April 26, 2023 – BCREA Government Relations Update

On Wednesday, April 26, we were joined by Trevor Hargreaves, Senior Vice President of Policy Research & Advocacy, Marketing and Communications, BCREA. Trevor walked through the provincial housing policy landscape, BCREA’s upcoming Government Liaison Days conference being hosted in Victoria, and BCREA’s advocacy focus going forward in 2023.

The following questions were asked but, due to time constraints, were not answered during the session. The answers are enclosed below:

  1. Aren’t “flippers” who are looking for non-livable housing and converting it to livable housing adding to more affordable housing supply? If so, why does the government view flipping negatively?

    The government is probably not targeting “non-livable” housing. However, if someone wants to purchase such housing (likely at well below similar well-maintained units), complete a series of improvements, then re-sell, they will likely be counting on a rise in market value to provide some level of profit over and above their inputs. It may be difficult to argue that a prospective homeowner would be better off by purchasing the property themself and making the improvements, without having to pay the profit margin to “the flipper”. The argument could also be made that the prospective homeowner may not have the expertise to carry out the renovations themselves, so could be running a high level of financial risk. This is not a simple issue.

  2. Won’t blanket rezoning for all single-detached lots to allow multi-unit housing drive up multiple offers (competition) for single-detached homes?  

    Only if the demand for these lots exceeds the supply. This is why we are recommending to the province that the zoning reform apply to all single family zoned lots in the province. If it is limited to certain lots in certain cities or neighbourhoods, then an artificial shortage will exist, and demand could exceed supply, resulting in bidding wars and price escalation. By essentially creating an “unlimited supply”, the opportunity for multiple offers will be greatly reduced.

  3. How do we promote affordable housing without devaluing or demolishing recently constructed single family homes?

    The market will determine the best opportunities for redevelopment of existing single family homes into missing middle multiplexes. In any given neighbourhood, older, smaller homes will be better candidates for conversion/redevelopment than new, larger homes. As well, many cities now have waste diversion policies in place for any residential demolitions. Some have gone so far as requiring “deconstruction” so maximize the building products from the older homes that can be recycled.

April 10, 2024 – Government Relations Advocacy Update

On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, BCREA’s Government Relations Team, headed by Trevor Hargreaves including Mark Sakai and Brenna Friesen, along with Greater Vancouver REALTORS®’ Government Relations Director, Harriet Permut, joined us to share an update on new Government Relations initiatives, pertinent housing policies, and a recap of the previous year’s advocacy highlights.

Follow-up questions:

Have there been discussions about being proactive and making buyer agency agreements mandatory?

  • BCREA is advocating for Mandatory Buyer Agency Written Service Agreements, reflecting the profession’s commitment to enhancing consumer protection and elevating professionalism within the real estate sector. This proactive measure was initially recommended in BCREA’s influential whitepaper, “A Better Way Home,” in February 2022, positioning it as a strategy for strengthening consumer safeguards. Backed by unanimous support from Joint Leadership, made up of real estate board Executive Officers, Chairs and Chair Elects, from across the province, BCREA has dedicated the past year to executing due diligence, including gathering insights from other Canadian provinces with mandatory agreements and engaging deeply with the local real estate sector through focus groups and a comprehensive all-REALTOR® survey. With a united front, BCREA is actively engaging with regulators and preparing to present this to the government. However, the implementation timeline may be shaped by the nuances of an election year. While the real estate community has shown substantial support, the ultimate adoption of these agreements hinges on governmental decision-making.

How is profit determined on a flipped property?

  • This can depend on a few different factors. We recommend visiting the Government of BC’s BC Home Flipping Tax page for more information.

I feel strongly about government advocacy, what ways can I be more involved?

  • We suggest volunteering on your regional board or association Government Relations Committee, and perhaps suggesting they attend our Government Liaison Days in 2025.

Additional Resources:

BCREA Open House: The Newsletter

  • Open House: The Newsletter is a new bi-monthly newsletter sent directly to REALTORS® – there’s no need to subscribe. Open House is a space to bring us together as a community by sharing news, celebrating our successes, learning from each other, and having a little fun along the way. The first issue was sent on March 21, 2024. Check your inbox!

BCREA Managing Broker Resources

  • Managing Brokers’ Portal: contains links to resources most used by managing brokers. Click here for more.
  • Managing Brokers Policies and Procedures Manual Template: provides a structured framework to help brokerages achieve regulatory compliance. Designed to be fully customizable. Click here to access.
  • Managing Broker Support Line: a pilot program offering tailored guidance and support to help brokers and member boards and associations tackle challenges they may encounter and identify opportunities to enhance professionalism. Click here for more.

Upcoming Community of Practice sessions:

  • April 24, 2024 – Tech Tools and Managing Broker Resources with CREA’s Lynn St-Germain and Mike Lomond.

The views expressed in these presentations are those of the speakers and do not reflect the views of BCREA or its member boards. Please note, the content of these presentations was current as of the date of each session and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of information provided in past sessions.

REALTOR® Resources


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