaces and Strategy Development at RateSupermarket.ca says that spending thousands of dollars on an event doesn’t make the same sense to some Canadians today – at least for now.

“Shifts in real estate prices and rising interest rates are possibly pressuring more couples to get into the market sooner rather than later and deferring wedding plans,” she said. “Of course, financial goals will differ depending on the couple, but we are definitely starting to see a change in the environment, whereas in the past, a wedding was traditionally the key priority for most couples – then maybe followed by buying a home, starting a family, and retirement.”

The economics of buying a home vs. having a lavish wedding do look sensible.

For those that qualify for a mortgage with a 5% down payment, they could buy the average-priced Canadian home ($472,000) with $23,600 down.; less than half the average cost of a wedding according to the study.

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by Ephraim Vecina31 Jan 2019

Vancouver’s affordability saga continues unimpeded as the city’s single-family homes are now priced considerably above the median household income, according to a recent study by the National Bank.

The analysis uncovered that the average monthly mortgage payment for a median-price single-detached residence in the Vancouver CMA was around 101.5% of the region’s average household income.

National Bank stated that this was an unprecedented high, representing increases of 2.7% quarterly and 6.4% annually, Business in Vancouver reported.

Falling salary growth combined with recent increases in interest rates were cited by the study as the main contributors to the trend, despite the fact that the median price of Vancouver’s single-family homes during Q4 2018 went down by 0.7% quarter-over-quarter, and had only a modest 1.8% year-over-year uptick.

Condos experienced a similar cooling, with the mortgage for an average-priced unit in the Vancouver CMA accounting for 49.2% of household income during the fourth quarter, increasing by 1.3% from Q3 2018 and 6.3% year-over-year.

Read more: B.C.’s young professionals are packing up for greener pastures

A January report from Altus Group warned that there seems to be no relief in sight for would-be home buyers in Vancouver, as the market is “exhibiting the most potential for downside risk,” Altus stated.

Aside from pricing issues, growing construction and borrowing costs will likely stagger sales levels in 2019.

“A key challenge that has become more apparent as of late in Vancouver has been the price sensitivity of consumers, with higher priced projects, or those priced above the competition, experiencing below average sales rates,” Altus explained.

 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

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by Neil Sharma28 Jan 2019

If you’re torn between investing in either RRSPs or real estate, don’t be.

Calum Ross, a leverage wealth expert and VERICO broker with Mortgage Management Group—and author of The Real Estate Retirement Plan: An Investment and Lifestyle Solution for Canadians—says Canadians should invest in both. Ross will be discussing that and more at this year’s Investor Forum on March 2 at the International Centre in Mississauga.

“People have a tendency to think of either RRSPs or real estate investing for their retirement plan,” Ross told CREW. “The reality is that consumers need both.”

The reason is that, in addition to diminishing rates of return, a growing number of Canadians these days don’t have defined contribution plans, which still don’t even give guaranteed payouts. Consequently, they need higher amounts of forced savings.

“When you consider the vast majority of Canadians’ wealth  is tied up in their homes, the only solution to RRSP, TFSA, RESP, or investment savings catch-ups is essentially in the home equity of their property,” continued Ross. “When you consider the fact that life expectancies now are moving towards 90 years old, the probability that your registered savings account lasts a lot longer than your mortgage is very high. What we’ve been doing is engineering investment products to ensure that the rate of return exceeds the cost of borrowing.”

Ross defines retirement not as the point at which somebody stops working, but rather as the point at which they no longer need to work. If someone has enough money in their investment accounts, debts are easily repaid in full and a mortgage becomes an instrument that is acquired by design and not out of necessity.

Moreover, Ross notes that real estate investing doesn’t have the same tax deferral on capital gains that RRSPs have. He recommends using home equity appreciation as an RRSP catch-up.

Cash flow is still an important component of investing, and that means investors should seek blue-chip properties that they own directly. Of course, choosing the right property is an altogether different task.

“Picking a property depends on the current state of the economy, as well as its projected state,” said Ross. “It’s not just about the actual property today, it’s also about where the underlying economic fundamentals will be in five or 10 years, and the two biggest predictors of where a property will be are actual net migration of population inflow—because there will be housing demand—and areas with strong GDP growth.”

Toronto, for example, has strong population inflow, which is creating housing demand so strong that supply cannot maintain pace, but it’s also a geographical location wherein values have skyrocketed. Ross says that properties that cash flow positively will help meet the Canada Revenue Agency’s deductibility elements.

As for RRSPs, they offer diversified access to a number of different market options, but in tandem with real estate, investors are better shielded.

“If you put money in RRSPs and you take it out, you’re penalized, but in real estate the monthly payment has forced savings mechanisms,” he said.


 

Are you looking to invest in property? If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how much you can afford to borrow, which is the best mortgage for you or how much they could save you right now if you have an existing mortgage. Click here to get help choosing the best mortgage rate

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by Steve Randall28 Jan 2019

Canadian consumers want easier access to all their financial information and accounts and banks are well-placed to meet that demand.

A new report from PwC published Monday says that ‘open banking’ is an opportunity for Canadian banks to reduce costs while also reducing risk of fraud and money laundering.

That’s because financial institutions would be able to share information with each other and third parties such as fintechs and large technology firms.

But the report highlights the importance of getting the customer experience right.

"Customer expectations are evolving rapidly and they are looking for a one-stop-shop where they can find all their financial information," says Diane Kazarian, National Banking and Capital Markets Leader, PwC Canada. "Banks could be among the biggest winners of open banking if they seize the opportunities it brings to create a better customer experience."

The report shows that Canadian consumers have high levels of trust in their banks with regulation ensuring privacy and security concerns are addressed.

But for open banking to continue to uphold the high standards of the regulated financial institutions, third parties will also need to focus on strong risk management, the report says.

"Financial institutions who get ahead of the issue now will be in the best position to get an early start on their plans and strategies as well as help shape the future of Canadian banking," adds Paula Pereira, Banking Consulting Leader, PwC Canada. "Leveraging their strong customer trust and combining it with the right innovation, open banking will position the Canadian banks for success in meeting customers evolving needs for digital interactions and greater control over their data."

The federal government is currently assessing the merits of open banking.

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Les Leyne Times Colonist
January 17, 2019





 
stock imageEvery homeowner in most of the capital, Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions, along with Kelowna and Nanaimo, will be getting notices soon. And they’d better pay attention when it arrives, because ignoring it means they’re automatically assumed to be speculators and they’ll be penalized several thousand dollars a year. | iStock

"Homeowners will file an annual tax declaration which will help tax administrators demonstrate whether owners need to pay the tax,” Finance Minister Carole James told the legislature last fall.

It was one of many details being scrutinized at the time, and the full import of what she said wasn’t explored.

It landed a lot harder this week, when the Finance Ministry outlined what that entails. Collecting the tax means a lot of administrative work for government and an annual chore for tens of thousands of homeowners.

The NDP government’s plan is to tax owners of vacant homes in the five most populated regions of B.C.

But there’s no easy way to figure out whose homes are vacant. So the tax collector is starting from the assumption that the speculation tax applies to every single property owner in those regions.

Homeowners will have to fill out a new declaration form that their homes are occupied in some fashion in order to win an exemption.

Every homeowner in most of the capital, Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regions, along with Kelowna and Nanaimo, will be getting notices soon. And they’d better pay attention when it arrives, because ignoring it means they’re automatically assumed to be speculators and they’ll be penalized several thousand dollars a year.

The current rate is a half-per cent of assessed value — $5,000 on a million-dollar property.

“If you don’t complete your declaration, you’ll receive a tax notice charging you the tax at the maximum tax rate,” the ministry warns.

As well, co-owning spouses each have to fill out the form annually.

The ministry is mailing out 1.6 million notices to homeowners in speculation-tax areas starting this week. The working estimate is that a small fraction (about two per cent) of homeowners will have to pay the new tax.

But the declaration is an important new wrinkle in the paperwork associated with owning a home.

The ministry arranged a demonstration Wednesday of how to fill it out online. In the simplest possible scenario — Canadian citizen, B.C. resident, owner-occupier who pays taxes in B.C. — it took three minutes.

But the government’s website devoted to the speculation tax (gov.bc.ca/spectax) has reams of complicated additional information on the many complexities for anyone who doesn’t fit the example.

Anyone who wants to test their logic skills can check out the details on arm’s length versus non-arm’s length relationships pertaining to tenancy requirements for speculation-tax exemptions.

“A person who is at arm’s length is a person who has no special advantage in their dealings with you. On the other hand, family members, such as parents, adult children or siblings, can never be at arm’s length.

“Friends may also receive similar advantages. This type of relationship is referred to as ‘non-arm’s length.’ ”

The speculation tax has become progressively more complicated since the day it was unveiled in the February 2018 budget.

It was first billed as a bold but somewhat vague attack on foreign speculators. B.C. was going to grab two per cent of the value of their vacant homes every year and use it to solve the affordability crisis.

Then the government started monkeying around with the zones where it applied, exempting bits and pieces here and there. Then it set different rates for foreigners and Canadians.

The defence of the tax eroded when it developed that the tax credits protecting British Columbians from the tax covered only part of the bill, not all.

Then the Greens balked and James had to compromise and adjust it further.

Non-British Columbian Canadians were to be taxed the same as British Columbians. And James has to meet mayors once a year to hear their views on how the speculation tax is working.

It’s supposed to bring in about $185 million this year. It’s going to take a fair amount of work sorting out eligibility, answering questions and hunting down evaders to bring it all in.

Just So You Know: James doesn’t have to wait to meet mayors to learn how it’s going. She’ll also get a sense from the byelection Jan. 30 in Nanaimo, where news of this landed right in the middle of a campaign the NDP is desperate to win.

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by Duffie Osental20 Jan 2019

British Columbia’s Ministry of Finance gave a deadline for homeowners to apply for exemption from the province’s speculation and vacancy tax.

Seen as a way to address the overheated housing market in BC’s large metropolitan areas, the speculation and vacancy tax looks to turn unused properties into rentals.  According to CBC News, homeowners who live in their properties are exempt from paying the tax, but must complete an exemption form by 31 March otherwise they’ll automatically pay by default.  Notices will be sent to homeowners in the Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria, Kelowna, and Nanaimo in the coming weeks.

CBC News said that B.C.’s Ministry of Finance expects that more than 99% of British Columbians will be exempt. This means that, of the 1.6 million households that will receive the letter, only about 32,000 homes will be taxed.

According to CBC News, the tax rate is 0.5% of the property's assessed value for all properties subject to the tax in 2018. For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax rate is 2% for foreign owners and satellite families, and 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are not members of a satellite family. Satellite families are those families where the majority of the combined income is earned outside of Canada.

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by Steve Randall21 Jan 2019

The leading property listings website for Chinese consumers has added a new channel focused on those who want to retire abroad.

Juwai.com, which reaches more than 3 million Chinese consumers each month has launched its Retirement and Lifestyle Channel to provide information and real estate listings for retirement properties and communities internationally.

“The countries that are most popular for Chinese retirees are the US, Canada, and Australia,” explains Juwai.com CEO and Director Carrie Law. “Most older Chinese want to live near their children and grandchildren, and these are the countries with the largest Chinese immigrant populations.”

As well as family, Law says that Chinese seniors are drawn to those countries that have affordability, good medical care, and an attractive lifestyle.

The site’s new channel’s popular articles include news of a Canadian proposal to curtail birthright citizenship, and a listing for a 5-bedroom oceanfront mansion in the California city of Newport Beach.

Big markets for big spenders
Law says the market for Chinese retirees is vast.

“Within 11 years, there will be 340 million Chinese aged 60 or above. That’s more than the present population of the entire United States. We know that most people begin planning and investing for retirement in their 40s and 50s,” she says.

Across all demographics and property type, Juwai.com estimates that Chinese buyers spent U$123.9 billion on global real estate.

These 10 countries are the best for retirement. Is yours part of the list? 

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#408-1630 W. 1st Avenue & Fir-Penthouse unit with massive private roof top deck at The Galleria

Available February 1, 2019 Unfurnished
1 Bedroom & den
1 Bathroom with soaker tub
700 sqft living space
400 sqft private roof top patio w/water & power
Engineered laminate floors & tile flooring in bathroom
In floor hot water radiant heating
1 secured parking stall + visitor parking
1 secured storage locker + bike room
Insuite Laundry
Double sided gas fireplace
Pet friendly
Open air concept building

Location:
Corner of W. 1st Avenue & Fir-walk to Fisherman's Wharf, Go Fish for some of the best fresh fish & chips + other seafood options (call & pick up instead of waiting in line), check out the fishing boats for the daily catch. Enjoy the annual Spot Prawn Festival or simply stroll down the seawall to Granville Island. Jump on an aqua ferry to Yaletown, Downtown or the Westend. You can walk, ride or what ever you choose & circle around South False Creek thru downtown to Kits Beach & back home. Shops all of the restaurants, luxury cars, boutique coffee shops along the Burrard & W. 4th corridor. Catch a show & fine dining on South Granville. Amazing 360' views from your roof top deck. You will always know the time & temperature from the Molson Brewery until they move. 

Features:
Live the Good Life in this Awesome 1 bedroom & den penthouse unit with a private roof top deck with 360' Views! Excellent for those who love to entertain, BBQ & grow your own organic garden. Low rise concrete building with a terrific community of owners. Floor to ceiling windows in the this open floor plan with views of the N. Shore Mtns. Set the date to host the best Fireworks party on your private deck for 2-20 people. This corner unit offers stainless steel appliances, gas stove w/hot warming rack, double sided gas fireplace, in-floor radiant hot water heating, laminate floors, in-laundry, 1 parking stall & 1 storage locker. Roller blades window coverings & super bright skylight. Pet friendly & available February 1. 

Pictures:
Pics are from a previous tenant & unfortunately I do not have any pics of the roof top deck. If you like the interior, you will love the roof top deck.
  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
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Deadline is Feb. 4

Courier staff Vancouver Courier
January 8, 2019





 
vancouver condos Empty Home Tax declarations must be submitted by Feb. 4. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Roughly half of residential property owners have submitted Empty Home Tax declarations with just over a month before the Feb. 4 deadline.

Residential property owners must submit declarations annually or face having their properties deemed vacant and be subject to the empty homes tax, which sits at one per cent of the property’s 2018 assessed taxable value, as well as a $250 penalty. Payment is due by April 12, 2019 or a five per cent penalty can be applied.

As of Jan. 7, 94,685 property owners had submitted declarations.

The City of Vancouver revealed late last year that the expected revenue collected from the first year of the tax would be higher than anticipated. The city predicted it would generate $30 million, but revised that figure to $38 million. About $21 million had been collected by late November 2018. Part of the funds are being used for implementation and operating costs ($10 million), while the rest is dedicated for affordable housing initiatives, $8 million of which has already been allocated.

The city says that most properties won’t be subject to the Empty Homes Tax, including when a property is used as a principal residence by the owner, his/her family member or friend, or other permitted occupier for at least six months of the year; the home is rented for residential purposes for at least six months of the year in periods of 30 or more consecutive days; or if the property meets the criteria for one of the eight exemptions.

While the objective of the Empty Homes Tax was to return empty or under-utilized properties for use as long-term rental homes for people who live and work in Vancouver, the city acknowledged in its first empty homes tax report that measuring the success of the tax is difficult.

However, staff will continue to monitor the impact of the tax on housing supply and affordability, including the empty homes tax property status declarations data year over year.

Empty Homes Tax declarations can be submitted online here or in person at city hall.

Staff are available to assist homeowners with online declarations at city hall. Regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Property owners can also declare by calling 311 between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily (outside Vancouver: 604-873-7000) and speaking to a citizen service representative. Translation services are also available.

Property owners can receive technical and information support for submitting their online declaration at any Vancouver Public Library location. For opening hours and locations click here.

 
 

 
Copyright © Western Investor
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Consumers increasingly less willing to pay for higher-priced units in new developments, says Altus Group

Joannah Connolly Glacier Media Real Estate
January 9, 2019





 
New homes townhouses


Sales of new-build homes across Metro Vancouver fell by 19 per cent in 2018, according to a report by real estate data company Altus Groupissued January 9.

This is a further drop after new home sales fell in the metropolitan region by 33 per cent the previous year.

In its national new home outlook, Altus Group said, “The frenzied pace in the [Metro Vancouver] market has softened with the sales rate at launch moderating, while price growth has stopped and even pulled back in certain segments of the market. A key challenge that has become more apparent as of late has been the price sensitivity of consumers, with higher-priced projects, or those priced above the competition, experiencing below-average sales rates.”

Altus Group reported that the Metro Vancouver market had started 2018 as “the tightest of the markets examined, in terms of available new homes, with only 1.8 months of inventory.” However, it added, “[In 2018], new project launches, particularly along transit lines and in the Fraser Valley, have added much needed inventory and boosted the supply to 3.3 months' inventory – although this remains the lowest in the country.”

Altus Group new condo sales 2016-18Source: Altus Group

Altus Group is predicting that sales of new homes in Metro Vancouver will slip further in 2019 – although they will remain “at or close to the 10-year sales average for the market.”

The report authors wrote, “The Metro Vancouver market, which is currently exhibiting the most potential for downside risk, is expected to see a modest decline in sales volumes as consumers react to higher borrowing costs and developers react to escalating construction costs in the face of lower revenue opportunities.”

Altus Group new home sales up and downsSource: Altus Group
 

 
Copyright © Western Investor
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Application filed for architecturally striking building to replace 15-storey tower in Coal Harbour

Naoibh O’Connor Western Investor
January 10, 2019





 
 
 
 
 
 
Rendering of the lobby at Pender Street.
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Another office tower could be coming to downtown Vancouver.

A rezoning application has been filed for a 31-storey office building at 1166 West Pender St. between Bute and Thurlow streets in Coal Harbour.

The rezoning application for the development project, involving Integral GroupReliance Properties and IBI Group Architects, goes to open house Jan. 22.

The application is being considered under the City of Vancouver’s Rezoning Policy for the Central Business District (CBD) and CBD Shoulder. The building would replace an existing 15-storey office tower.


Rendering of view looking east down Pender Street.Rendering of view looking east down Pender Street.


Plans feature a building height of 118.1 metres, a total floor area of 32,417 square feet, a floor space ratio of 18.73, ground-level commerce space, 29 levels of office space and six levels of underground parking that includes 199 vehicle parking stalls and 198 bicycle spaces. The applicant describes the site as "constrained" and that the "shape and form of the tower are directly informed by the surrounding buildings and the limitations of the site."

The open house is from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the Garibaldi room of Hotel Blue Horizon at 1225 Robson St.

Organizations such as the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association and CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, have highlighted the need for more office space downtown.

According to City of Vancouver statistics for quarter three of 2018, there were five office project applications of more than 50,000 square feet (or seven storeys and above) under review, three approved, and seven under construction. The total office space for the fifteen projects cited is 4,341,000.

The seven buildings under construction include:

  • 1133 Melville St.: 36-storey tower, which will be the tallest office building in downtown Vancouver when it’s completed in 2022 (650,000 square feet)
  • 753 Seymour St.: a 32-storey tower (384,619 square feet)
  • 1290 Burrard St.: a 15-storey building (260,000 square feet)
  • 601 West Hastings St.: a 25-storey building (227,000 square feet)
  • 1410 Granville St.
  • 155 Water St.: a seven-storey building (67,800 square feet)

The city shows the locations and summary information for office developments that include 20,000 square feet or more of office space in the “Metro core” of Vancouver HERE.

Renderings for 1166 West Pender St.


Rendering of view looking west down Pender Street.Rendering of proposed building at 1166 West Pender St.. View looking west down Pender.


North east corner of site.Rendering of the north east corner of site at 1166 West Pender St.


1166 west pender


noconnor@vancourier.com

@naoibh

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by Steve Randall09 Dec 2018

Property taxes in British Columbia have been generally trending higher for years but the softening market in many parts of the province is set to snap that trend.

BC Assessment bases its assessments on values on July 1st each year and says that when assessments begin to reach households early in January, many will see a reduction.

"It's a real mix in property value changes, but the market can best be summed up as showing signs of stability across most areas of the province," says Assessor Tina Ireland. "Changes in property assessments really depend on where you live. For example, assessed values for detached single family homes in many areas of Metro Vancouver may see a softening in value, while other markets and areas of the province will see modest increases over last year's values."

On July 1, some Metro Vancouver detached single family homes were showing decreases in value of 5-10% over last year, including in areas of Vancouver, the North Shore, South Surrey, White Rock, South Delta and Richmond. Other areas were relatively stable or even showing modest increases.

But there could be increases of 5-15% in other parts of the province including the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Okanagan and the North. And in central and northern Vancouver, increases were near 20%.

Condo values increased 10-20% in most of the province with Vancouver, the North Shore and Burnaby increasing by slightly less than this range while the eastern Fraser Valley may see some assessments above this range.

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by Steve Randall06 Dec 2018

Home sales slipped back in the Fraser Valley last month but were broadly in line with historic averages for the time of year.

A total of 1,028 sales were recorded through the MLS system of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, including 383 residential detached homes, 241 townhouses, and 286 apartments.

This was a decline of 41% compared to the record high of November 2017 (1,743) and down 11% from October 2018.

“Lessening demand continues to impact our market significantly,” said John Barbisan, President of the Board. “In turn, that has given purchasing power back to buyers who now have more time and more options when it comes to making a decision.”

Although the number of active listings fell 5% month-over-month, buyers had 41% more choice than a year ago with 7,355 in the inventory. New listings totaled 2,077, down 25.2% from the previous month and down 10.6% from November 2017.

HPI benchmark prices varied
FVREB’s HPI Benchmark Price across the three main home types in November were:

  • Single Family Detached: $976,200, down 1.1% from October but unchanged from November 2017.
  • Townhomes: $532,800, down 1% compared to October 2018 but up 5.4% year-over-year.
  • Apartments: $422,500, down 2.4% month-over-month but up 12.2% compared to November 2017.

“The market is shifting, albeit slowly. But while buyers are enjoying a more comfortable real estate environment, sellers will have to pay attention to how these changes will affect their chances at success,” added Barbisan.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.