Porter Ramsay Blog

Real estate board questions new tax on health of business

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Mar, 14, 2018 | Real Estate Law

A new tax slapped on out-of-province purchasers of real estate has the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) adding its two cents to the conversation the move has created. The board president believes the tax will create hardship in the Okanagan real estate economy as well as in other British Columbia locations. The perceived unintended consequences the tax may create — particularly towards Albertans who own property in B.C. — is concerning. Non-B.C. residents may either be forced to rent out their properties, which would make it difficult for them to use themselves, or they may have to contribute more taxes to the... View Article

Statistics show rising threats for drivers in British Columbia

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Mar, 01, 2018 | Blog

Most drivers in British Columbia are aware of the many dangers presented on the roadways, and the majority exhibit extreme care while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it appears that the level of danger for all motorists is on the rise. Following a significant spike in the number of road accidents in British Columbia in recent years, ICBC conducted an online survey early last year to get a better understanding of how the behaviour of drivers contributed to the 320,000 crashes in 2016. The ICBC conducted the survey in collaboration with a market researcher and questioned over 1,100 drivers — all... View Article

New budget may not be home-friendly after all

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 27, 2018 | Real Estate Law

The Pacific Province’s recently dropped budget may not make homes any more affordable as hoped, according to industry professionals. British Columbia’s proposed housing affordability plan, may even have the opposite effect and drive home prices up, says a spokesperson for the province’s real estate development industry. Homes worth upwards of $3 million will also be privy to a transfer tax hike of 5 per cent, up from 3, which won’t help matters, the spokesperson added.   The province is also being criticized for a tax geared toward those who don’t pay income tax such as foreign owners of real estate. The tax basically targets those... View Article

Real estate builds going through the roof in Kelowna

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Feb, 12, 2018 | Real Estate Law

Construction sites are popping up everywhere in the Kelowna area. The real estate industry in general is pretty healthy in British Columbia, and the Okanagan Valley area is no exception. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) statistics show that Kelowna broke the record with housing starts in 2017 with 3,577 new builds. Single detached homes comprised 923 of those with the rest going to apartments and condominiums, with condos continuing to lead the way. The condo sector will continue to excel in the real estate industry, particularly because of the new federal mortgage rules. With this new legislation, purchasers with... View Article

Family law: Divorce isn’t all negative for children

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 31, 2018 | Family Law

It’s hard for some people to see any positives in divorce. When a couple splits up in British Columbia it is often associated with negatives, and the impact it may have on children are also thought to be negative. But, there are some positives children could take away from the end of their parents’ marriage. No one wants a child to have to toughen up, but divorce may give children some skills that they wouldn’t have otherwise developed. Available resources can provide parents with the tools to help their children through family law proceedings in the most positive way possible. If there is one thing divorce... View Article

2018 real estate sales expected to cool off in British Columbia

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 17, 2018 | Real Estate Law

Realtors are expecting home sales to drop in 2018 to the tune of about 10 per cent, but don’t expect that dip to make a significant difference in the market overall. However, British Columbia real estate prices are set to climb, according to economists with supply and demand out of sync — there aren’t enough housing starts to meet the demand. That volatile marriage is what creates price increases. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), a new stress test for mortgages that are uninsured may also reduce the buying power of many in the market. The national real... View Article

Factors affecting real estate values in 2018

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Jan, 01, 2018 | Real Estate Law

Home prices skyrocketed in 2017. The cities that felt the most impact were Toronto and Vancouver. Prices dropped somewhat in British Columbia when the province initiated a tax on foreign buyers. But still, a house that sold for about $708,000 in 2015 shot up to around $933,000 and then down to about $896,000 after the tax was implemented. One of the things that is likely to affect real estate values in 2018 is the stress test initiated by the federal government. That means that home buyers must show they can qualify for more of a mortgage. In other words, if... View Article

Wills and estates: The workings of a do-not-resuscitate order

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 18, 2017 | Wills And Estates

If someone is very ill and is on the verge of death with a terminal illness, he or she may have made provisions for health care personnel not to use life-saving measures such as feeding tubes, defibrillation or CPR. A do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order can be part of wills and estates planning in British Columbia. It is a directive that should be discussed with health care personnel. A DNR is usually used for terminally ill patients near the end of their lives. A patient may have left specific instructions in his or her estate planning. Often, a person who has power of attorney or... View Article

Real estate law: Housing report spurs neighbourhood consultation

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Dec, 06, 2017 | Real Estate Law

A housing report set to hit the desks of city councillors in Vancouver spells out an ambitious plan to add 72,000 homes to more affluent neighbourhoods in the city over the next decade. But before the City Council gives the green light to the real estate proposal in British Columbia’s largest city, a number of neighbourhood groups say more public input is needed. A spokesperson for The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) – which speaks for 27 individual neighbourhood groups — said more work needs to be done on the proposal before being passed by the council. The report suggests that... View Article

Retirees need to know where there’s a will, there’s a way

On Behalf of Porter Ramsay LLP | Nov, 29, 2017 | Blog

If you’re one of the 56 percent of Canadians who doesn’t have a will, you might want to give some serious consideration about drawing one up. With that statistic comes another that experts view as rather disturbing — the fact that 25 percent of the nation’s baby boomers have not given formal consideration about taking care of aging family members. It might be even more prudent for you to have a will if you’re of retirement age, while you’re still young enough to make some important decisions in your life for yourself and for the benefit of your loved ones.... View Article