Real Estate in Metro Vancouver and subsequently Squamish and the Sea to Sky has sure received a lot of media hype over the last six months. Instead of casual conversations about weather, real estate seems to be the dominant go-to conversation piece (and not just for Realtors!).
Two very big events have occurred in the last month, with another event forecasted. Here is an overview of these events, in case you missed them, or wanted to learn more:
- The Provincial government announced it would call an end to the self-regulation of BC’s real estate industry as a way to monitor and ensure ethics and integrity were maintained. After an independent review of the industry, some proposed changes that will come into place include the end of limited dual agency (where an agent represents both a buyer and a seller), and dramatically higher fines for agent misconduct.
- As of August 2nd, a 15 percent tax will be applied on all transactions of foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver area (this does not include Squamish or Whistler). This tax will be applied on all purchases, even those where the contract of purchase and sale was signed before August 2nd.
- A vacancy tax is also in the works for Metro Vancouver after a 2014 study by the City of Vancouver found that nearly 5 percent of all properties in Vancouver were vacant (nearly 13 percent of condos). The details of this tax has not been worked out, but expect it to be implemented in the coming months.
While the BC Real Estate Industry undergoes reforms, and the Metro Vancouver Real Estate Market receives a shake-up with the new foreign buyer tax, it is still business as usual here in Squamish. Sales figures for July are in with the dollar volume for sales slightly down from June, and total sales also slightly down. This is following normal summer trends as the real estate market tends to pick up again in September, before quieting down over Christmas and then peaking once again in Spring. So far in August we have seen 26 new listings come on the market, 8 price changes and 20 sales.
Looking to buy or sell in 2016 or have questions about the new foreign buyer tax or changes to the BC real estate industry? Make sure to contact Nanci Fulton for all of your real estate needs in Squamish.