After weeks of hot political debate, public protest and industry lobbying, a crack appeared Thursday in the provincial government's implementation of the hugely unpopular harmonized sales tax with a change in how it will apply to new housing.

"We heard the concerns from consumers and industry," Finance Minister Colin Hansen said, announcing that the government will raise the threshold for its maximum HST rebate on new homes to $525,000 from $400,000, effectively increasing the rebate by 30 per cent.

For homes priced under $525,000, the rebate will ensure there is no additional tax burden from the HST. Purchasers of homes over the new threshold will pay the seven-per-cent HST and be eligible for a maximum rebate of $26,250.








 By Brad Gannon - brad@vanrealty.ca

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Some very interesting developments lately have to do with the legality of rental restrictions.  There has been a shortage of rental units for years in British Columbia. In order to address this, the Provincial Government recently passed legislation dealing with the rental provisions of the Strata Property Act ("SPA").

 

Under the old section 143 of the SPA, a rental restriction bylaw passed by a Strata Corporation did not apply to that strata lot until the strata lot was conveyed by the first owner after the developer or until the date that the rental period disclosed in the RDS expired, whichever was earlier. Essentially the first owner was always able to rent out the strata unit until the expiration of the rental period disclosed in the RDS, but not subsequent owners.

 

Pursuant to the amended Section 143 of the SPA, for a new RDS filed after December 31, 2009, a rental restriction bylaw will not apply to that strata lot until the date that the rental period disclosed in the RDS expires. This expiration is usually a long time away: perhaps 99 years or even indefinite.

 

Therefore, practically speaking, starting January 1, 2010, a new RDS will benefit every subsequent owner of that strata lot rather than just the first owner after the developer. All future owners will be able to rent the strata lot without being subject to any rental restriction bylaw for as long as the rental period disclosed in the new RDS allows them to.

 

This does not apply to strata buildings where the RDS was filed prior to Dec. 31, 2009.

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Many people have been hearing and asking about the changes recently announced by the Federal Govt affecting the Mortgage Industry and how it will relate to our local real estate market.
We have an excellent article from TD bank we can forward you if you drop us an email.  It details the changes in depth.
In short we don't expect the changes to have a drastic impact and certainly will not be as influential as any rate changes that will likely be coming up in the future.
REMEMBER it's a great time to consider locking in you rates or refinancing.
 
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