Advocacy

OSRE Announces Five Recommendations to Support Managing Brokers

On Tuesday, February 9, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) announced five preliminary recommendations to support managing brokers as part of a report into the role of managing brokers in real estate transactions.  The study was completed in collaboration with the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) and with input from BCREA,

Administrative Penalties Expanded

Today, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) announced changes to the Real Estate Rules to expand the use of administrative penalties (APs). OSRE first proposed these rule changes in September 2020, in a consultation that attracted nearly 600 responses – including a detailed

RECBC Approves 10 Per Cent Hike in Licensing Fees

Effective April 1, 2021, The Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC) will increase their biennial licensing fees from $1,800 to $2,000. RECBC members approved the proposed increase on January 18, following a short consultation beginning in December 2020. The new fee structure will be implemented, subject to objections from Minister of Finance Selina Robinson. Licensing

How REALTORS® Help Prevent Money Laundering in Real Estate: Identifying and Reporting Suspicious Transactions

By: Ellen Baragon, guest contributor Brokerages, managing brokers, compliance officers, brokerage staff and REALTORS® are uniquely positioned to assess certain aspects of a real estate transaction that others may not have access to. By complying with your professional obligations to file a Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) and share suspicious transaction information with the Financial Transactions

BCREA Advocacy 2020 Year in Review

2020 was an eventful year that required BCREA to adapt to many unexpected challenges. As with most British Columbians, the COVID-19 pandemic required changes how we conduct our practices. We have learned just how resilient and adaptable BC’s Realtors can be, showing leadership and coming together to help flatten the COVID-19 infection rate. Below are

CleanBC Rebates Doubled

To help BC’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many CleanBC rebates are doubled until December 31, 2020. These initiatives will help homeowners save energy and will also help the province meet its new emissions target rate to be 16 per cent below 2007 levels by 2025. The increased rebates are available for: switching from

New Cabinet Will Lead BC’s Economic Recovery

After the BC NDP won a majority of legislative seats, Premier John Horgan has announced the new provincial cabinet. The BC NDP’s cabinet positions will play a key role in economic recovery and are an important conduit for BCREA to advance our advocacy issues. Below is a summary of ministerial appointments affecting real estate. Hon.

Regulator Takes a Step to Curb Strata Insurance Costs

Rising insurance costs are a major concern for many of the approximately one-quarter of British Columbia’s residents who live in strata properties. This issue was a significant advocacy point for BCREA during the recent provincial election campaign, and it will continue to be a key issue as we work with the new government. The recent

Continuing Strata Insurance Issues

Widespread, significant increases in the cost of insurance have plagued many BC strata corporations for more than a year. BCREA and other stakeholders have raised concerns and offered potential solutions to this complex problem. During the provincial election campaign, we educated candidates about strata insurance. These high costs are ultimately paid for by strata unit

Climate Priority for BC Government

Throughout the election campaign, all three main BC parties made promises to be leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While all parties agreed incentives for retrofitting homes were important to meet climate change goals, BCREA knows the government needs to make significant improvements if it’s going to meet current carbon reduction targets. Government incentives for

Solutions to Address BC Housing Supply

As Canadians recognize the important work done by housing partners on National Housing Day (November 22), BCREA acknowledges that there is still much work to do to ensure affordable, appropriate housing. In spite of the BC housing market’s record pace in October, supply continues to be limited. Lack of adequate supply causes affordability issues, especially

New Commercial Rent Assistance Program

Canadian businesses, non-profits and charities experiencing financial hardship from COVID-19 may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). This program, in effect since November 23, replaces a previous commercial rent assistance program (CECRA) that had lower pickup than the government expected. The goal

Finding Floodplain Maps

While COVID-19 may pose the greatest risk right now, floods also do significant damage regularly in BC and across the country. Economic, social and environmental impacts can take many years to reverse and BCREA believes smart planning to avoid, or at least minimize, flooding is a better approach. Floodplain maps can support local government decision

The Provincial Election’s Over – Now What?

Well, wasn’t that an amazing election? OK, perhaps it wasn’t exactly a barn-burner result, and the degree of policy discussion was, shall we say, disappointing. While we don’t know the final results yet (an estimated 500,000 mail-in votes are still to be counted), we do know the NDP will form a majority government. There are

UPDATE: Have Your Say on Changes to Administrative Penalties

The new deadline for this consultation on changes to administrative penalties is November 13, 2020 (announced by the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate and Real Estate Council of British Columbia on October 27, 2020). In mid-September, the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of BC (RECBC)

Webinar Recording: BC Real Estate and the Election on Our Doorstep

On Wednesday, October 21, BCREA hosted a webinar and panel discussion to explore the impacts of the upcoming provincial election on the BC real estate sector. We discussed the key asks that BCREA and real estate boards will make of any new provincial government; the risks and opportunities for the real estate sector arising from

Comparing Provincial Party Housing Platforms

Below is a comparison of the three main party’s platforms’ impact on real estate and housing. COVID-19 Economic Recovery Green Allocate $300 million to create a six-month rent subsidy program for small businesses. Liberal Eliminate the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) for one year and then set it at three per cent for subsequent years. Permanently

September Survey Results on Economic Impacts of COVID-19

In mid-September, over 1,200 REALTORS® took BCREA’s third survey on the economic impacts of COVID-19. Many Realtors are still experiencing financial difficulties, with 16 per cent reporting no income from transactions in August and September. This number is down from 26 per cent of respondents who reported receiving no income from transactions from May to