The provincial budget originally announced the introduction of a new speculation tax on residential property in BC aimed at property owners – both foreign and domestic – who don't pay taxes to the province. But buried in the "Homes for B.C." housing plan, one of several plain-language documents that accompanied the budget, is the idea that "the Province will also introduce a non-refundable income tax credit which will allow those who pay income tax in B.C. to offset the property tax." This apparent contradiction led many people to ask who exactly will be paying the tax.
Feb 26 2018
Housing was a prominent feature of the 2018 BC Budget, and the BC HOME Partnership loan program will be ending early because of the NDP government's new focus. Originally launched in January 2017, the program offered help to first-time homebuyers with their down payment by providing a matching loan interest-free for the first 5 years.
It probably comes as no surprise to residents of British Columbia – especially those in Vancouver, Victoria and the Fraser Valley – but the province once again has the least affordable homes in Canada. Toronto and Nanaimo round out the top 5, at third and fifth respectively.
There has been a lot of speculation about the impact of foreign property ownership on real estate prices over the past couple of years. In joint research from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Statistics Canada, we can finally see some numbers and what they mean for our local housing market.
The countdown is on to January 1st, when the latest mortgage rules from OSFI will come into effect! A recent survey by Re/Max found that over 40% of Canadians don't even know about the upcoming changes, and another 40% don't think – or aren't sure – that the new rules will affect them. At the same time, nearly half of Canadians are considering purchasing a home in the next five years. A home is the largest purchase most of us will make, so do you really want to go into that decision without all the facts?
Equifax has confirmed that 8,000 Canadians may have had their personal information – names, addresses, and Social Insurance Numbers – or credit card information compromised in a breach by hackers earlier this year. An outside cybersecurity firm completed the forensic analysis to determine how many people were affected.
The federal government has confirmed a new mortgage stress test that will come into effect on January 1, 2018. The new qualifying rules will apply to home buyers looking for an uninsurable or conventional mortgage. You will need to qualify on either the Bank of Canada benchmark rate (4.89% at time of writing, updated weekly) or your mortgage contract rate + 2% - whichever is higher. Currently, buyers in this situation only need to qualify at their contract rate.