Friday, 28 October 2011

The Real Estate Round-Up - October 31, 2011

UDI-BC Snapshot Poll finds developers stalling projects due to lack of clarity around HST

Ultimately the old GST & PST system will reduce the cost of buying a new home, but the transitional period is already hurting the development community, and the economy.

A recent snapshot poll conducted by the Urban Development Institue found that 36/50 developers or 72% have put projects on hold due to the lack of clarity surrounding the transitional period. Developers fear that without clear guidelines, potential new home buyers will hold off until the old tax system is back in place.

BC is not alone, as a recent Ontario poll conducted by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has shown significant confusion still exists surrounding what the HST is applied to in terms of buying a home.

Conference Board of Canada calls Vancouver housing market "balanced"

"It must be that the sales-to-listings ratio is balanced," conference board spokeswoman Yvonne Squires told Business in Vancouver in their recent article.

This contrasts from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), who describes Vancouver's housing market as a buyer's market.

Although home prices in Metro Vancouver dipped 0.37% in September, the conference board expects Vancouver home prices to rise 5% by September 2012.

Know Your New Home Warranty Insurance Coverage

A recent article published in the Chilliwack Times attempted to shed some light on some of the finer points to new home warranty insurance coverage in British Columbia. A while back, we attempted to do the same thing but found it alarmingly difficult; you can read the blog post here.

Although most areas of the Homeowner Protection Act in BC are relatively straight forward, where it pertains to routine maintenance, it can get quite confusing. Because coverage under new home warranty insurance in some cases is dependant on owner's doing routine maintenance, one would expect that all manufacturer documents for installed products in the home would be provided to homeowners when they take occupancy. Section 14, "Consequences of not providing information" is vague in definition however, leaving the topic open for interpretation.

Until this section is defined more clearly, the potential for misunderstanding between builder and homeowner will exist.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Tsawwassen Springs - A Whole New Kind of Community

The name says it all; "A New Kind of Community." We have had the pleasure of working on some of the most unique and interesting projects ever constructed in Canada, but Tsawwassen Springs sticks out as something truly special.

Where should we start? Amenities include a spa, banquet hall, fitness studio and restaurant. On the grounds you will find a golf course, tennis course, outdoor ice rink and an organic community garden. Many residential projects boast resort style living; Tsawwassen Springs delivers it.

The project has a sincere and genuine connection with the city, as the developer contributed $300,000 to the Delta Farm Land & Wildlife Trust, and extended walking & biking trails through the development to give community access to Tsawwassen Beach.

Environmental standards were met, and surpassed as the project has aimed for LEED Silver Certification for the homes. The golf course adheres to the principals of sustainable resource management as set by the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP), which sets a benchmark for golf courses to provide wildlife habitats, conserve & protect water quality, reduce chemical use and conserve natural resources.

Tsawwassen Springs; from lifestyle to sustainability, it really is a whole new kind of community.

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