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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to slash corrupt real estate deals, the Pacific province is introducing a new set of rules for 2018. The new British Columbia laws governing real estate will crack down on dual agency, or when one real estate agent works for both the purchaser and the vendor on the same sale. The rules will also let buyers know just how much commission real estate sales persons are entitled to make.
Medical marijuana users can grow their own pot at home now thanks to the federal marijuana law. But British Columbia residents could find that doing so might affect their ability to sell their home if they ever choose to do so. However, the law is vague regarding whether or not homeowners have to disclose the fact that they grew marijuana inside their homes or on their premises, which can affect real estate sales.
Having the North American headquarters of Amazon located in Vancouver would be a boost not only for the city, but for the province. Such a real estate deal would be beneficial for all of British Columbia since the headquarters could potentially cost about $5 billion. Amazon recently announced it is looking for another site for a building in addition to one already located in Seattle.