Housing Affordability

How the 2022 Federal Budget Impacts BC Real Estate

UPDATE – April 12, 2022: This post was updated to correct a figure related to the Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit. The tax credit is up to $7,500, not $50,000 as previously stated. Budget 2022 was introduced on April 7 with a significant focus on the supply and affordability of housing in Canada. BCREA was encouraged

Only 35 Per Cent of British Columbians Support Government’s Cooling-Off Period According to Recent Polling

On behalf of the province’s eight real estate boards and 24,000 REALTORS(R), the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) supports the Government of British Columbia’s intent to introduce a “Homebuyer Protection Period.” However, the BC Government’s cooling-off period fails to meet the needs of British Columbians. A recent independent survey of 1,157 British Columbians shows that only 35

BCREA’s Consumer Protection Recommendations Attract National Media Attention

BCREA’s white paper A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in Real Estate Transactions has attracted significant media attention nationwide. BCREA launched the white paper at a press conference in downtown Vancouver on Monday, February 28 with all of BC’s major news outlets in attendance, including Global, CBC, and CTV. More than 500 viewers, including

A Better Way Home: BCREA, Boards Publish Sweeping Recommendations for Government to Address Challenges in BC’s Housing Market

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA), with support from the province’s real estate boards, has published a white paper and series of sweeping recommendations for the BC Government aimed at addressing current concerns with the province’s housing market, the real estate transaction process and consumer protection. The white paper, called A Better Way Home:

Summary of Recommendations from A Better Way Home for BC REALTORS®

On February 28, BCREA released a comprehensive white paper titled A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in Real Estate, which includes a set of recommendations for the BC Government on better-protecting consumers in real estate transactions and addressing the root causes of BC’s lack of housing affordability.  The white paper was developed in response

What is “Blind Bidding?” An Introduction for REALTORS®

As a result of competitive market conditions and escalating housing prices, BC’s real estate regulator, the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA), is developing a consultation on “blind bidding” to understand whether regulatory changes to real estate transaction could improve protection for homebuyers. This announcement was paired with news in early-November that the BC Government intends

BC Government Takes Positive Step to Increase Housing Supply, But Incentives Needed to Encourage Action

With demand significantly outweighing supply in many regions across BC, the cost of housing has risen dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has maintained that increasing market housing supply is a key to making homeownership more affordable for British Columbians, which is why the provincial government’s recent announcement introducing proposed

Collaboration Between Parties and Levels of Government Key to Housing Affordability in Canada

With another minority government headed to Ottawa after this month’s federal election, collaboration between parties will be key to a functional Canadian government. This is especially true when it comes to making homeownership more achievable in Canada according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA). The Liberals, Conservatives and NDP all made increasing supply

Election Housing Promises Destined to Fail Without Detailed Plans to Increase Supply

For Immediate Release Vancouver, BC – September 1, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) is encouraged by the focus on housing affordability as a key priority in each of the major party’s platforms in the lead-up to September’s federal election. However, while parties pledge to build more homes and make purchasing easier, without detailed plans to quickly turn those promises into action that will increase supply, campaign promises will lead to municipal bottlenecks, failed policy and disappointed homebuyers.  “We

BCREA Agrees with Expert Panel’s Calls to Increase Housing Supply for Improved Affordability

Increasing and diversifying housing supply is part of a necessary, meaningful, and long-lasting solution to make housing more affordable in British Columbia. The British Columbia Real Estate Association is encouraged by the final report from the Expert Panel on Housing Supply and Affordability and its specific recommendations around housing supply. “There is no question that,

Housing Supply Takes Centre Stage During GL Days Live Sessions

BCREA would like to thank all the REALTORS® who participated in this year’s annual Government Liaison (GL) Days live sessions on May 4 and 5. Realtors from across the province convened virtually to learn about policies to address the two issues of improving housing supply and energy efficiency in homes. In addition to discussion around

Federal Budget Recap: Foreign Buyers Tax Concerning, Other Measures Welcomed

On April 19, Canada’s Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland introduced the Liberal government’s first budget since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget provides significant funds to many programs, including several to assist homeowners and renters, increasing the federal deficit by an estimated $382 billion, but also includes measures which are concerning to BCREA.

What to Know About BCREA’s Government Liaison Days Happening in May

Government Liaison (GL) Days is an annual event where REALTORS® meet with MLAs across BC, speaking with a united voice to advocate for key housing-related issues and improving Quality of Life in BC communities. This event has a long history, first taking place in Victoria in 1988. Due to COVID-19, participants won’t be able to

BCREA Supports Housing Funding for Middle-Income Families, Encourages Additional Supply-Side Action

For Immediate Release Vancouver, BC – April 19, 2021. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcomes the province’s recent announcement that $2 billion in development financing will be committed to the HousingHub program to help create affordable housing choices for middle-income families. “With home prices having risen over the last decade and that trend continuing,

Three Election Questions REALTORS® Can Ask Candidates

BC voters go to the polls on October 24, 2020

As all parties focus on COVID-19 economic recovery in the lead-up to October’s provincial election, BCREA is advocating for market housing affordability to be a key part of the next government’s post-election plans. For BC’s REALTORS®, meeting with candidates is a great opportunity to ask questions and suggest that the next government focuses on these

Planning for Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery

BCREA’s Recommendations for the Next Provincial Government With British Columbians being asked to head to the polls on October 24, BCREA is advocating with all parties to ensure that market housing affordability is a cornerstone of the province’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made market housing affordability inequities more apparent than ever,”

REALTORS® Advocating for Affordable Strata Insurance

Strata insurance costs are rising in many parts of the province, threatening families’ housing affordability. With at least one-quarter of British Columbians living in strata units, BCREA is looking for solutions to this housing crisis. Rising strata insurance costs are a complex issue requiring a basket of solutions to foster a robust, economically viable market.

BC Government Presents Stay-The-Course Budget

Minister Carole James delivers the 2020 Budget to stakeholders and journalists.

BC’s Budget 2020 offers some new investments to assist homeowners and their communities, but falls short of substantial changes to improve housing affordability. We’re pleased by the promise of an additional $419 million investment over three years to support CleanBC for home and workplace electric vehicle charging stations and new pilot programs to further reduce

Changes to Stress Test Mean Good News for British Columbians

Canada's Parliament Hill and Parliament Buildings, the seat of the federal government of Canada, taken from the back side of the building

The advocacy of BCREA and other stakeholders has resulted in the Federal Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announcing changes to the mortgage stress test. The stress test is used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for mortgages. The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median five-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insured applications,

BCREA Welcomes Change to Stress Test

Vancouver, BC – February 19, 2020. As the voice of BC’s 23,000 REALTORS®, the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) welcomes Minister of Finance Bill Morneau’s announcement of changes to the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages, also known as the “stress test”. Minister Morneau announced that as of April 6,

B-20 is Stressing Potential Home Buyers

The federal B-20 stress test is preventing many British Columbians from achieving their dream of home ownership. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions enacted new mortgage rules in 2018, requiring borrowers to qualify for a mortgage at the higher of either the rate they’ve negotiated with their bank plus two per cent or

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Launches in September

Help your clients understand the incentive and whether they can benefit In September, the federal government will launch the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, an interest-free loan that doesn’t require monthly payments. The incentive is intended to help reduce monthly mortgage payments without increasing the amount needed to save for a down payment. How does it

Housing Affordability

The residential real estate market is a continuum, with social housing on one end and luxury housing on the other. Rental housing and market housing affordability are important components that help keep the continuum operating smoothly, ensuring appropriate housing options for all and matching supply with demand. BCREA recommends that governments: Ensure the Property Transfer

Working to Make Homes More Affordable for British Columbians

In April, delegates from across the province registered for our 2019 Government Liaison Days, arranging meetings with 64 MLAs, including 11 cabinet ministers. Delegates advocated for policy changes to the Speculation and Vacancy Tax and the federal B-20 stress test to improve market housing affordability. The Speculation and Vacancy Tax has struggled to meet its

Headway on Housing Affordability

Market housing affordability matters to everyone. British Columbians in communities of all sizes need more options for housing that is affordable, safe and appropriate to their family needs. While there’s no magic solution, BCREA believes government and the private sector can work together to build a comprehensive plan that’s effective and fair. In our submission

Tackling Housing Affordability in Budget 2018

Housing affordability is a central focus of the provincial budget announced on February 20. The government’s 30-point “Homes for BC” plan outlines their approach. Some of the key points of the plan include: Introducing a “speculation tax,” charging residential property owners who don’t pay income tax in BC, at an annual rate of 0.5 per

What’s Next for Housing Policy?

“Housing is the main priority for this government.” The Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, certainly caught BCREA’s attention with that statement! Minister Robinson joined reps from BCREA and the regional real estate boards on January 31 for a discussion about challenges and opportunities with housing affordability and availability. On the demand