27 Nov

$1 billion money laundered by crime networks in BC real estate?


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

Criminal networks could have used British Columbia’s real estate market for more than $1 billion of money laundering.

A secret police report, obtained by Global News, reveals that crime networks are linked to 10% of the 1,200 luxury real estate purchases in the Lower Mainland included in a police study in 2016.

These include a $17 million Shaughnessy mansion owned by a suspected importer of the potent drug Fentanyl.

Of around 120 properties linked to crime, 95% are believed to have Chinese crime network origins.

Global News own analysis says that the crime networks may have laundered more than $5 billion in Vancouver-area homes since 2012.

The extent of the money laundering issue and the findings of the police study are discussed on the Simi Sara Show from 980 CKNW.

Link: https://www.mortgagebrokernews.ca/market-update/1-billion-money-laundered-by-crime-networks-in-bc-real-estate-251129.aspx

22 Nov

12,000 BC rental homes could be stifled by regulation


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

The introduction of new regulations in British Columbia could lead to a delay or cancellation of thousands of new rental homes.

A total of 19,972 homes are currently in development across the province but two thirds – 12,000 – could be at risk if the B.C. government imposes restrictive new policies on rental properties.

A new survey by the Urban Development Institute of 30 leading rental home builders shows they are warning against the introduction of more prohibitive rent controls specifically “vacancy control,” in which the rent on a unit is strictly regulated by government.

“British Columbians desperately need more rental homes,” said UDI President & CEO Anne McMullin. “This is not the time for new restrictions that could result in the cancellation of important rental home projects in communities across British Columbia.”

The report says that vacancy control would tie rent controls to a unit rather than the tenant meaning the end to the ability of rental owners to adjust rents between tenants to account for building and unit upgrades and other increased costs like property taxes, insurance and utilities.

It also warns that with rent tied to the unit, the incentive for a rental owner to ensure necessary upgrades, including seismic and energy efficiency standards are completed to aging buildings is severely compromised.

Low vacancy rate would tighten further
The builders say a pull-back in construction would further reduce the already low vacancy rate, which remains below 1% in many communities across the province.

“We need to remove the countless government barriers to increasing supply,” said Dr. Andrey Pavlov, finance professor at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. “Rent controls feel good for the moment, but hurt everyone, including renters, in the long-term.”

Anne McMullin added that builders want to build more homes and the UDI is keen to work with the government to find a solution to help solve the BC rental crisis.

15 Nov

Balanced conditions remain for BC markets


Posted by: Kimberly Walker

Cooler conditions for British Columbia’s home sales remained in October as the impact of mortgage regulations continue to impact the market.

Sales were down 26.2% year-over-year with 6,405 homes sold through the MLS system. The average MLS residential price was down 4.1% to $690,161.

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) says that total sales dollar volume was $4.2 billion, a 29.3 per cent decline from October 2017.

“The BC housing market continued to grapple with tougher mortgage qualifications in October,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, more moderate consumer demand has led to a much-needed increase in the supply of homes for sale.”

Inventory up almost 30%
Total active listings increased almost 30% to 36,195 in October and meant balanced conditions across the province overall, although individual markets vary.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 22.1% to $49.7 billion, compared with the same period in 2017.

Residential unit sales decreased 22.8%to 69,664 units, while the average MLS residential price was up 1% to $713,662.