There are two recently announced items relating to real estate in British Columbia that I hope you will give careful consideration to.  Firstly, the anonymous tip line operated by the Real Estate Council of BC; secondly the Speculation and Foreign Buyers Tax. I would like to provide the following comments regarding each of these items.


Anonymous Tip Line

While it is reasonable that an individual wishing to make a complaint about a Licensee may remain anonymous to that Licensee, it is important that the person making the complaint be required to provide their name and contact information to the Tip Line. The reasons for this are twofold. 1. The facts leading up to the complaint may need further examination after the Licensee has been approached and 2. The nature of anonymous online comments and reviews highlights the inaccuracy and often outrageous claims people can be prone to make under the cloak of anonymity, or when they are simply ill informed.


Speculation and Foreign Buyers Tax

The implied message is that wealthy speculators hoping for capital gains are scooping BC real estate at the expense of BC residents in need of affordable housing.


Apparently there is evidence of wealthy people from other countries buying expensive real estate in Vancouver for speculation and perhaps money laundering. That is a separate issue that I am not concerning myself with here. 


My concern is the relatively small number of Canadians wanting to buy retirement homes in BC. When considering the weather alone in most of Canada, it is no wonder that people hope to retire to BC and perhaps spend part of the year here. These people are often the self-employed (farmers, small business people, restaurant workers, etc) who have no pensions to look forward to. They put their savings into homes in Victoria, Kelowna, (and the exempted Salt Spring Island) with the intention of moving here when they can afford to retire. People coming from other provinces for the occasional weekend may not pay income tax in BC, but they support local restaurants, entertainment venues and shops. For the most part, they are not competing for the type of housing we need. The government rules regarding mortgage qualification have made it harder for families of moderate means to buy a house. The working poor, the unemployed and the people with mental and physical challenges that preclude them working are not going to be buying homes – they are the ones the subsidized housing will help.


Please do not impose a further tax for BC residents and Canadians from other provinces who, like most of us, are simply trying to get by.







Helen Jones

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Developers take note, SUBDIVISION POTENTIAL for TWO waterfront lots make this investment an unmatched opportunity. Located on a level .64 acre WATERFRONT property, in an enclave of quality Central Saanich homes, this offering boasts one of the Peninsula’s finest walk-on SANDY BEACHES. Unparalleled water views out over a protected bay & beyond to James Island. Gorgeous outlooks from all principal rooms, including a spacious family room off the kitchen w/ heated tile floors, a generous eating area & double French doors opening to an entertainment sized patio. Landscaped gardens, manicured lawns, beautiful seawall with two access walks. Ideal small boat or kayak launching area. Floor plans; property survey; arial footage and more available.

For details please contact us.

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"The 881" at Uptown! Masterful design & modern luxury are uniquely embodied in this new condo development. Unrivaled in location & amenities, close to shops, cafes, restaurants, fitness centres & more. With a walk score of 91, this development claims a desirable proximity to parks, walking trails, Uptown & Mayfair shopping centres. Reflecting a magical merging of inspiration & modern architecture, this luxury development of 61 units comprises 1 & 2 bedrooms in an open & airy concept highlighting hardwood floors, S/S appliances, quartz counters, modern kitchens & VRF heat pump system w/high efficiency heating & cooling. Residents will enjoy the use of a large alfresco deck for relaxation & entertaining. As a "Built Green Gold" building w/sustainability in mind, this development includes rooftop garden plots, centralized gas hot water, high efficiency appliances, & more. All units come with a secure underground parking stall. Anticipated completion is Fall of 2019.


Please find a link to all pre-sale listiings.

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A total of 688 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this March, 25.9 per cent fewer than the 929 properties sold in March last year, but a 26.2 per cent increase from the month previous. The sales of condominiums were down 28.2 per cent from last year in March with 211 units sold. Single family homes were 30.8 per cent down from the year previous, with 337 sold this March.

"As we expected, March sales are tracking lower than in 2017," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "This is likely due to a number of factors that have created hesitation in consumers, including recent heavy measures by the provincial government to reduce the value of home prices and the federal government's new mortgage qualification rules. Combine these factors with rising interest rates and you've got a housing market that is in transition due to outside influences. Every time there is intervention into a market, it takes a few months for the market to rebalance. With the continual changes of late from different levels of government, our market is experiencing a new cycle of ongoing uncertainty."

There were a total of 1,766 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of March 2018, an increase of 14.3 per cent compared to the month of February and 13.5 per cent more than the 1,556 active listings for sale at the end of March 2017.

"Despite all of the above, we continue to see benchmark price increases across our market and demand persists - partly due to low inventory - but also because of our highly desirable location," adds President Kerr. "Specific areas and price points are experiencing varying pressure on price and demand - which creates micro-markets. We are still seeing multiple offers and above asking price sales in some segments. Active buyers in our market may see some relief as inventory is slowly growing. This showcases why it is important to work with your local REALTOR® in this transitioning market to ensure you have the most up-to-date information to make purchasing and selling decisions."

The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in March 2017 was $785,600, while the benchmark value for the same home in March 2018 increased by 9.4 per cent to $859,400, higher than February's value of $840,300. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in March 2017 was $409,700, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in March 2018 increased by 19.6 per cent to $490,000, which is higher than February's value of $472,600.

About the Victoria Real Estate Board - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of Realtors. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,354 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market.
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I have sold a property at 22 2319 Chilco RD.
OPEN HOUSE SAT. MARCH 10TH 1-3!! Luxury townhouse living at Stonecliffe! This lovely spacious end unit offers Quality construction, fantastic open concept floorplan, 2390sf of townhouse living with double garage. All principle rooms have lovely views of mountains. Beautiful bright kitchen with granite, stainless appliances & pantry. Geothermal heating and cooling system, wood flooring throughout main and upper level. Lower walk out level with large windows and a huge media/games room, 4th bdrm/den, and 4pce bath. Upper Level has 3 spacious bedrooms, Master bdrm with lovely spa inspired ensuite. Enjoy the views from your deck with hi end awning and gas outlet for bbq. Convenient location, minutes to Thetis Lake, Galloping Goose Trail, shopping and 15 min to downtown. Pets allowed, No age restriction, very well run and reputable strata.
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Get involved! 

The District of Saanich and City of Victoria are gathering builder industry and key stakeholder feedback on a proposed approach for implementation of the BC Energy Step Code and they want your input. 
The Step Code is a provincial building regulation that applies to new residential, multi-unit and commercial construction. It provides a voluntary roadmap that establishes progressive performance steps in energy efficiency for new buildings from the current BC Building Code level to net zero energy ready buildings by 2032.

For more information, including Council reports and background information, please see:
  City of Victoria Green Buildings webpage
Please complete the survey by 23 March: LAUNCH SURVEY NOW 
Feedback from the surveys will be summarized alongside input from the Phase 2 Industry Workshops held in February 2018.  This will be shared with other local municipalities and will inform a final option for our respective councils' consideration. A summary will be made available online at and
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Commercial New Build Strata



Q - Would you be able to explain why commercial property developers do not offer New Building warranty insurance as a standard practice?


A - Home warranty is required under the legislation only for residential builders and therefore to avoid the cost, commercial builders do not provide it, and in addition commercial building is usually much more varied in type of construction and often left unfinished for the buyer to complete.


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Possession Dates 

Q - I had a deal where the lawyer who represented the Buyer was adamant that the Buyer owned the home after completion and was entitled to the keys and access to the home regardless of the possession date.  The development does not allow access until the house is registered but is not concerned with the possession date.  This left me wondering what the possession date was for if we don't need to abide by it.  In your opinion, can we give the keys over before the possession time and day?


A - I think it is really two different things.  The buyer is entitled to keys and access to the property on completion but the seller is entitled to possession of the property until the agreed upon possession date.


The buyer's access would have to be reasonably exercised until actual possession changes hands much as a landlord would have to exercise access.

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Your Government Liaison Committee and your Board of Directors is concerned about the implications of the proposed Speculation Tax, and is working with BCREA and other local stakeholders to connect the government with data and information to encourage them to alter their plans for the tax. 

We hope to have a meeting with Minister James and Minister Robinson to review our position that new taxes do nothing to move forward their goal of affordable housing, and also that artificially devaluing the housing market (a stated goal of James') is detrimental to the province's greater economy. We are promoting that Realtors are strong advocates for their clients, and that real estate is one of the biggest, most important investments many British Columbians / Canadians make. We are also working on next steps. 

We will update you as these discussions and work progresses. If you have clients who are concerned about the speculation tax (which will affect second home owners - even if BC residents) please encourage them to connect with the Minsters directly to share their story. 

Minister of Finance -  Carole James
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing -  Selina Robinson 

From BCREA:  
Speculation tax
On the proposed speculation tax, BCREA's heard from REALTORS® around the province and homeowners across the country. We're working with Minister of Finance Carole James and her staff to get answers and to provide input before the legislation is introduced this fall. We believe that homeowners who pay income tax in Canada should be exempt from the speculation tax, regardless of how many homes they own.

BCREA's full list of recommendations, concerns and questions about the proposed speculation tax is available here.
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751 Fairfield Rd

A condo in the Astoria is truly the best of both worlds! This 1 bed and bath 573 sq ft high end condo offers an excellent location for urban living or solid investment property that currently allows transient accommodation! Situated in Humboldt valley on the 10th floor and offering some nice views, this may be the one you've been waiting for. Stainless steel appliances, in-suite laundry, and good sized balcony make for a very comfortable space. The 2006 steel and concrete building offers an excellent rec room and exercise area and with a Walk Score of 97 it's a short stroll to parks, the inner harbour and downtown! The strata fees are very reasonable and it comes with one parking spot and separate storage. Don't delay viewing this wonderful urban oasis.

For more information on a unit in this condo building  please contact us.


Condo Building Details:


Rent Alld?:  Unrestricted Short term rentals allowed. See Bylaws.
Yng Age: 0 See Bylaws.
Pets Alld?: Dogs, Cats Two dogs or two cats or one of each. No size restriction. No exotic pets. See Bylaws.
BBQs Alld?: Yes See Bylaws.
Smoking Byl? Unknown

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1/4 interest at THE PARKSIDE HOTEL & SPA. 2 bed/1 bathroom, 676 sq. ft. Saltspring B suite, one of the most sought after rental suites in the hotel, high occupancy rate and maximum rental value. 12 weeks of usage per year for the owner with 4 of those weeks in August. The suite is on the quite side of the hotel overlooking St Ann's Academy,very tastefully decorated with designer furnishings, and all amenities included. Den has 2 nd bed option pullout,closet, fireplace, TV. Eating space for 4. Granit countertops, SS appliances, in suite washer/dryer. Amenities include 25M pool, Spa, hot tub, exercise Rm, theater, underground parking, full time front desk.

For more information on a property in the parkside please contact us.

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Legato is an 18 story, 88 unit luxury steel and concrete building in the heart of downtown Victoria. The building features a fully equipped gym, lounge room, zen garden, outdoor BBQ area and resident caretaker. This south facing unit features 2bed/1bath, south facing patio and terrace facing zen garden, 8.5ft ceiling heights, high-end stainless steel appliances, Italian kitchen cabinetry, quartz counter tops and German laminate flooring. Legato is steps away from all amenities Victoria offers- restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment and shopping. The building is projected to complete in the fall of 2017.

For a condo in this building please contact us. 

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BC Housing would like to inform everyone of the recent decision by the B.C. Government to phase out the BC HOME Partnership program on March 31, 2018Please review the recent news release. 
We thank you for all your support and guidance in launching the initial program and look forward to sharing more detail on the HousingHub office that will support prospective homeowners to purchase homes and build equity. 
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Speculation Tax Update

The British Columbia government recently announced a “Speculation Tax” effective for the 2018 tax year. Details on the Speculation Tax have been limited especially given the magnitude and scope of the new tax. Below is some information released to date along with a link to the most recent Ministry of Finance Information Sheet:
So far the B.C. Government has advised the following:
Speculation Tax:

1.     The Speculation Tax will target foreign and domestic speculators in BC. 

2.     Exemptions will be available for:
a.     Principal residences (excluding satellite families – households with high worldwide income that pay little income tax in BC )
b.     Qualifying long-term rental properties (no specific definitions of long term rental provided)
c.      Certain special cases
3.      A non-refundable income tax credit will help offset the tax for BC residents. This will leave the bulk of the tax levied on vacant and short-term rental properties owned by individuals who do not live in BC, as well as satellite families.
4.     In 2018, the tax rate will be 0.5% of assessed value. In 2019, the rate will increase to 2% of assessed value.
5.     The Speculation Tax will initially apply to the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, and in the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna.
At this time the following concerns and practice points have not been addressed:
1.    No grandfathering announced for existing owners or buyers currently under a contract of purchase and sale.   
2.  No announcement whether this tax can form a lien or is otherwise attached to the Speculator’s property (including after the Speculator’s property is sold in which case a Non-Speculator Buyer may be liable for a Speculator Seller’s tax liability).
3.  No announcement on how the Speculation Tax is to be prorated when a Speculator Seller has paid the tax for the year and the property is then sold to a Non-Speculator Buyer. 
4.  No announcement on any Seller or Government certificates that may protect a Buyer from tax liability when purchasing from a Speculator Seller or a Seller that the government may later deem to be a Speculator.
5.  No announcement on suggested changes to the Contract of Purchase and Sale that may be required to deal with liability to both buyers and sellers due to the proposed tax (including a Non-Speculator Buyer that may be liable for tax liability from a Seller that is later deemed to be
Many Realtors have commented that there appears to be a new landscape where government passes sweeping legislative changes often times on short notice, without grandfathering, without consultation with industry and with significant penalties (for example penalties of double the tax, interest on the tax, a fine up to $250,000 and up to two years in prison for Realtors providing certain advice or preparing certain documents under the Property Transfer Tax Act). Given this constantly changing landscape, we appreciate that you and your clients may wish to work with a law firm that is well-versed in these matters and Mullin DeMeo is proud to continue to assist you and your clients in this regard. If you have any questions on the above or any other real estate related matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office at any time.
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Q - How do I write in the owners names on the agreement when then husband is deceased but still on the title doc?



 You can ignore the husband as his interest has passed by virtue of joint tenancy (I assume is held as joint tenants)‎ to the wife.


She does need to formally convey title to herself at or prior to the completion date by filing an original death certificate at the Land Title Office. I would suggest she contact her conveyancing lawyer and have this done sooner than later.


If you have any additional questions please contact us.

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If you look at the Victoria Real Estate Statistics, you wil see that the supply is not that much more than it was last year. Please note as well that the number of unconditional sales is significantly lower, showing a shift in financing and the bank tightening up on their lending policies. 


If you would like to review the real estate market in Victoria, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Victoria Real Estate Market Adapts to Changing Policy Landscape

A total of 545 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this February, 19.3 per cent fewer than the 675 properties sold in February last year. The sales of condominiums were down 15.5 per cent from last year in February with 174 units sold. Single family homes were 24.4 per cent down from the year previous, with 260 sold this February.

"We certainly anticipated that we would see some lower numbers this year compared to last," says Victoria Real Estate Board President Kyle Kerr. "Right now prospective home buyers are met with many hurdles as they start shopping for their new home. They're in a market that's experienced long-term low inventory, which means more price pressure and competition on homes. Buyers are navigating increasing interest rates and the new mortgage stress test. These factors all combine to constrain our market. Like any changes to consumer experience, there is a period of response before consumers adapt to the new rules. We saw an increase in buyers in November and December who bought early to avoid the mortgage stress test, and this likely means less buyers in the current market. However, with continued historical low inventory levels, demand is still outpacing supply."

There were a total of 1,545 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of February 2018, an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the month of January and 0.5 per cent more than the 1,537 active listings for sale at the end of February 2017.

"The provincial government recently rolled out its budget, which includes an admirable commitment to spend six billion dollars to build 114,000 units in ten years," adds President Kerr. "These units will take years to come to market, and it is difficult to predict how many we will see in Victoria. The government needs a long-term approach to supply needs in our area, and that initial commitment is a good start. A reasonable way to bolster their commitment and improve current conditions is for the province to work with our municipalities to reduce the timelines and costs associated with bringing new housing to our market."
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in February 2017 was $771,100, while the benchmark value for the same home in February 2018 increased by 9 per cent to $840,300, slightly higher than January's value of $831,900. The MLS® HPI benchmark value for a condominium in the Victoria Core area in February 2017 was $394,400, while the benchmark value for the same condominium in February 2018 increased by 19.85 per cent to $472,600, which is slightly higher than January's value of $460,500.

About the Victoria Real Estate Board - Founded in 1921, the Victoria Real Estate Board is a key player in the development of standards and innovative programs to enhance the professionalism of REALTORS®. The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,371 local Realtors. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, connect with your local Realtor for detailed information on the Victoria and area housing market. 
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We are professionals and we advise our other real estate colleagues to please remember that counseling a party to avoid taxes is participation in tax avoidance under the Act! Your marketing, social media and other communications all "count". 

From the Property Transfer Tax Office:

Tax Avoidance, Penalties and Offences

All property transfer transactions are subject to audit and all additional property transfer tax returns will be reviewed and verified. The audit period is six years from the date the transfer is registered with the Land Title Office.

Anti-avoidance provisions exist and will be enforced to ensure all property purchasers report and pay the correct amount of property transfer tax and/or the additional property transfer tax, including examining circumstances where Canadians, as taxable trustees, hold property in trust for a foreign entity or are trustees where a beneficiary may be a foreign entity.

Failure to pay the tax as required or purposely completing the property transfer tax return or the additional property transfer tax return with incorrect or misleading information may result in a penalty. These penalties may include double the tax, tax plus interest, a fine of $200,000 for corporations or $100,000 for individuals and/or up to two years in prison.
The penalties apply to anyone who participates in tax avoidance.
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930 Yates - Downtown Victoria - The Manhattan 

Welcome to a fantastic, bright, 2 bedroom, 1 bath condo in the heart of downtown in The Manhattan. If you are looking for a great revenue option or are a first-time buyer looking to get into the market, The Manhattan is perfect. This steel and concrete building is centrally located across the road the Market on Yates, London Drugs, Starbucks and the Atrium is just down the street. Low strata fees, no rental restrictions, pets allowed and the in-suite laundry make this a versatile offer. Great layout with no wasted space and well-appointed kitchen that overlooks the living area that opens to a south facing deck with great views of the city, water and mountains and an abundance of natural light. Call now as this home has been priced for quick sale!

Strata Includes: 

Bldg Insurance, Bldg Maintenance, Caretaker, Garbage p/u, Hot Water, Management


This Condo will go fast,  contact the BC HOME GROUP for details on what is currently listed in the building.


930 Yates Manhattan Victoria BC


Listed by : Re/Max Alliance 

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