March 2024 Founder’s Message – Early Busy Days of Spring

This month marks the official beginning of spring. Signs of spring are everywhere as leaves begin to bud and early blooming flowers begin their colourful display. Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is in full swing with new inventory coming available every day.

Listings were up 31 per cent last month compared to the same time last year. This is a significant increase of newly listed properties now available on the market. Andrew Lis, director of economics and data analytics for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, believes this increase will relieve some of the pressure that was building in January and offer buyers more choice as we enter the spring and summer markets.

The benchmark price of a detached home is currently $1,972,400, up 7.2 per cent from February 2023 and a 1.5 per cent increase from January 2024. The benchmark price of a townhome is $1,094,700, up 4.2 per cent from February 2023 and a 2.6 per cent increase compared to January 2024. Residential sales in Greater Vancouver are up 13.5 per cent from the same time last year.

Now is an excellent time to call one of our highly experienced advisors to receive a complimentary comparative market analysis. The market is active and buyers are out and about searching for new homes as the weather warms up. You may be surprised at what your property is worth and the possibilities it can provide in today’s market.

This spring, the British Columbia government will be presenting legislation to introduce a new home-flipping tax. Announced as part of the 2024 budget, the proposed new tax will apply to income you receive from the sale of properties in B.C. if you have owned them for less than two years.

If passed, the tax will come into effect for properties sold beginning January 1, 2025. The B.C. Home Flipping Tax rate will be 20 per cent for income earned from properties sold within the first year. It will gradually decrease to 10 per cent if sold after 18 months and reduced to zero after two years of ownership. 

The tax will apply even if the property was purchased before the effective date of January 1, 2025. So, if you bought a property on May 1, 2023, and sold it on January 31, 2025, the income you earn from the sale of the property would be taxable. There will be exceptions to the tax such as divorce, death, disability or illness, involuntary job loss and relocation for work. Exemptions will also be made for those who add to the housing supply or engage in construction and real estate development.

The B.C. government says the purpose of the new tax is to support housing supply. However, real estate analysts are skeptical of the actual benefit of this proposed flipping tax. Brendon Ogmundson, chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association, says the tax could potentially reduce the overall number of homes on the market while only applying to a small number of properties. He also said it might result in lost property transfer taxes. 

“I think that the cost of this policy, and the unintended consequences of it on the supply side of things, are more trouble that they’re worth in terms of the effect on affordability, which is very minimal,” said Ogmundson. 

With this in mind, now is an ideal time to list your property for sale if you have owned it for less than two years. Call one of our VIRANI advisors to find out more about the proposed upcoming changes and how they may affect you. 

Early spring is also a great time to prepare your home for sale. Exterior painting, roofing, landscaping and other exterior touch ups help boost your home’s curb appeal. The warmer months ahead are the best time to showcase your home. A little preparation goes a long way when it is time to sell. Spring is an excellent time to list your home. Sales in Metro Vancouver are picking up. We invite you to call us to receive additional advice on how to get your home ready.

I would like to remind you that B.C.’s Speculation and Vacancy Tax declarations are due by March 31 for all homeowners with property in taxable regions. You can declare online, and you need to make a new declaration every year. If you aren’t eligible for an exemption, you may be eligible for a tax credit to reduce the amount of tax you pay. The province recently expanded its speculation and vacancy tax to 13 additional B.C. municipalities, including Penticton, Kamloops and Parksville. 

Spring is a beautiful season in the Lower Mainland. Early blooming flowers and trees remind us that patio season is just around the corner. Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is busy. 

With warmer days upon us, please take time to peruse the pages of our upcoming spring issue of the V LIST magazine. We truly hope you find inspiration as you enjoy many of Vancouver’s finest properties. There are many wonderful opportunities currently available and more coming in the months ahead. We look forward to new beginnings together this spring.  

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