Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about SUBJECT CONDITIONS in Real Estate Agreements

  • Published on April 23, 2018
 
Kenneth Allan Pazder

Kenneth Allan Pazder

Owner at Pazder Law Corporation

30 articles
 

First off, “what is a subject condition?”

It is a condition in a contract of purchase and sale which must be removed or waived by the benefitting party before a certain date, failing which the contract will terminate. 

The benefitting party is usually the buyer, but it could also be the seller or both the buyer and seller.

Subject conditions are essential because they allow a party to carry out their due diligence (inspections, documentary reviews, searches and other confirmations) PRIOR to the contract becoming binding.

Typical subject conditions for a buyer could include: 

 – Financing;

 – Building inspection;

 – Review of title, strata plan, by-laws, strata minutes, Form B, insurance, financial statements, parking arrangements, depreciation or other engineering reports;

 – Confirmation that: a. GST or PTT are not applicable, b. no underground oil tanks are located on the property, c. the water is potable, d. the septic system is approved and properly functioning, d. the zoning is appropriate for intended use, e. insurance is available on the property, f. the property was not subject to a stigmatizing event (such as a murder, suicide, paranormal event or other).

Too often subject conditions are carelessly thrown into contracts of purchase and sale without regard to their wording or significance. The importance of subject conditions should not be overlooked as a poorly drafted subject clause may give a party room to walk away from a deal or prevent a contract from even forming.

Typically when entering into a contract of purchase and sale each party has the same goal in mind, namely to complete the transaction. Once the price is agreed on the contract is a done deal, right? WRONG! While the negotiation of the purchase price is always important it is not all that matters. 

In the standard form Contract of Purchase and Sale, those conditions that your real estate agent lists under “Terms and Conditions” play a very significant role. In fact, a party’s obligations under the contract do not commence until those subject conditions are removed.

A typical subject condition might be: “Subject to the Buyer obtaining and approving a building inspection.” To remove a subject condition, the benefitting party must waive or declare fulfilled the condition AND give written notice of the removal of the subject clause before the deadline stipulated in the contract.

Duty of Good Faith

In removing a subject condition, a party has a duty to act in good faith and make all reasonable efforts to remove their subject conditions and complete the contract (Dynamic Transport Ltd v O.K. Detailing Ltd., 1978 CanLII 215 (SCC), [1978] 2 SCR 1072). To act reasonably and good faith is to not act in a capricious or arbitrary manner (Mason v Freedman, 1958 CanLII 7 (SCC), [1978] SCR 483 at 487).

Subject conditions can on occasion play a critical role in aiding a party to get out of his or her contract. Unless the subject condition is waived or fulfilled by written notice the contract is terminated. 

However, as noted above, a party cannot refuse to remove a subject condition for an illegitimate reason.

For example, a Seller cannot refuse to remove her subject to legal review clause merely because she has found another Buyer who is willing to pay more money for the property (Zhang v. Amaral-Gurgel 2017 BCSC 1561).

For a hesitant or risk adverse party, the impulse may be to draft the subject clauses as subjectively in an attempt to give that party the ability to walk away from the contract. However, if the wording of the subject conditions are too subjective it may prevent a contract from even forming. To form a contract there must be some degree of certainty as to the essential terms of the contract. The more subjective a subject clause is, the more uncertain the criteria of the terms are. Therefore, instead of a binding contract, the parties may only have an offer to purchase and a binding contract will not be formed until the subject conditions are removed. This may give either party the ability to walk away before the subject conditions are removed.

Most parties when entering into a contract are not looking for a way out. To promote efficiency and certainty, subject conditions should be drafted objectively. Objective conditions are usually dependant on the happening of an external event, for instance “subject to the Buyer obtaining mortgage financing with an institutional lender.” The criteria of this condition is clear and precise as to when and how it will be fulfilled.

Is a “satisfactory” subject condition enforceable?

Often, a real estate agent will insert the word “satisfactory” to give the party some wiggle room as to the acceptableness of the condition. Take for example, “subject to arranging satisfactory financing.” The term satisfactory implies a subjective standard, leaving concern of the certainty of the clause. However, the Court of Appeal in Griffen v Martens (1988), 1998 CanLii 2852 (BCCA) stated that the purchaser has to use “his best efforts” to obtain financing as the meaning of “satisfactory” means “satisfactory to a reasonable person with all the subjective but reasonable standards of a particular purchaser.” Thus the term satisfactory invokes an objective standard of a reasonable person so the clause is not the subject to the whims and fancies of a particular individual. Therefore, there is a sufficient degree of certainty to the condition. 

The moral of the story

In today’s hot real estate market, most everyone want the deal done quickly –BUT in a professional and enforceable manner. 

Properly drafted subject conditions can aid in this goal (although, admittedly in many cases, particularly in Vancouver, buyers are forced to make offers with no conditions at all due to the many bidders all vying for the same property).*

A real estate transaction is one of the biggest transactions most people ever make, so it is not in anyone’s best interest that the deal collapses because of a poorly worded subject condition clause!

When in doubt, feel free to call us for advice 24/7.**  So far we’ve successfully closed over 30,000 purchase and sale agreements!

*In such cases, it is often possible to put in some of the buyer’s due diligence items by way of warranties or representations by the seller. Also, if the buyer wants to spend the extra money without knowing whether he will be the successful bidder, most of the subject conditions can be carried out BEFORE the offer is made, in which case the offer need not contain any conditions. However, after losing out on a few such offers, the buyer may become hesitant to continue this expensive and somewhat time consuming procedure.

© 2018 Pazder Law Corporation

1460 – 800 W. Pender St., Vancouver, BC, V6C 2V6, 

tel: (604) 682-1509www.pazderlaw.com

Kenneth Pazder (ext. 245) Melissa Valana (ext. 258)

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Sold your home? CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it

The Canada Revenue Agency is getting tough with people who fail to comply with new rules requiring the routine sale of a home to be reported, even when there’s zero tax owing.

If you don’t report the sale of a principal residence on your income tax return, you could be subject to a fine of as much as $8,000. And something else to keep in mind: Normally, CRA may reassess your tax returns going back three years; with the reporting of a sale of a home, there’s no limit on how long CRA can wait to reassess you.

It sounds like CRA may go easy on applying fines for now because more stringent requirements for reporting the sale of a home are still relatively recent. But the rules for reporting the sale of a house on a tax return have definitely changed. There’s now a potentially harsh cost for not complying.

 

Canada’s religion of home ownership is built in large part on what tax experts call the personal residence exemption, or PRE. It means you don’t have to pay tax on capital gains realized when you sell a home that was designated a principal residence for the entire time you owned it. You or a spouse, common-law partner or a child must have lived in the home at some point during the year. Houses, condos, units in a duplex, cottages, mobile homes, trailers and houseboats all qualify, and they don’t have to be located in Canada.

Reporting the sale of a principal residence was unnecessary before 2016, the year the federal government announced a series of steps designed to slow the housing market down and close housing-related tax loopholes. Some people used the previous lack of scrutiny of gains from the sale of a home to their advantage, including investors flipping homes, and others who owned both a cottage and a house and weren’t conscientious about declaring which was a principal residence.

 

CRA says that if you forget to report the sale of a principal residence, you’ll need to amend your tax return for that year as soon as possible. Late reporting may be accepted in some cases, but it’s possible you’ll have to pay a penalty equal to the lesser of $8,000 or $100 for each complete month you’re late in reporting.

Accountant Mark Goodfield of BDO Canada says a new requirement for 2017 is to fill out a form called a T2091, which carries a “Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual” label from CRA. There is also a carryover requirement to fill out Schedule 3 on the basic tax form, where you report the sale of various types of financial assets.

Previously, people selling a house had to fill out the T2091 form only if the property wasn’t their principal residence for the entire time they owned it. Filling out the T2091 is simple – Mr. Goodfield says you need to provide the address of the home, the year you bought the property and the proceeds from the sale. He describes the penalty for not complying as fairly stiff, given that $2,500 is used as a maximum penalty in some other cases.

As for how aggressively the penalty will be applied, Mr. Goodfield’s take is that CRA may take an approach similar to the one used on over-contributions to tax-free savings accounts back when they were still new to people (TFSAs were introduced in 2009). “When everyone was confused at the start and penalties were being levied all over the place, CRA had some discretion, and early on, I think they let some of the penalties go. I wouldn’t be counting on their generosity [for late disclosure of a home sale], but they may have a little leniency in the first few years.”

There’s additional incentive beyond penalties to disclose the sale of a principal residence to CRA in the year it occurred. A tax memo from the tax law firm Thorsteinssons LLP said a late filing could raise a red flag for the taxman, leading to a possible audit. Report the sale of your principal residence promptly to avoid both cost and hassle.

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100 Best things to do Hawaii

This isolated volcanic archipelago is one of the states of the USA. The islands are mostly known for the rugged beauty, tropical areas, and magnificent beaches. There are six main islands, with the capital Honolulu being situated in the island of Oahu. The islands offer many different things for the tourist, ranging from WWII memorials to tropical walks, scuba diving, snorkelling, and mountainous excursions.

 

1. Pearl Harbour

 

 

 

You will find this lagoon harbour on the island of Oahu. A large part of the harbour is US Navy deep-water naval base, although you can still spend a full day looking around the area.
It was here with the attack on Pearl harbour on December 7th, 1941 which was the reason for the USA to enter WWII.
Allow yourself a full day but be aware that there are areas which you cannot enter so be vigilant of signs.

2. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

 

 

 

 This is the state museum of the country. It is the Museum of natural and Cultural History. You will find it in the Kalihi area of the main island.
This is the largest museum and houses the largest collection of Polynesian artefacts and history specimens. The natural history section has over 24 million exhibits and houses the third largest insect collection in the USA.
Allow yourself a full day here.

 

3. Kilauea

This is the most active volcano of the five that form the island of Hawaii. You will find it on the southern shore of the island. This is a very popular tourist attraction with over 2.6 million visitors each year who walk up the volcano.
You will find a well-stocked tourist shop, and if you want to stay in the area, then look out for The Volcano House which is the nearest accommodation.
If you plan to stay, then be sure to book in advance.

4. Hanauma

 

 

 

 

 This is both a nature reserve and a marine life conservation area. There are many animals for you to see but be aware that you are not allowed to pet or feed them.
There are over 400 species of fish who live in the bay area, as well as an abundance of sea turtles and parrotfish.
Snorkelling is the best way to see the marine life, and it is a lovely area to spend a full day.

 

5. Turtle Bay Resort

This is the major hotel which you will find on the north shore of Oahu. This is a great place to base yourself and explore the island. There are rooms as well as cottages and ocean villas.
There are several restaurants in the resort, including a pool bar which is very popular.
If you play golf, then you will find two golf courses next to the resort.
Make sure you book accommodation in advance.

6. The Hana Highway and Legacy Trail

You will find this in East Maui, it connects the towns of Kahului and Hana and is about 52 miles long.
It will take you about 2.5 hours to drive it and you will cross over some 59 bridges, many of which are one lane wide.
You will pass through lush forest and you can also find the Hana Millennium Legacy Trail which is a great hiking area.
Plan to spend a day exploring from one end and perhaps staying in the destination for a night or two.

7. Manoa Falls

 

For walkers and hikers, this is a great trail. The waterfall is 150-foot high and located on the Manoa Falls Trail in Honolulu.
Close by you will find the Lyon Arboretum which preserves many species of native plants.
Make sure you getdirections for the trail before you leave.
Swimming at the base of the waterfall is not advised and you should be prepared for flooding after rain, so be sure to check forecasts before setting out.

 

8. Aulani

This Disney Resort and Spa is a great beachside hotel and is perfect for families. You will find many programmes and children’s activities here, while mum and dad do grown-up things.
Look out for fellow guests such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse!
This is a great place to spend a few days and use as a base to explore the area.

9. Sunset Beach

If you like surfing, then you should make this a place to visit. You will find it on the north shore of Oahu. It is well known for big waves during the winter.
The beach is not considered safe for beginners due to the coral formations at the surface of the water which could present a risk of injury.
Swimming is possible along the beach, there are several spots where you will be secluded. The creamy sand is great to take long walks along while watching the many surfers who come here.

10. Hanalei Bay

This is the largest bay on the north shore of Kaua?i island. You will find the town of Hanalei in the centre of the bay.
The bay has over 2 miles of beaches and is very popular in the summer for sailboats, paddle boarding and swimming.
During the winter the waves increase, and this becomes a surfer’s paradise.
Allow yourself a full day here to see the town, and then head for the beach.

11. Lahaina

 

This historic whaling village is in Maui, on the west side. The name means ‘relentless sun’. During the mid-1800’s the town was overrun by sailors, although these days you will find quaint shops and art galleries.
Make sure you check out Maui’s oldest living Banyan tree and some of the many other historic sites.
You can hire canoes, or hike with local guides, and learn more about the history of the area.
Note that the channel off the coast is one of the best places in the world to spot hump-backed whales.

12. Diamond Head

This is the view that most people will first see when visiting the island of Waikiki, and it is also a
US National Natural Monument.
Be aware that there is a section which is closed to the public, but the resort hotels and wonderful beaches make this a great tourist destination.
For hikers there is a 0.75-mile trail which will take you to the rim of the crater. This is not rated as a difficult hike, but you will find that the trail winds over very uneven rocky places. There is a tunnel which will take you to a narrow spiral staircase which has 43 steps, and finally you will arrive at an observation platform.
There is a water fountain at the observation platform, as well as bathrooms, but there is no food.
One point to note here is that you are not allowed up to the top after 4.30pm, so plan your hike accordingly.

13. USS Arizona Memorial

This memorial marks the place where 1,102 sailors were killed on USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbour.
You can only reach this by boat, and the memorial straddles the sunken hull of the ship. There is a visitor’s Centre which organises boat trips.
The memorial centre is open daily apart from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day.
You should allow yourself at least a half day to see this, although you may take longer looking around the area.

14. The Honolulu Zoo

This zoo houses over 1,230 different animals, each in their own specifically designed habitat.
Look out for monkeys, a sun bear, and several lion cubs.
An interesting point here is that in 1916 a steamship going from Australia to Canada docked in Honolulu, with an elephant called Daisy on board. Honolulu acquired the elephant, and that was the start of the zoo!
Plan on spending most of the day here, there are cafes, where you can get a bite to eat.

15. Mount Tantalus

This is called an extinct cinder cone and it is found on the southern part of Oahu. Tantalus is a very popular attraction for hikers, bikers and even skateboarders. The view from the summit is down onto Honolulu City.
The mountain is 2,013 feet high so if you intend to hike it, be sure to take enough water.
Allow yourself most of the day, particularly if you are an avid hiker.

16. Pacific Aviation Museum

You will be able to access this museum from the Pearl Harbour Historic Sites on Halawa landing. It was founded in 1999 as an aviation museum.
Look out for hangar number 37, where you will see many artefacts relating to the attack on Pearl Harbour.
There are several static exhibits and one of the hangars still shows the damage from the attack.
Plan on spending the full day here and looking at the other things related to Pearl Harbour.

17. Ala Moana Beach Park

This free public park was man-made by the owner of a dredging company who needed somewhere to dispose of the earth he dredged, and so the beach was created.
You will find that the beach is perfect for smaller children as the water is always calmer, being protected by an outer reef.
One point to note here is that the ocean bottom does drop away rapidly so novice swimmers should take care.
This is a great area to pack a picnic basket and spend a day. There are lifeguards, showers, restrooms, and a barbeque area.

18. Camp on Big Island

This is in fact one of the best ways to see this island. You can camp in many places on the island, and all are sign-posted. Most campsites require you to have a permit so be sure to get one before you head out.
The rules are basically the same at each sit – treat the area with respect and enjoy your stay!

19. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

You will find this park on the island of Hawaii. It comprises of two of the world’s most active volcanoes, as well as Mauna Loa, the most massive shield volcano in the world.
You will be able to see amazing volcanic landscapes as well as some rare fauna and flora. Pack a good pair of walking shoes and spend a day exploring. Be sure to take your own provisions.

20. Visit the turtles

You will find this amazing sight at Ho’okipa Beach Park. Every single sunset, no matter what the time of year the sea turtles swim ashore here to rest.
Head for the east end of the beach at the base of the cliff and you will find between 20 and 40 at any time.
Please be aware that touching or feeding is not allowed.
Plan to spend a day on the beach and enjoy the surroundings.
Further down the beach you will find activities such as surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing, and you are also able to snorkel with the turtles.

21. Pu-ukohola Heiau National Historic Site

You will find this on the north-western coast of the island of Hawaii. Here you will find the ancient ruins of the last major Hawaiian Temple, along with several other historic sites.
There is a visitor’s centre at the site, and a trail which leads to Pu?ukohola. Be aware that there is a section where the public is not allowed as it is widely believed that there are still bones buried there.
Look out for the underwater structure dedicated to sharks, and a stone post where you will be able to watch them feeding.

22. USS Bowfin

You will find this submarine located next to the USS Arizona memorial Visitor’s Centre in Pearl Harbour.
She has been open to the public since 1981. There are tours you can take or you can walk around by yourself.
Whichever you choose, be sure to wear sturdy shoes as there is quite a lot of climbing to get in and out of the submarine.

23. See the only Meadery

The Meadery is located in Kapa’a Town and is close to many other iconic shops.
Mead is regarded as the world’s first alcoholic drink. The Nani Moon Meadery makes several flavoured meads. Each variety is made using only local ingredients and fruits, so you may get to taste lilikoi and guava, spiced with ginger or chili.
The Meadery offers a guided tour where you are invited to taste their mead. You will find that far from being thick and cloying, it is light and refreshing!

24. Queen Kapi?olani Regional Park

This is the largest and second oldest public park in the country. It is found in Honolulu on the east side. It was named after the Queen Consort of King David Kalakaua. Here you will also find Honolulu Zoo, and Waikiki Shell.
There are many outdoor events which take place here such as tennis, basketball, baseball, rugby, and lacrosse to name a few.
This is a great park for joggers as well as serving as the start and finish of the off-road races which are held there.
You will also be able to watch a game of cricket. This is the oldest sporting club in the Pacific.

25. Black Sand Beach

This is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ wonder which used to be known as Punalu?u Beach. You will find it on Hawaii’s Big Island.
You will notice straight away that the sand is black. This is due to the basalt washing up from beneath the waters.
Look out for lava vents which spurt out magna into the ocean and fill the heated rock pools.
The area is home to the Hawkback Turtle and the Hawaiian Monk Seal, which you will see in profusion.
Allow yourself a day here to explore the beach and then enjoy the seals.

26. Honolulu Museum of Art

The museum was founded in 1922 and is the largest of its kind in the state. You will find the largest single collection of Asian and pan-Pacific art in the USA. There are more than 50,000 works of art housed here.
Some days and events are free to the public, so be sure to check these out. Otherwise, members go in free, as do children.
Take advantage of a guided tour, these are offered daily. The other choice is to have an audio guide. Tours are also offered for the hearing impaired. Plan to spend a full day here.

27. Iolani Palace

This used to be the royal residence of the rulers under the Kamehameha Dynasty and the Kalakaua Dynasty. You will find it in the capitol area of Honolulu. This is now a National Historic Landmark.

The palace was opened to the public in 1978 and is one of two royal abodes on US soil.
Allow yourself at least half a day to see the Palace.

28. USS Missouri

Also known as ‘Mighty Mo’, this battleship was named after the US State of Missouri. She was the last battleship to be commissioned by the US and was at the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, which marked the end of WWII.

In 1998 she was donated to the Memorial Association and took her place among others at Pearl harbour.
You can climb aboard and see how the crew lived, so wear sturdy shoes.
Allow yourself a full day to see this and several others, which are all in the vicinity.

29. Mauna Kea

This dormant volcano is found on the island of Hawaii. It stands 13,802 feet above sea level, and the summit is the highest point in the country.
An interesting point is that when measured from the base on the ocean floor, this is the highest mountain on earth.
This is one of the best sites for observing the stars at night, so if you are into astronomy, then be sure to check this out. There are no less than thirteen telescopes at various points up the volcano.

30. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

This observatory is located at Uwekahuna Bluff on the island of Hawaii and is there to monitor active volcanoes. This centre is known world-wide as the leader is the study of active volcanoes.
On site there is a museum, namely Thomas A. Jagger Museum, which is open to the public.
Allow yourself at least a half day here.

31. Helicopter over Kauai

Over 70% of this area is only accessible by helicopter and there are many tours you can join to do this.
You will find tour agencies close to Kalapaki Beach. There are two types of tour, one with the doors closed, and the other with the doors off. Doors off tours are not available for children under 10 years of age.
You will fly over areas such as Na Pali Coast, Mount Waialeale, and Jurassic Falls, with the most breath-taking views.
Tours last about an hour, some are 90 minutes long, and there is a safety brief before you fly.

32. Na Pali Coast State Park

You will find this along the northwest side of Kaua?i. An interesting point here is that this is the oldest inhabited Hawaiian Island.
The area is very rugged and runs for about 16 miles with the cliffs rising to as high as 4,000 feet in some areas.
This is perfect for hiking or walking, and you will find plenty of trails. Be aware that you must take your own provisions.

33. Shangri La

You will find this mansion just outside Honolulu. It was built by heiress Doris Duke and is now owned by the Doris Duke Foundation.

The house was opened to the public in 2002 as the Shangri La Centre off Islamic Arts and Culture.

You can join a guided to tour to see this, and they leave from the Museum of Art in Honolulu.
The house contains over 2,500 objects from her collection.
Allow yourself a half day to see the mansion.

34. National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

You may also hear this called the Punchbowl Cemetery, because it is located at Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu.
This is a memorial dedicated to those men and women who served in the US Air Forces, and gave their lives doing this.
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, with millions of visitors each year.
Allow yourself a half a day to see this.

35. Waikiki Aquarium

This aquarium was founded in 1904, and it is located in Honolulu. The aquarium is right next to a living coral reef on the shoreline. This is home to over 490 different species of plants and animals.
You can expect to see classes of schoolchildren on visits as there are several programmes for them to take part in, as well as activities for youngsters.
Make sure you check out upcoming events through the year.
Allow yourself a half day here, although with children you may take longer.

36. Harold L. Lyon Arboretum

This is managed by the University of Hawaii at Manoa. A large part of the arboretum consists of lowland tropical rainforest, and there are numerous small water features and trails you can follow.
There are over 15,000 plants of the palm family such as bromeliads and aroids.
Look out for the seed bank and visit it, where you will be able to see the latest in technology for seed reproduction.

37. The Polynesian Cultural Centre

You will find this near Brigham Young University in Laie. It is owed by the LDS Church, and consists of eight simulated villages.
Each village demonstrates various crafts and arts. There is a shuttle bus tour of the university which includes seeing the villages.
Allow a half day here, there is a visitor’s centre where you can get a bite to eat.

38. Ala Moana Centre

If shopping appeals to you then you need to head here! This is not only the largest shopping mall in Hawaii, it is also the 7th largest in the USA! Further, it is the largest open-air shopping centre in the world!
You will find this on Ala Moana Boulevard in Honolulu. Plan on spending a full day here as there is so much to see and do. Plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can stop for lunch.

39. Ko Olina Resort

This is a master-planned vacation centre with 2 miles of coastal frontage. You will find three natural and four man-made lagoons with sandy, white beaches.
There are a total of four hotel and club resorts, one of them being a Disney Resort and Spa.
During the year events such as the Children’s Film and Music Festival and the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival take place here.
This is a perfect place to book a few nights and stay while you enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

40. Akaka Falls

You will find this 442-foot high waterfall on the Big Island. The falls are fed by the Kolekole Stream and are a very popular spot for tourists.
While the area is lovely, the reason to visit here is the Goby Fish. The fish are normally less than 3″ ling but they literally climb up the wet rocks behind the falls to get to the spawning grounds. The eggs are laid up at the top of the falls and then get washed out back into the ocean where they will hatch and grow. And the cycle begins again..
This is a lovely spot to take a picnic and see if you can spot these amazing fish.

41. Go snorkeling

The best place to do this is in Maui where you will find boats to take you to interesting spots such as Molokini Crater.
Take your time and have a look around under the waves. You will be amazed at the amount of beauty below.
Here you will find some of the best places to go snorkelling.
Other great places to try are Honolua bay and Kekaa which is situated in front of the Sheraton in west Maui.

42. Pu-uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park

You will find this historical park on the west coast of the island of Hawaii. A point of interest here is that you will find the site where up till the early 19th century anyone who broke the law could avoid death by fleeing to the place of refuge. There the offender would be absolved of his crime and be able to return home.
Outside the Great Wall you will see the grounds which is widely regarded to be the home of several generations of Chieftains.
It will take you at least a half day to see the park.

43. Maui Ocean Centre

This is both an aquarium and an oceanography centre. You will find it in Maalaea, on the island of Maui.
This is the largest tropical reef aquarium in the western hemisphere. You will see coral reef habitats, sharks, sea turtles and humpback whales, to mention a few.
The project undertakes growing of artificial coral reefs which are later introduced to the wild.
You will need at least half a day here.

44. Waipi-o Valley

This is on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was the permanent residence of many early kings there, as well as being the capitol.

The floor of the valley is 2,000 feet below the surrounding area, and there is a steep road which will lead you down to the bottom. You will need to get to the lookout at the top of the southern wall of the valley.

Be aware that only 4-wheel drive vehicles are permitted as the road is so steep in areas. In fact, it is the steepest road in the USA!

Notice that the shore line is of black sand. This is a very popular place for surfers.
If you want to hike there, then look for the foot trails named Waimanu or Muliwai. These are not accessible by vehicle.

45. Kapalua Resort

This golf and beach resort is to be found in Kapalua on the northwest shore. The resort is set between two nature preserves, and there are three wonderful beaches close by. Also in the vicinity is a zipline.
On the resort you will find several restaurants and shops. One of the well-known shops is the historic Honolua Store.
Vacation homes are available to rent, and tours arranged on the nearby pineapple farm.

46. Haleakala National Park

You will find this park on the island of Maui. There is a very winding but well-maintained road which leads to the summit. Here you will find a visitor’s centre, with restrooms and a parking area.
Look out for the observatory at the top. You will also be able to see the famous Haleakala Crater. This is 6.99 miles across.
Possibly the best reason to visit this area is the sunrise in the mornings, which is nothing short of spectacular.
For hikers, there are three cabins to stay in, but you must book them in advance.

47. Halona Blowhole

You will find this on the island of Oahu, at Halona Point. The geyser is best seen when the tide is high, and the winds are strong. Then you will see the spray shoot high into the air.
This is a very popular tourist attraction because the area is so beautiful. It is also a good place to watch Humpback whales as they start their journey leaving the north pacific.
Be aware if you plan to dive or even swim, that the currents are erratic and sometimes very strong.

48. Mauna Loa

The name means ‘Long Mountain’ and this is one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii. This is the largest one, and also regarded as the largest volcano on earth. It is estimated that this volcano has been erupting for at least 700,000 years.
Here you can read about the eruption history of this famous volcano.
There are many trails you can follow around the volcano. Make sure that you wear sturdy shoes and that you take enough provisions for your stay.

49. Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa

This is possibly the most iconic hotel and resort in Honolulu and is the largest in the chain of Hilton Hotels. It is also one of the largest hotels in the world.
You will find many different areas such as lagoons and spas. Look out for the pond area where you will find the sacred Ibis, Koi fish, chameleons, and many other different species. Also check out the three remaining South African Black-footed penguins.
This resort is the perfect getaway for a family holiday.

50. Hale Pohaku

This is also known as the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy. It is a centre for telescopes and instruments for the Mauna Kea Observatory and you will find it on top of Mount Kea.
At the base there is a visitor’s centre. Here you can read about the geology, ecology, and significance of Mauna Kea.
In the evenings there is a stargazing program where several smaller telescopes are set up for visitors to look at planets and galaxies.
This area is very popular with amateur astronomers since the altitude is so much higher and the sky clear.

51. Sample Kalua Pig

A visit to Hawaii would not be complete without tasting some of this delicacy. It is a very famous pork dish which is cooked in an underground oven.
You will find that the pork is tender with the most remarkable smoky flavour. There are many places where you will be able to find this, so make sure you stop for lunch somewhere you can taste this delicious meat.

52. The Banzai Pipeline

You may also hear this called the Pipeline, or simply the Pipe. This is a surf reef located off Ehukai Beach park on the north shore of O’ahu.
The pipeline is notorious for big waves which start to break just as they reach the shallows. You will notice the large, thick, hollow curls which are formed, making them great tube rides.
There are three reefs, each one deeper than the previous one. If you intend to surf here, pay attention to the times when the locals are surfing as they know the tides and currents best.

53. Try some tropical fruit

There is something unique about buying fresh fruit from a roadside stand! You will never forget the taste of these unusual fruits. Try some lychee, mangoes, passion fruit, pineapple, or star fruit.
They can all be bought anywhere along a roadside, or in any of the farmer’s markets, which are held most weekends.
So, pack a picnic lunch, and add some fresh fruit for a great afternoon on a beach!

54. Hulihe-e Palace

This used to be a holiday home for Hawaiian royalty, although now it is a museum housing furniture and artefacts.

You will find it in Kailua-Kona. Notice that the original building was made from lava rock. There are guided tours available which explain the interesting history of the museum.
An interesting point to look for are the slight ceiling cracks which were caused by the 2006 Kiholo Bay earthquake.

Allow yourself a half day to look around here.

55. Waimea Bay

This bay is located on the north shore of O’ahu. The name means ‘reddish water’. This, along with several other bays play host to surfing contests because of the large waves created by the winter storms.
This beach was a huge influence on surfing in the 1950’s.
In summer the water is typically clear and calm, making it a great place for snorkelling and swimming.

56. Nu’uanu pali

This is a section of cliff located at the head of the Nu?uanu Valley, on the island of O’ahu. It is famous for the spectacular views of the coastline.
You will also find the Freshwater Fish Refuge here as well as the reservoir. Head for the Nu?uanu Pali State Wayside which is a lookout with wonderful views of Kane?ohe, Kane?ohe Bay, and Kailua.
This is a great place to take a break during a hike and enjoy the scenery.

57. Dive with the sharks

You will find this in Hale’iwa. It is an experience like no other! This is the first – and only – cage-less shark diving place in the country. It is a unique opportunity to see sharks in their natural environment.
There are no age restrictions although children must be at least 4 feet tall and accompanied by two adults. They should also be strong swimmers.
The tours last 2 hours, with 30-45 minutes being spent in the water. So, if you are brave enough to face a shark outside a cage, then make sure this is on your list of things to do.

58. Take a lava tour

The best way to see an active lava flow is to take a tour. These start within Volcanoes National park, and you will be able to get within a few feet of fresh lava. Your guide will take you to some of the less well-known areas of the forest.
With most tours, rainwear, snacks, and water are included. This hike is not for people who are unfit, or for small children as it is about 4 to 5 miles each way. Also, be aware that the fumes of the volcanoes are very pungent and may affect breathing in some people.
The tours start very early at 4am so that you catch the sunrise, and end between 9-10pm.

59. Explore Chinatown

You will find this area in Oahu. The area is filled with art galleries, bars, restaurants, trendy boutiques, and a vibrant art scene.
Look out for the Hawaiian Theatre, which is well worth a visit. There are guided tours you can take, although it is nice to wander around at your own pace.
Every first Friday of the month you will find a block party with shops and galleries staying open late, and live music in many bars.

60. See the Manta Rays

The best way to see these amazing creatures is to join a tour. You will find boats leaving from Kona Coast daily. Most tours last three hours and you can expect to see literally hundreds of rays going in search of plankton within inches of you. You can either dive or snorkel with the rays, and there is no age limit although six years and upwards is the recommendation.
Allow a full day out here as there is plenty to see on the shore as well as on a tour.

61. Visit Kona Coffee Farm

This is a great way for the whole family to learn about the coffee industry. You will find this at Kuaiwi Farm. You can take the guided tour across the 5-acre plantation.
Not only will you see coffee grown, but also macadamias, pineapples, and cacao.
You will be able to see the whole process of coffee-making and then have a tasting of the award-winning coffees, nuts, and jams.
The tours run every day between 8.30 and 4pm, Monday through Sunday.
As a bonus, there is a chocolate making class for guests over ten years of age.

62. Explore by submarine

This is a great way to see under the water, and not get wet! These tours start in Lahaina, and after a short safety briefing you will head out to see reef sharks, eels, dolphins, and tropical fish. You will pass a sunken wreck along the way.
This is the perfect way to see things for people who are not strong swimmers.
There is no age limit here, but there is a rule that guests must be taller than 36inches.

63. Hire a bike

The best two islands to do this on are Big Island and Maui. You will find plenty of bike rental companies at very affordable rates.
While most roads no not have designated bike lanes, you will find that they are wide enough for both vehicles and bikes.
Maui is particularly good with the infrastructure for bikes, making it very easy to explore the island this way.
If you can, try to take the downhill ride at sunset from the Haleakala Crater.

64. Visit Kualoa

This is a private nature reserve and a working cattle ranch. It is also very popular with tourists. You will find it on the windward coast of O’ahu.
There are three valleys where you can hike and explore. There are also guided tours of the farm.
An interesting point here is that the farm has been used in the making of many films such as Jurassic park, 50 First Dates, Jumanji, and many more.
Allow yourself a full day here to explore.

65. See Ahu’ena Heiau

You will also know this as Big Island. Historically significant because this island was home to the religious temple used by King Kamehameha the Great. It was this king who served to unite all the islands.
This was also the site where the first American Christian Missionaries landed. The site was restored after being damaged by a hurricane and is now free to the public.
Once there you will be able to visit Hulihe’e Palace. Allow yourself at least a half day here although you may want to stay longer as it is so restful.

66. Green Sands Beach

This may be off the beaten track, but it is worth the excursion. You will find Papakolea Beach near South Point, in the Ka?u district of the island of Hawaii.
The beach colouring gets the green shade from the green glassy crystals called Olivine. Olivine is quite heavy and does not get washed out to sea and regular beach sand does, so the shore keeps the greenish colour.
Make sure you wear shoes when walking on this.

67. Say hello to ‘Duke’

He is widely regarded as the father of modern surfing. He was also the Hawaiian ambassador of Aloha. You will find the 9-foot high bronze statue on the sands of Waikiki Beach.
Not only was Duke a gold medal Olympic swimmer, he was a Hollywood actor, and Sheriff of Honolulu.
This is one of the most photographed statues on the island and you will often find flowers draped on his arms by admirers.
Duke was a true hero in every sense of the word.
If you want to learn more about Duke, then head to Duke’s Canoe Club Restaurant.

68. Explore North Shore

The North Shore has plenty to offer and is well worth spending a full day looking around.
This is very popular with surfer’s as some of the best waves in the world happen here. On your way to the North Shore you will pass through the residential areas and fruit stands. You will also find shrimp trucks – treat yourself to a plate of garlic shrimp for lunch – you will love it!
If you fancy something different, try any of the old-school bakeries or burger joints.
You can snorkel in Three Tables and Shark’s Cove, or just spend a lazy day on the beach.

69. Waimea Canyon

You may have heard of this as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific’. You will find it on the western side of Kaua?i in the Hawaiian Islands. The canyon is up to 3,000 feet deep in places and you will often see reddish water at the bottom.
There are guided tours which you can take, or you can walk about by yourself. Be aware that this is one of the wettest places on the earth so bring rain wear and be prepared to get rained on!

70. Try some ‘shave ice and poke’

‘Ono grinds’ – this means good food, and there are two that you must try! Both are local dishes, and both are delicious. Poke (rhymes with OK) is normally made with octopus or tuna, chopped into cubes, seasoned, and served raw. You will find this on the menu in every restaurant and café.
Shave ice is a dessert made by shaving pieces of ice from a large block. This is then topped with such things as condensed milk, vanilla or coconut ice cream, or plum powder, to mention a few.
These are two things that should most definitely be on your list of things to try!

71. Whale watch

If you are interested in seeing humpbacks, then head for Maui. This is where hundreds of whales return to every year. They come to the warm waters to give birth.
You may be able to see mother whales teaching their calves how to tail-wave. There are many tours here which you can take and get to listen to the whales. Most of the boats have hydrophone systems where you can hear all the sounds the whales make.
You will also be able to see the whales very well from the beach, if you prefer to stay on land.

72. Old Lahaina Luau

This is an evening to be remembered! Prepare to enjoy yourself and live like a local! Good Poke and a flower tucked behind your ear will set you up for an evening of entertainment.
Performances consist of different types of entertainment, with fire dancers on some occasions.
This is a great way to spend and evening, although you must book in advance as they are very popular with tourists.

73. See Makena

This is the south shore in Maui. Don’t expect to find supermarkets, hotels, or minimarts here. Rather, expect to find crystal clear water, and wonderful scenery.
You may be lucky to catch sight of a pod of dolphins as you laze on the deep, golden sands.
Normally there is a fish taco truck which arrives daily where you will be able to get a bite and something to drink.
This is a great place to relax and unwind after serious hiking or sightseeing.

74. Highway 560

This is a ten-mile stretch of road which starts at Hanalei scenic Overlook in Princeville. The road follows an ancient walking trail which skirts the ocean.
As you drive you will see thirteen historic bridges and culverts. Be aware that at places the road is only one lane wide, so be prepared to wait to pass, and try to enjoy the experience. Be patient!

75. Try some river kayaking

There are some rivers where even inexperience kayakers can try as there are no rapids to run, and no waterfalls to jump. That makes this a great way for most people to enjoy the scenery from the water.
There are plenty of rivers to kayak along, for both beginners and advanced kayakers.
For inexperienced kayakers, try Wailua River on the east side, or Hanalei River on the North Shore.
For more experienced kayakers, try heading for Napali Coast.

76. Listen to some ‘real’ Hawaiian Music

Israel Kamakawiwoole is widely regarded as the father of Hawaiian music, and you should try to listen to a live performance. Israel died in 1997, but his style and memory lives on. Head for the Maui Arts and Cultural centre for an evening you will not forget.
You will also get to hear his music in many bars and restaurants. Wednesday night at the Napili Kai Beach resort is an excellent venue.
If you are in the area during the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar festival, you will be able to listen to performers who play the signature styles.

77. Kailua Beach

Some people will tell you that this is the reason to visit Hawaii, and when you see the beach, you may well agree with them. This is also the reason why many people have never left!
You will find this beach on the windward side of Oahu. There are several small offshore islands which are perfect for canoeing and kayaking.
You will notice that the waves are small and gentle, making this perfect for kids to romp in them.
There is a small store and some different eating places nearby, so you can plan on spending the whole day here.

78. Play golf in Paradise

If you enjoy golf, then bring your clubs! You will find some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world here. Not only will you have spectacular views while you play, but there is good weather all year round so you are guaranteed a game whenever you like.
Some of the courses can be challenging, they are all designed by top golfers. Try the Kapalua resort on West Maui, and the Wailwa and Makena resorts on the South Shore. Not only do they offer memorable courses, but they frequently have twilight deals to save money.

79. Makapuu Point Lighthouse

This is a moderately easy hike with a spectacular view at the end. You will find it on the eastern side of Oahu. The lighthouse was built in 1909 on a 600-foot cliff.
The beach is also well-known for some of the best body surfing conditions. Close by is the Sea Life Park, so it is worth spending a full day in this area.
For hikers, the parking lot leads to a 2-mile paved trail which overlooks the lighthouse.

80. Take a sunset cruise

One of the nicest ways to see Oahu is from a boat looking onto the island. There are many of sunset cruises which do this. They leave from Oahu and will serve you a romantic 5 course sunset dinner and show as you cruise along the coast line.
Watch out for the spectacular views of Diamond Head, and the coast by night.
You will enjoy a welcome drink and on-board entertainment as you cruise around the coast. Friday nights offer an extra hour with a firework display.

81.See the Kilauea Volcano

This is the most active volcano in the world, and you can watch it from a distance. You will find it on the island of Hawaii.
This volcano is called a shield volcano which means that the slopes are very shallow. The name ‘Kilauea’ means ‘much spreading’ and you will see that the lave constantly stretches out. Under the pressure of its own weight, fissures form and it is these that produce fiery curtains of magma which shoot up.
The best way to see this is to join a tour where you will be transported as close to the volcano as is safe. Normally just before dawn is the best time.
You can learn more about this amazing volcano and its history of eruptions.
If you want to stay a few days, there is accommodation at the Volcano House near the rim, although you must book in advance to stay here.

82. Visit the Island of Lanai

While there are just over 3,000 people who live on the island, the reason for visiting is to see the cats. The island is home to over 500 furry felines who live in their own section of the island.
The cat island was created in 2009 to rescue cats that were being killed because they begged for food. A volunteer program was set up to catch, neuter and release the cats.
All the cats are available for adoption, and maintaining, feeding and taking care of the cats comes from donations.

83. Hike Haleakala

This is a great hike, and not to be missed if hiking is what you do. The trail will take you right down into the massive bowl in Haleakala national Park, into the dormant volcano.
On a sunny day the colours sparkle in the light and are unlike anywhere else.
Do not be deceived into thinking that this is a barren area. It is full of live, in fact, some of the rarest plants, insects, and birds live here.

84. Visit Kilohana Plantation

This sugar cane plantation was once the home of a sugar baron. Today it is a museum where you can visit the charming house dating back to 1936.
There are guided tours which will tell you all about the sugar cane industry on the islands. Included in these tours are rainforest hikes and a rum tasting at the on-site distillery.
There is also a very delightful restaurant and several shops on the plantation, making this a great day out.

85. See the sunrise at Haleakala

This volcano rises 10,023 feet above the coastal area and is very popular for visitors to watch the sunrise.
You will be able to join the line of visitors who make their way to the mountaintop in the early morning darkness, to catch a glimpse of the sun coming up.
Be aware that only a certain number of visitors are permitted each day, so you must book in advance to see the sunrise. Take warm clothing as it can get cold before sunup.

86. Go Polynesian

This Cultural Centre is the number one tourist attraction. It celebrates the diverse backgrounds of all the people, with award-winning performances and attractions.
You will find this in Hawaii, and you should plan on spending a full day here watching Hawaiian games, spear throwing cooking and dances.
You may want to visit the theatre where you will learn about the Hawaiian Journey and the volcanoes in the area.
You may be lucky to see a typical Hawaiian wedding as well as the pageant of the Long Canoes, which only takes place at 2.30pm.

87. Haleakala National Park

This scenic park in upcountry Maui is also known as the ‘House of the Sun’. While you may start the day watching the sunrise, there are many other things to see in the park, such as the stunning terrains which may remind you of the planet Mars.
Look out for the most beautiful rock gardens and lush waterfalls. Streams abound as do beautiful pools where you can take a picnic lunch.
Sunrise and sunset are spectacular here, so try to get there for one of these times.
If you want to stay, there are cabins available, as well as a campsite.

88. Go upcountry Maui

This is not a specific place, rather an area that is well worth visiting. There are many working farms for you to visit, as well as vineyards making local wine and spirits.
Don’t be surprised if you come across Hawaiian Cowboys as this is where they originated. The culture started in the 19th century to teach islanders how to wrangle cattle.
This is a perfect way to drive an RV and explore the area. Take a few days to get to know the higher elevations of the county.

89. Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

You will find these gardens in Papaikou, on the island of Hawaii. The garden serves as a sanctuary for endangered plants. Look for the living seed bank to see the progress being made with rare plants.
The garden works to preserve as many plants as they can for the benefit of future generations.
The garden is also beautiful to walk around and is well worth a morning of your time.

90. See the dolphins

You will be able to see these creatures up close at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where they have interactive programmes for all ages.
The centre was first opened in 1988 and is still one of its kind for natural habitats of dolphins.
It is important that you book your ticket well in advance as this is very popular with tourists and locals alike.

91. Thomas A. Jagger Museum

You will find this in the town of Volcano, on the island of Hawaii. It is right on the rim of the Kilauea Caldera in the Volcanoes National Park.
The museum has excellent exhibits and does a very good job of explain all about the geology of the area.
If possible, stay until dark where you will be able to see the glow of the lava coming from the Halema’uma’u Crater in the Caldera.

92. Visit the Hawaiian Vanilla Company

You will find this in the town of Paauilo, on the Island of Hawaii. Best to take the guided tour and learn all you ever wanted to know about vanilla. Then stay for lunch in the amazing restaurant.
You can book the tour and the lunch together, and it is well worth doing this. You will be treated to a dish of vanilla flamed shrimp, which is not to be missed!
Allow yourself most of the day, there is also a well-stocked gift shop to visit.

93. See the Seahorse Farm

This is a ‘must see’ for adults and children. You will find it in Kailua-Kona, on the island of Hawaii.
It is an interesting and educational place to see, with a well-informed tour guide. You will find out more about these interesting creatures than you ever thought possible!
If you are visiting in a large group, it is essential to book in advance, although small groups may be ok.

94. Experience Umauma

You will find this zipline in Hakalau on the Island of Hawaii. This is the only viewing area of the triple-Tier Water Falls.
There is a 9-line zipline, as well as a tropical garden, riverwalk and kayak area.
You will pass over no less than a dozen waterfalls as you zip along, as well as see the ocean, mountains, and beautiful river views.

95. See the Painted Church

This is found in the town of Captain Cook on the Island of Hawaii. It is one of the most popular historic sites to be visited.
This will not take you much longer than a half day, but the paintings inside make it well worth stopping.
Make sure you go inside to see the paintings on the walls.
The church relies totally on donations to keep it open.

96. Kanaloa Octopus Farm

You will find this in Kailua-Kona, on the Island of Hawaii. There are guided tours which will inform you all about the octopuses and their preservation. Children can interact with the creatures, although be prepared to be squirted!
You will learn all about the breeding programme to keep the species alive and be able to have a look around the gift shop.

97. Kahaluu Bay

This is at Kailua-Kona and is a great spot for snorkelling. There are some facilities on the beach such as a restroom and showers. If you head for the north side, you will find it more secluded for novices, and you will also find a lifeguard on duty.

This is a great place for new snorkelers as the entry is gentle and the water calm. You will be amazed at how many colourful fish you see just below the waves. It is also possible that you see turtles so keep an eye out for them.

98. Try Big Island candy

This is a speciality candy shop in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. You will be able to watch candy being made and sample some pieces. Not only does the shop produce the most exquisite chocolate, but also many different varieties of candy.

Anything you buy will be beautifully gift-wrapped for you to take away as gifts – if you can resist eating them yourself!

99. Queen’s Market Place

You will find this market in Waikoloa, on the Island of Hawaii. You will be able to find all manner of art and fashion here as there are many small shops and stalls selling most things.
This is an interesting place to spend the day, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can get lunch or snacks.

100. Skydive Hawaii

This is something that really should be on your list of things to do! You will find this on the Island of Hawaii, it is the largest skydiving centre on the island.

You will exit the plane at 12,000 for a tandem jump with an instructor who will point out things as you gently glide through the air before coming to land.

You will agree that this area is perfect for jumping out of a plane.

You must book this in advance, and you should definitely have a video made of your jump!

Conclusion
Hawaii is such a versatile country, with different things for the tourist to see and do every day. Whatever makes your holiday perfect, you will be able to find it here in this amazing place!

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4472 HASTINGS STREET
BURNABY, BC
±13,973 SF DEVELOPMENT SITE

LOCATION
The property is located on the southwest corner of Willingdon Avenue
and Hastings Street in the City of Burnaby.
Hastings Street is a major east/west thoroughfare which connects
Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.
SITE DESCRIPTION
The site totals ±13,973 square feet with frontages on Hastings
Street of ±132 feet and on Willingdon Avenue of ±105 feet.
There is a City lane adjacent to the south property line.
SERVICES
All City services are available to the property line.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION
Lot “A” Except: Part Dedicated Road on Plan LMP27888;
District Lot 121 Group 1 New Westminster District Plan 69610
PID: 001-725-491
ZONING
C8a (Urban Village Commercial District (Hastings). The zoning
provides for a wide range of commercial and retail establishments
with medium density multiple family dwellings located above the
business premises.
ASSESSED VALUE (2018)
$5,152,000
PROPERTY TAXES (2017)
$66,318.20
ENVIRONMENTAL
The Vendor has conducted on and off -site remediation and
assessment work and anticipates obtaining a Risk Based Certifi cate
of Compliance for the site for Commercial Land Use by the middle
of 2018. The Vendor will provide a copy of the Risk Based Certifi cate
of Compliance to the purchaser prior to closing.
Upon prospective purchasers executing a Confi dentiality Agreement,
Imperial Oil will provide access to a “Confi dential Data Room” which
will contain relevant environmental reports and draft Certifi cates of
Compliance. Prospective purchasers are encouraged to review these
reports and certifi cates prior to submitting a Letter of Intent.
OFFERING PROCESS
The Vendor, Imperial Oil Limited (IOL), will consider the submission of
Letters of Intent (LOI) on IOL’s standard form, a copy of which shall
be provided to qualifi ed purchasers and a copy of which is contained
in the Confi dential Data Room. Interested parties shall submit the LOI
on terms conditional upon IOL providing a Risk Based Certifi cate of
Compliance for the site.
All Letters of Intent must be received by the Vendor’s Exclusive
Agent, Cushman & Wakefi eld ULC. It is the Vendor’s preference to
receive LOI’s on or before 3:00 pm April 6, 2018.
ASKING PRICE
The Vendor has elected not to establish an asking price for the
property.
E.&

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Sold your home? CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it

The Canada Revenue Agency is getting tough with people who fail to comply with new rules requiring the routine sale of a home to be reported, even when there’s zero tax owing.

If you don’t report the sale of a principal residence on your income tax return, you could be subject to a fine of as much as $8,000. And something else to keep in mind: Normally, CRA may reassess your tax returns going back three years; with the reporting of a sale of a home, there’s no limit on how long CRA can wait to reassess you.

It sounds like CRA may go easy on applying fines for now because more stringent requirements for reporting the sale of a home are still relatively recent. But the rules for reporting the sale of a house on a tax return have definitely changed. There’s now a potentially harsh cost for not complying.

 

Canada’s religion of home ownership is built in large part on what tax experts call the personal residence exemption, or PRE. It means you don’t have to pay tax on capital gains realized when you sell a home that was designated a principal residence for the entire time you owned it. You or a spouse, common-law partner or a child must have lived in the home at some point during the year. Houses, condos, units in a duplex, cottages, mobile homes, trailers and houseboats all qualify, and they don’t have to be located in Canada.

Reporting the sale of a principal residence was unnecessary before 2016, the year the federal government announced a series of steps designed to slow the housing market down and close housing-related tax loopholes. Some people used the previous lack of scrutiny of gains from the sale of a home to their advantage, including investors flipping homes, and others who owned both a cottage and a house and weren’t conscientious about declaring which was a principal residence.

 

CRA says that if you forget to report the sale of a principal residence, you’ll need to amend your tax return for that year as soon as possible. Late reporting may be accepted in some cases, but it’s possible you’ll have to pay a penalty equal to the lesser of $8,000 or $100 for each complete month you’re late in reporting.

Accountant Mark Goodfield of BDO Canada says a new requirement for 2017 is to fill out a form called a T2091, which carries a “Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual” label from CRA. There is also a carryover requirement to fill out Schedule 3 on the basic tax form, where you report the sale of various types of financial assets.

Previously, people selling a house had to fill out the T2091 form only if the property wasn’t their principal residence for the entire time they owned it. Filling out the T2091 is simple – Mr. Goodfield says you need to provide the address of the home, the year you bought the property and the proceeds from the sale. He describes the penalty for not complying as fairly stiff, given that $2,500 is used as a maximum penalty in some other cases.

As for how aggressively the penalty will be applied, Mr. Goodfield’s take is that CRA may take an approach similar to the one used on over-contributions to tax-free savings accounts back when they were still new to people (TFSAs were introduced in 2009). “When everyone was confused at the start and penalties were being levied all over the place, CRA had some discretion, and early on, I think they let some of the penalties go. I wouldn’t be counting on their generosity [for late disclosure of a home sale], but they may have a little leniency in the first few years.”

There’s additional incentive beyond penalties to disclose the sale of a principal residence to CRA in the year it occurred. A tax memo from the tax law firm Thorsteinssons LLP said a late filing could raise a red flag for the taxman, leading to a possible audit. Report the sale of your principal residence promptly to avoid both cost and hassle.

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Metro Vancouver’s most expensive detached housing markets, it has been a spectacular success

kerrisdaleThis house on Larch Avenue, Vancouver, sold March 19 for $2.7 million: $783,000 below its assessed value and more than $500,000 below its list price. | Submitted

 

A sustained attack on buyer demand in Vancouver’s detached housing market has decimated sales and is leading to “unbelievable” price reductions. If government plans were to crush sales in the city’s premiere residential market it has been spectacularly successful, according to recent real estate data and frontline agents.

“Detached house sales on Vancouver’s west side are down 70 per cent in the first three months of this year as compared to 2016,” said Brent Eilers of Re/Max Masters Realty of West Vancouver, who has been active in the local real estate market since 1983. 

West Vancouver detached sales, estimated at 59 so far this year, are now at the lowest level in 30 years, he added. 

“As Don Meredith from Monday Night Football used to say ”turn out the lights, the party is over,” Eilers said. 

The party ended early, he said, for high-end builders and investors, with sale prices for Vancouver detached houses priced at $5 million or more down 15 per cent to 18 per cent this year compared to 2017.

There were 2,517 home sales in March across the Metro Vancouver region, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported. That’s nearly 30 per cent lower than the same month a year ago, and around half the number of transactions in the heady days of March 2016. It’s also 23 per cent below the 10-year average sales for the month.

In February, the B.C. government introduced Canada’s first foreign-home buyer tax, and added restrictions on assignment sales of Metro Vancouver residential real estate transactions. 

In February 184 Vancouver westside detached houses were listed for sale on the MLS of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver at $3 million or more. 

Just 13 of them sold.

Overall, the benchmark price of a detached house on Vancouver’s westside last month was $3.4 million, down an average of 2 per cent – that is $68,000 – from three months earlier.

Eilers suggests that many of Vancouver detached houses are now selling for less than assessed value, set on the valuation date of July 1 2017.

He, and other agents, say the crunch will come this spring with the traditional flood of listing onto the market as the first-quarter statistics are released.

“It will be hard to hide what is really happening,” Eilers said.

Eilers said the federal government stress test and higher mortgage rates have frozen first-time buyers out of the market, while B.C.’s foreign buyer tax, school tax and speculation tax have driven away foreign buyers. “So, unlike in other downturns, we don’t have fresh money coming into the market.” 

The B.C. school tax alone works out to an extra $2,000 for the first $1 million in value in excess of $3 million and $4,000 per million on assessed values of $4 million or more. If a foreign buyer were to purchase a $4 million Vancouver house this month, for instance, he or she would face a tax bite of at least $806,000; $120,000 more if the house was left vacant, due to the provincial speculation tax and Vancouver’s empty home tax.

“We saw less demand from buyers and fewer homes listed for sale in our region in the first quarter of the year,” said Phil Moore, the newly appointed REBGV president. “High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates, and stricter mortgage requirements are among the factors affecting home buyer and seller activity today.”

Eilers provided examples of expensive Vancouver houses that have seen dramatic price reductions, including a South Granville house that was listed for $11.9 million October 2017 and sold in February for $9.9 million; and a Shaughnessy house, listed last fall for just under $12 million that sold last month for $8.4 million.

The lower end is also being affected, agents say.

“We are seeing unbelievable price drops,” said David Richardson, a veteran agent with Re/Max Crest Westside. He estimated some Kitsilano detached house sellers listing in the $2 to $3 million range have taken a 20 per cent to 25 per cent haircut on recent prices compared to two years ago.

Across Vancouver, it now takes an average of 50 days for a detached house to sell, more than twice as long as two years ago before the government intervention and higher taxes began. Some Vancouver detached house sellers, Eilers suggested, will be forced to bite the bullet. 

“You cannot be down catastrophically in sales and not eventually have an affect on prices,” Eilers said. 

 

This story has been edited to reflect new REBGV stats released after its original press date. 

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UBC prof behind Speculation Tax says it doesn’t actually target speculation

By Drew Penner

Ask University of British Columbia professor Tom Davidoff where the provincial NDP’s new housing tax came from, and he’s quick to take credit. Just don’t try to pin the “speculation” angle on him.

“I was like the big proponent,” he said of the tiered yearly charge levied on homeowners with with an un-rented second property in BC. “When we cooked it up we did not intend speculation at all.”

Davidoff is an American transplant who will pepper you with dozens of real estate concepts in rapid-fire succession, while explaining why he believes in raising some taxes and lowering others. So when he describes a flurry of 100+ emails pulsing back and forth between academics as he tried to come up with an idea the NDP could use to curb housing market pressures, well, you believe him. It’s what emerged this spring as the Speculation Tax.

After feeling the Christy Clark cold shoulder, when she was leading the province, he got a warmer response from David Eby. He’d also done time teaching at UBC and was at that point in opposition with the NDP, looking for ammunition.

“He was very receptive,” Davidoff said of the man whose government bio proclaims a love of yoga, band duties, and comedy – specifically of the local variety. “I got to know him.”

We can only surmise about backroom downward dog positions and half-baked jokes he may have had to take in to push the tax hike to the top of the heap. But whatever it took, when the NDP ascended in a too-close-to-call-until-recount election, they latched onto key elements of the idea as a centrepiece of their economic agenda.

After all, they needed something to win back popular support after grinning and bearing the Site C decision and operating tethered in a minority political environment.

Davidoff says the group of thinkers who generated the tax structure was made up of renters and homeowners, workers and retired folk. They were inspired by Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax and wanted to see this concept applied more broadly.

However, the Speculation Tax looked different in its 1.0 version. The academics thought it would be a good idea to pool cash into a fund labelled as something to do with affordability.

“The idea was, well look you can’t just raise property taxes,” Davidoff said. “Of course, everyone likes a fund better than a tax.”

That was the group’s attempt to market the provincial revenue-generation pill to British Columbians. But the new NDP regime had a different idea. The name actually confused him for a bit.

“I thought we were off the table,” he said, looking back on his reaction to the Speculation Tax.

Then he noticed how much it resembled their plan: “It’s pretty similar.”

The new Speculation Tax is not without its critics, some because it will charge foreigners 2% per year on the value of their second empty homes, compared to 1% for non-BC Canadians and .5% for BCers.

Davidoff says the new tax doesn’t really target speculation. But he is a big proponent of the final version of it – even though he’s not crazy about the whole let’s-target-those-foreigners-for-ruining-our-housing-market aspect. He’s believed for a long time that BC was ripe for taxation in the housing department, partly due to geography.

“It’s as hard here or harder than San Francisco to get stuff built,” he said, pointing to the hills and ocean that complicate things. “Coming to Vancouver was like on crack.”

The economist in him loves the idea that policy could be applied to the terrain – making this a problem in search of a solution.

The way Davidoff tells it, the comparison goes like this: If you have a home worth $1.8 million you’re probably looking at about $6,000 in property taxes a year in Vancouver. That sounds like a lot. But someone not so averse to progressive taxation methods might see it a little differently.

He’s not comparing that to what you might pay in rural Saskatchewan or seaside New Brunswick. Looking at Vancouver as a global player, he compares the rate to what people in affluent Larchmont, New York would have to pony up on the same valuation – probably around $20-25,000. Down in California you might be looking at $18-20,000, he said.

“I always knew you should do something about it,” he said, noting he was kind of excited to watch Vancouver’s ability to extract value out of about 8,000 of its vacant residences. “That’s real money…Let’s try that angle.”

He’s full of all kinds of ideas. And that’s nothing new.

A few years before the US housing crash in a paper with Gerd Welke, he argued that reverse mortgages – a method of converting home equity into cash that appeals to seniors – are a beneficial way to transfer wealth from the future to a struggling present[1]. But he pointed to “moral hazard concerns” that could arise in the development of the relatively new financial instrument.

Even though he published it in 2005, it’s cited more and more as time goes by. But not everyone is on the same page with the analysis. A recent Cambridge University study found Italians, for example, tend to view reverse mortgages not as a normal way to improve quality of life, but more as a way to fix the mistake of a bad financial decision.
[2]

In the same way, Davidoff is someone officials aren’t above sparring with.

In a tweet, former BC Minister of Health Mary Polak, a BC Liberal, joked that Davidoff’s ideas around taxation were so weak that she hoped he was on the team helping draft the NDP’s public Question Period responses. He fired back, asking where she would propose to squeeze the money out of. Apparently Davidoff is such a friendly guy you can’t stay mad at him for long.

“She said something that I found stupid and annoying,” he said, recalling that they made amends quickly. “I actually had a productive phone call with her.”

Just because he supports an Education Tax and the Speculation Tax, doesn’t mean he’s into all such governmental moves.

Most notably he’s not all about the Foreign Buyers Tax, brought in by the Liberals. Although, he does support what they were trying to do.

“I don’t love the idea of tagging people’s nationality if you don’t have to,” he said, balancing his status as an immigrant in his mind with the need to do something. “We don’t want to be a playground for the rich.”

[Photo Credit: UBC Media Relations]

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March home sales slow in Metro Vancouver but prices stay high: real estate board

 

VANCOUVER — Metro Vancouver home sales over the first quarter of this year were the lowest in five years, but statistics from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver show prices remain high.

The board says home sales across the region in March tumbled 29.7 per cent compared with March 2017 and are 23 per cent below the 10-year March sales average.

Just over 2,500 homes changed hands last month, a drop of more than 1,000 compared with a year ago, although the board notes the March 2018 sales climbed 14 per cent compared with February.

Listings of detached, attached and apartment properties also fell year-over-year, skidding 6.6 per cent in March compared with March 2017, marking the region’s lowest total of first-quarter new listings since 2013.

Real estate board data shows the number of sales compared to the number of active listings soared to 61.6 per cent for condominiums in March, while the rate was 39.9 per cent for townhomes, far above the 20 per cent rate the board says tends to push prices upward.

The composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is $1,084,000, a 16.1 per cent increase over March 2017 and a 1.1 per cent increase since February of this year.

Phil Moore, real estate board president, says even with lower sales, prices will remain high as long as the selection of properties is slim.

“Last month was the quietest March for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhome segments, of homes for sale remains well below historical norms,” he says in a news release.

“High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates, and stricter mortgage requirements are among the factors affecting home buyer and seller activity today,” Moore adds.

The benchmark price for detached properties was $1,608,500 last month, up 7.4 per cent from March 2017 and up less than half a per cent over February 2018, as sales-to-active listings nudged the mark where to board says downward pressure on prices could occur.

But with sales outstripping supply for condos and townhomes, the real estate board says the benchmark price for a condo was $693,500 in March, a 26.2 per cent leap from March 2017 and a 1.6 per cent bump compared with February 2018.

Benchmark prices for townhomes across Metro Vancouver reached $835,300 last month, a two per cent increase over February and a hike of 17.7 per cent from March 2017.

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'You're starting to witness the slowdown': declines expected in today's Vancouver real estate figures

Mortgage stress tests, interest rate hikes, new provincial taxes all in effect together for the first time

 
Single family homes in Vancouver's Fraserview neighbourhood. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

People hoping for Vancouver's housing bubble to burst could find reasons to be optimistic today. 

Monthly real estate figures for the Lower Mainland will be released for every municipality, with predictions of significant drops in total sales compared to a year ago. 

 "When we look across most markets in B.C. over the first quarter of this year, sales are down," said Cameron Muir, chief economist at the British Columbia Real Estate Association. 

Real estate agent and industry blogger Steve Saretsky says the drop is largely due to new mortgage stress test rules, but the cumulative effect of interest rate hikes and new housing taxesby the government are also playing a role.  

"Prices can't rise by 30 per cent on an annual basis forever. The greatest price gains are behind us, and you're starting to witness the slowdown," he said. 

"All those new policies coming into effect, I don't think, are bullish for real estate in the short term."

Muir and Saretsky say industry data shows median prices for detached homes in Vancouver and surrounding municipalities are dropping slightly — but that relief won't extend to the condo market, where the benchmark price of an average unit has increased by 31.1 per cent over the last year, to $641,800.    

"I still expect prices to rise in most product types, and that's largely a result of a lack of supply. We're still sitting at 10-year lows," said Muir.

Effect of a slowdown?

An extremely robust housing market has greatly contributed to B.C.'s economy in recent years, with the real estate, rental and leasing sectors accounting for 18.4 per cent of the province's GDP in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

"There's no question that a slowing housing market could result in a slower economy. Does that lead to a recession eventually?" asked Saretsky.

Last week, Muir published an analysis attempting to predict that possibility. The report estimated that a 35 per cent decline in average home prices would result in a recession, with GDP growth falling to negative 0.5 per cent within a year.

Unemployment, meanwhile, would rise from 4.9  to 7.5 per cent. 

"Nearly 70 per cent of British Columbia households own their home. A relatively minor 10 per cent negative shock to home prices would extinguish $90 billion of their wealth, or $70,000 of the average home owner's equity," according to Muir's report.

"While some may see this as a paper loss, it will have a significant impact on the economy, as declining household wealth reins in consumer spending."

 

 

 

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(Photo by Arindam Shivaani/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Canadian marijuana is not the only market on a roll in Canada. Arguably the most beautiful city in North America, Vancouver, British Columbia, is also distinguishing itself as home to a classic real estate asset bubble. The signs it will burst are popping up everywhere. So where is the investment opportunity?

According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, single detached homes in Vancouver (on a local currency basis) have risen from approximately $400K CAD to $1.75 million CAD since 2002. That’s a 337% increase in 15 years. With incredibly fast rising prices, a large portion of the population is engaged in real estate brokerage, real estate development, construction, renovations, and everything that goes along with that. The echoes of Phoenix, Las Vegas, and San Diego from 2006 cannot be ignored.

The Austrian von Mises/Hayek theory defines speculative bubbles as a government increase in money supply (Global QE), resulting in unnaturally low interest rates. The reaction to manufactured lower interest rates results in entrepreneurs investing in capital intensive or durable goods versus consumer goods. Instead of capital flowing into what an unfettered market would dictate, it flows into speculative investments. The longer this continues, the bigger the speculative bubble. Just look at past bubbles and the theory holds true – stocks, bonds, real estate, art or even tulip bulbs.   https://mises.org/library/blowing-bubbles

 

 

 

So why does the majority of the local population believe that this time is different? They refer to Vancouver as geographically constrained (ocean to the west, border to the south, and mountains to the north) and believe that housing will only go higher and higher. However, the same can be said about many coastal cities (including NYC) who have experienced boom and busts through typical real estate cycles over the years. This time is NOT different and investors should be aware of the possible knock on effects of a large Canadian real estate correction.

Also, there are new catalysts that can’t be ignored. Taxation and interest rates are going higher. Cap rates on rentals or commercial properties are shockingly low (think 1-3% in most circumstances). In fact, Canada’s price-to-rent ratios are now well above what the U.S. was during the 2006 housing debacle. According to the Bank of Canada, 47% of Canada’s mortgages will reset in the next 12 months. To put that in perspective, a five-year fixed mortgage rate in Canada averages approximately 5.14%. This is 11% higher versus the 4.64% that it averaged for most of the past 2 years.

 

To make matters even more challenging, foreign investments in the Canadian real estate market is on the decline with China heightening its capital controls. Finally, the IMF warned that Canada, along with Australia and China, has extremely high personal debt-service ratios and are susceptible to shocks if imbalances grow further. Private sector debt to GDP is now 218% in Canada.

A real estate sign reading "Sold Over Asking" stands on display outside a townhouse in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. In August, the province of British Columbia imposed a 15 percent tax on foreign buyers, and in October the federal government tightened rules on mortgage eligibility. Those steps had some success in cooling the market -- but also sent a signal to developers and builders to slow down. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg

Many U.S. hedge funds have looked for various ways to short the Canadian housing trade. Home Capital Group was the poster child and a successful short for those who played as the stock went from $56 CAD in 2014 to $7 in 2017. It currently sits around the $14 level. However, the Canadian capital markets have very limited and liquid direct ways to bet against the cycle. Consumer discretionary names in Canada may prove to be the most liquid way to gain negative exposure.

Looking at all the evidence in an objective way, I would caution investors to tread lightly and to take profits if they can. To paraphrase former U.S. President Reagan, “If you own a house, sell it. If you are thinking of buying a home in Vancouver, wait. If you think this time is different…..good luck to you!”

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Tight control versus open market: tackling Vancouver's housing-affordability conundrum

Locals-first housing initiatives include university housing with price covenants, and preferential pricing

 

Royal LePage broker Adil Dinani at the Verdant, a 60-unit condo project that aims to provide affordable housing to the university community in perpetuity | Chung Chow

Picking the villain in Metro Vancouver’s real estate market is like a game of Whac-A-Mole: pound one villain and another is sure to appear. Pre-sale assignments, flipping, foreign nationals, lack of supply, zoning constraints, municipal approval times – the list goes on, just like the rise in Metro Vancouver’s benchmark residential price.

It’s currently sitting at more than $1 million, where it’s been since July 2017. This is nearly twice the benchmark price of $560,000 posted in 2008, when the practice of assigning pre-sales for huge profits came under the microscope.

A year earlier, when the region’s benchmark price was just $513,400, Simon Fraser University Community Trust, Vancity Enterprises Ltd. and reSource Rethinking Building Inc. completed Verdant, a 60-unit condo project on the Burnaby SFU campus that aimed to provide affordable housing to the university community in perpetuity. A covenant ensures that prices remain 20% below the value of similar units on campus.

Today, units are assessed at approximately $475 a square foot, but recent sales have averaged $371 a square foot – a relatively modest increase from the original sale price of $254 a square foot.

While tight controls have helped keep prices in check, Adil Dinani, a broker with Royal LePage West in Coquitlam, notes that on-campus properties – by virtue of distance from transit and other amenities – already trade at a 20% discount vis-a-vis the rest of the market.

Dinani recently assisted a client to buy a three-bedroom home that, if it had been at Brentwood, would have cost $250,000 more. (Urban Analytics Inc. data indicates that new projects in Brentwood are selling at more than $1,000 a square foot.)

Verdant’s success at preserving affordable housing is alluring, but it’s tough to replicate in the open market. Working with the market doesn’t always work for those seeking housing.

The interest-free loan program the BC Liberals began offering first-time homebuyers in 2016 ended last week after lacklustre interest.

The City of Vancouver has encouraged affordable rental housing but defines it by the market average, and a starting rent of $1,496 a month for a studio doesn’t wash for many people. The city also followed the lead of Westbank Corp., which gave locals first crack at its Sewell’s Landing project in Horseshoe Bay after it was caught promoting the development to potential buyers in Asia. Half the units sold locally before international marketing resumed last year, and Vancouver has since embraced a similar strategy as part of its “housing reset.”

But the key for developers such as Byron Chard, CFO and acquisitions officer with Chard Development Ltd. in Vancouver, is preferential pricing that opens doors for buyers and gives them a jump on equity accumulation.

Chard struck a financing deal with BC Housing allowing Vivid at the Yates, a 135-unit condo project in Victoria, to meet local demand with units 8% below prevailing market prices. Buyers commit to occupying the units for at least two years and reap the benefit of any increase in price, allowing them to re-enter the housing market at an equivalent level.

The project is 80% sold, with 72% of buyers from Victoria and 16% from the rest of Vancouver Island. The average household income of buyers was $71,000 a year.

“It’s to facilitate, essentially, a set demographic to move up the housing continuum and free up rental stock,” Chard said of BC Housing’s involvement.

This is something Chard doesn’t believe Verdant would allow its occupants.

“When that individual goes to sell, they’re still 20% behind market,” he said. “You’re actually forcing them back into the rental pool then because they can’t afford to buy somewhere else.”

Payam Imani, president and CEO of Imani Development Inc., believes certain projects are better suited to providing affordable housing to locals. Working with Key Marketing Inc., Imani set up LocalsFirst.ca to promote projects targeting local buyers. To date, its sole project is the Windsor, a 126-unit project Imani is building in Vancouver.

Imani required foreign buyers to agree to collapse their contracts and buy a comparable unit in the project if a local stepped forward with a legitimate offer for their own within 90 days. To date, all but one of the sales have been to local buyers.

“The project lent itself to the program,” Imani said. “High-priced projects in the downtown core may not be well suited for a program like this, or a project in Metrotown may not be suited for a program like this. Every project is a little different, whether by quality, price point or where it’s located.”

Moreover, the sales program was voluntary. Imani said policies targeting certain results might bring others that were never intended.

“Often, policies that are manufactured could have unintended consequences. So this is something that needs to be sorted out by input from a number of different outlets, and over a period of time,” he said. “I don’t believe there is any one entity or magic bullet that’s going to solve the issue.” •

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Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) Accepting New Applications

May 31, 2017 – Quebec immigration authorities have begun accepting new applications under the highly successful Quebec Immigrant Investor Program as of May 29, 2017. The application period will end on February 23, 2018.

Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) Accepting New ApplicationsThis comes as welcome news for high net worth individuals looking for an attractive passive investment program offering Canadian permanent residence. The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program is the only passive investment program of its kind in Canada and the second largest in North America after the EB-5 program in the United States.

Under the 2017/2018 subscription period, Quebec will accept a maximum of 1,900 applications including a maximum of 1,330 from China, Hong Kong and Macao and the balance of 570 applications to be filled from elsewhere.

The QIIP 2017 program application quotas and the limited period of reception do not apply to applicants applying under the investor category who can demonstrate an intermediate to advanced level of French language proficiency through an approved standardized language test.


QIIP 2017/2018 Program Highlights

To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • A legitimately acquired personal net worth of at least $1.6 million;
  • At least two years of senior managerial experience within the past five years in a private enterprise, eligible partnership, government body or NGO;
  • Commit to making an interest free investment of $800,000 in a prescribed (government guaranteed) investment for a period of five years;
  • An intention to settle in the province of Quebec;
  • Application processing fee of $15,015.

Applications must be fully documented at the time of submission. Prior to submission, Quebec immigration policy provides for the review of applications by approved financial intermediaries. Submitted applications that are incomplete or otherwise inconsistent with the requirements, may be refused without requests for outstanding documentation or incomplete information.

Approved financial intermediaries acting as facilitators are each given pre-determined allocation quotas within the overall maximum of 1,900 applications. Applicants who wish to secure a quota position with a financial intermediary – facilitator may do so with a negotiated deposit.

For many business immigrants, one of the most significant benefits of moving to Canada, largely overlooked, can be the ability to distribute the accumulated profits of their foreign business in a tax-efficient, often tax free manner. This can represent a major financial tax benefit for individuals living in countries that impose high taxes on corporate distributions.

Canadian permanent residence gives you the right to live anywhere in the country, and access highly-regarded health and education systems. Click here for full details of the benefits of Canadian permanent residence.

Interested readers are invited to complete our Free Online Evaluation to determine whether they qualify for immigration to Canada as a business immigrant. Our immigration professionals will provide an evaluation within two business days.

Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.

Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.

Read more news about Canada Immigration by clicking here.

 

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B.C.'s attorney general presented recommendations for improvement to a federal finance committee

 
Attorney General David Eby travelled to Ottawa to speak to a federal committee about money laundering.(Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

The lack of concrete action on money laundering makes Canada's financial watchdog look like a "sheep's mask on a wolf's face," B.C.'s attorney general told a federal parliamentary committee Tuesday.

David Eby made the comparison as he alleged the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre's (FINTRAC) focus on reporting suspicious transactions rather than enforcing the law leaves the public with the false impression that something is being done.

"I believe the current reporting system actually reduces the probability of action," Eby told the House of Commons finance committee.

The attorney general was in Ottawa to discuss B.C.'s experiences with money laundering as part of a public consultation on amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Hockey bags full of cash

Eby slammed the "colossal failure" of the current regulatory scheme enforced by all levels of government, a failure that he believes is responsible for large amounts of money being laundered through B.C.'s casinos.

"The only real evidence of the problem is a guy lugging a hockey bag full of $20 bills into the casino," Eby told the committee.

 
A report into potential money laundering at Richmond's River Rock Casino prompted an investigation commissioned by the province. (CBC)

Last year, he appointed lawyer Peter German to lead an investigation into money laundering in this province after reading a report that claimed the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C., accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills in July 2015.

Those bills, police said, could be the proceeds of crime.

On Tuesday, Eby shared some of the interim recommendations from that investigation, saying that British Columbians have an "increasing lack of confidence" in government enforcement of laws against money laundering.

German has recommended that FINTRAC share information with police, and that police have more resources to pursue those leads. He's also suggested better monitoring of the horse-racing sector and tracking of luxury car purchases.

Real estate links

Eby told the committee that money laundering in B.C. isn't limited to casinos — there's also strong evidence that illicit funds are being used to purchase real estate, helping to drive up housing prices.

As German writes in his interim recommendations, "It has been said that, 'everything in B.C. comes back to real estate.'"

 

He's pushing for a new requirement that lawyers submit reports to FINTRAC on money held in trust accounts, explaining that the current lack of reporting makes it difficult for police to track illicit funds as they move through the real estate sector.

Eby told the committee Tuesday that his NDP government has already taken action on some major concerns he's raised, including forcing casinos to provide a "source of funds declaration" when receiving more than $10,000 in cash deposits or bearer bonds.

 
David says B.C. residents have an 'increasing lack of confidence' in government enforcement of laws against money laundering. (CBC)

B.C. is also planning a beneficial ownership database that would require public disclosure of the people behind numbered companies that own property.

"The bottom line for British Columbians is they want to know who owns the property and they want to know where the money's coming from," Eby said Tuesday.

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$105-million real estate deal reveals hot Vancouver market’s inner workings

The building at 1075 Barclay Street in Vancouver, left, is empty as almost all of the units were swallowed up by developers a couple of years ago.

RAFAL GERSZAK

Two leading Vancouver developers are selling several adjacent buildings in the city’s downtown for $105-million to a Hong Kong-based buyer, one of the biggest land deals in the region in the past two years.

In 2015 and 2016, Westbank Corp. and Bosa Properties Ltd. had independently set out to buy up units in a seven-storey condo building at 1075 Barclay and four adjacent townhomes in the city’s West End, a largely residential neighbourhood on the downtown peninsula that has seen a recent push for increased density. Together, the land at and beside 1075 Barclay could be rezoned for a tower of some 50 storeys under the City of Vancouver’s new West End Community Plan, which allows for major redevelopment on the area’s main streets.

But the rival developers couldn’t work together, or agree on a deal with each other, and instead decided to sell. The buyer is Grand World Holding Ltd. Corporate records show the entity was incorporated in the fall of 2016 and is registered at the offices of Richmond’s largest law firm, Pryke Lambert Leathley Russell LLP. Grand World has one listed director, Hong Qing Zhang, based in Hong Kong.

 

Details of the Westbank-Bosa sale to Grand World were outlined in a B.C. Supreme Court decision released earlier this month. Two holdout condo owners had argued the sale price was too low. The court ruled the $105-million deal could proceed.

The court decision – as well as the array of property records connected to the sale – provide a rare look into the hidden inner workings of land assembly in Vancouver’s hot real estate market, where buyers purchase properties to lay the groundwork for larger redevelopments, aided by recent changes in the law that make it easier for owners of existing condo buildings to sell. A number of the proposed new buildings are luxury condo towers.

 

Firms such as Westbank and Bosa usually buy land to build on themselves. But in this case, in a market in which the price of land has jumped to extreme levels, Westbank and Bosa join a list of prominent local names such as the Toigo and Wall families, who have chosen to sell to overseas buyers in deals at more than $100-million. They all have made major gains on their investments.

In the Westbank-Bosa court decision, Justice Warren Milman noted the developers’ aim was to “reap the significant redevelopment potential of the land.”

The story of the sale of 1075 Barclay, a 36-unit condo building completed in the early 1990s, starts with the West End Community Plan, which Vancouver City Council approved in 2013 after several years of consultations. In general, the new plan allows for taller buildings on several main streets while keeping the neighbourhood’s mix of older low-rise apartment buildings relatively intact.

Bosa has made several other big moves in the area, including those with properties it is seeking to rezone for large towers. They include the 48-storey tower designed by Ole Scheeren, a well-known German architect based in Beijing, whose projects in Asia, such as the distinctive CCTV headquarters, have garnered attention.

In the summer of 2015, Bosa started to make its move at 1075 Barclay – aiming to redevelop both sides of the street. Bosa created Shepstone Investments Inc. and within about half a year had purchased six of the 36 condos at 1075 Barclay, and had started to buy the four adjacent townhomes.

 

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Westbank then entered the picture. It created Barclay Thurlow Property Inc. in March, 2016, and by October had bought 25 condo units at 1075 Barclay. Bosa had stopped buying condos but did gain ownership of all four adjacent townhomes.

At one point, however, the City of Vancouver, according to court documents, told the developers that the condo building alone did not have enough land to qualify for the maximum density allowed in the West End plan. Instead, the city said that would only happen if the building was paired with the townhomes.

Westbank and Bosa decided to put the properties up for sale, through broker Simon Lim at Colliers International. They signed an agreement of purchase and sale on June 27, last year, with Grand World for $105-million.

According to court and property records, Westbank and Bosa paid as much as $47-million for the properties. In fewer than three years, they have together doubled their money with the sale to Grand World.

“I didn’t buy it to speculate,” Ian Gillespie, president of Westbank, said in an e-mail.

Mr. Gillespie considered buying out Bosa, as well as a joint venture between the two companies. Mr. Gillespie suggested it was difficult for the two developers to do a deal together. Selling became an option, Mr. Gillespie said. He added that his firm had many other developments underway, in Vancouver and elsewhere.

 

Colin Bosa, CEO of Bosa Properties, declined an interview request. Daryl Simpson, a Bosa executive, said in a written statement that the developer intended to build on both sides of Barclay Street.

“We were unfortunately not able to obtain absolute control over the 1075 Barclay site and were unable as a result to create a development parcel on this property,” Mr. Simpson said in his statement.

Mr. Simpson also said a sales process with broker Colliers International was chosen to “ascertain fair market value” for Bosa and Westbank.

The developers benefited from the soaring price of land in the Vancouver region. Their deal is one several large transactions on the downtown peninsula in the past several years, following the adoption of the new West End plan.

In December, the Toigo family, through their company Shato Holdings Ltd., sold about an acre of land on West Georgia Street near Stanley Park, where the Toigos have owned a White Spot restaurant since the early 1980s. According to local broker Perry Allen, who said he represented both the seller and buyer, the price was $245-million and the buyer was Carnival Group International Holdings Ltd., based in Hong Kong, whose businesses include real estate development.

In the spring of 2016, the Wall family’s Wall Financial Corp. closed a deal to sell buildings at Alberni and Nicola streets, on about an acre of land, to Asia Standard International Group Ltd. of Hong Kong and Landa Global, a new Vancouver company run by Kevin Cheung and Scott Wang, whose fathers are property developers in China.

The price was $160-million, about double the $83-million the Walls had paid two years earlier. Under the new West End plan, Landa and Asia Standard – along with ITC Properties Group Ltd. of Hong Kong – have applied for rezoning, proposing towers of 43 and 48 storeys. The architect is the well-regarded Robert Stern of New York.

While Westbank and Bosa are selling at 1075 Barclay, they are developing near the land the Walls sold. Expensive buildings are planned. One block down on Alberni, Bosa and Kingswood in January received city council approval for a 42-storey tower by the architect Mr. Scheeren. Across the street, on Alberni, Westbank finished a rezoning in February, 2017 and is working on a 43-storey tower with respected architect Kengo Kuma of Japan, who designed the 2020 Olympic stadium in Tokyo. Westbank, along with financial partner Peterson Group, the Vancouver arm of a Hong Kong development firm, bought that land in 2015 for $47-million. The lowest-priced condo was a studio for $1.1-million and two-bedrooms started at $2-million.

One more block down Alberni, at Bidwell, Westbank has applied to rezone land for a 39-storey tower designed by celebrated local architect Bing Thom, who died in 2016.

A request to interview 1075 Barclay’s new owner, Mr. Zhang of Grand World, was submitted to Mr. Zhang through the law firm Pryke Lambert Leathley Russell in Richmond. There was no response.

The law firm would not confirm whether Mr. Zhang of Grand World is the same Mr. Zhang of Guangdong New Grand Long Packing, which Bloomberg says is based near Hong Kong and makes packaging and signs for cigarettes.

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Fighting for a Vancouver that Puts People First

 

Website: gensqueeze.ca

How did your group get started?

We initially focused on major costs in the lives of generations raising young kids, like child care and parental leave, which add up to rent or mortgage-sized payments.

As we developed policy solutions for these major costs in the Gen Squeeze lab based at UBC (like $10 a day child care), we began also to investigate policy options for reining in home prices. This work started more in 2015, and has become a foundation for Generation Squeeze.

We recommend housing policies for all three levels of government that reduce harmful demand, stimulate a surge in suitable supply, and tax housing wealth fairly (while cutting other taxes).

What would you like to see happen?

Our goal: Restore affordability forever.

Guiding principle: Homes First, Investments Second.

Homes First implies four categories of policy adaptations:

 

    1. Reduce harmful demand: by taxing empty homes, regulating short-term rentals, channeling private investment into building suitable supply.

 

 

    1. Increase suitable supply: Resist NIMBYism; open up low-density zoning to create more family-sized units, including in purpose-built rental; prioritize substantial density along transit corridors. Aim for more ownership options around half a million dollars that provide access to three plus bedrooms; and three bedroom rental units available for less than $1,675 a month - the amount affordable for the typical household income in Vancouver.

 

 

    1. Tax housing wealth fairly (while cutting other taxes): We work with governments to explore annual housing wealth taxes, and capital gains taxes, and encourage cuts to income and payroll taxes.

 

 

    1. Ensure major costs like child care and transit no longer add up to mortgage-sized payments so that young adults and families are better positioned to cope with the new reality of much higher home prices.

 

What are some of your impacts?

We worked closely on the housing strategies of Vancouver (vacant homes tax, low-density zoning), Ontario (closing a loophole that allowed limitless rent increases for homes built after 1991) and the federal government (including younger Canadians in the list of groups that are vulnerable in the housing market).

We came up with a list of 10 common ground principles supported by a diversity of stakeholders.

We were recognized as the Affordable Housing Champions for B.C. in 2017 by the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

What makes your group unique compared to other housing advocacy groups?

Whereas some housing voices focus only on demand pressures, and others only on supply pressures, Gen Squeeze knows the affordability problem is so extreme that we should address both simultaneously, and urge all decision makers to use every tool available to begin restoring affordability, forever.

***

Melody Ma

melody-ma-horz.jpg

A software product manager and web developer who, on her own time, creates online platforms to get Vancouverites educated and involved in various urban and civic issues.

Urban advocacy start date: Spring 2016

Funded by: Volunteer.

Twitter: @melodyma

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Chinese Canadian, born-and-raised Vancouverite and was a community organizer and advocate for the arts, technology education and web accessibility before I delved into urban and civic advocacy. I was an appointed member of the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Policy Council.

Tell us about your campaigns.

I became involved in Chinatown neighbourhood advocacy because I saw my cultural heritage being erased by real estate market pressures and gentrification.

In early 2017, I grew a website called savechinatownheritage.org(originally a project by students) to become a civic engagement platform to inform and activate citizens to mobilize for Vancouver’s Chinatown for matters such as the 105 Keefer development and Chinatown zoning policies update

Through the website, there have been thousands of letters and emails sent to the city, and almost a couple hundred people signed up for public hearings directly from the beginning of 2017 to today. Beedie Living’s 105 Keefer rezoning public hearing had the most number of speakers registered in recent memory. The project eventually received the first rejection by the city’s development permit board since its creation.

I am also the creator of the website therealfightforbeauty.ca that parodies real estate developer Westbank’s Fight for Beauty art exhibition to highlight the role of artwashing in Vancouver real estate. In December, a collective of artists held a protest against Westbank’s artwashing in which I participated as a guest speaker.

Most recently, I started the Save Our Skyline YVR campaign to advocate for the protection of a key Vancouver view corridor of the mountains that is currently threatened by condo towers in the Northeast False Creek plan. Hundreds of letters were sent to the city through the website in less than five days.

Why do you think it’s important to highlight more than just access to housing in these planning campaigns?

Real estate development pressures aren’t just affecting affordability and promoting gentrification. They are also erasing Vancouver’s heritage, culture and sense of place.

It is a tragedy of the commons situation where many parties involved in the real estate market, including all levels of government, are acting for their self-interests first, resulting in the situation we are in today.

I stand for urban planning with a community rather than dictated to a community.

Who inspires you?

The late Bessie Lee. She was a Chinese Canadian community organizer and civic activist who helped stop the 1960s freeway that was going to ram through Strathcona, Chinatown and other vulnerable neighbourhoods.  [Tyee]

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Historic Vancouver mission falls victim to city's real estate boom

Gentrification pushing residents from Downtown Eastside neighbourhood, says pastor

By Cathy Kearney, CBC Posted: Mar 24, 2018 7:46 PM PT Last Updated: Mar 25, 2018 1:59 PM PT

The building that houses the Gospel Mission Society had to be shored up after it was damaged by the demolition of the building next door.

The building that houses the Gospel Mission Society had to be shored up after it was damaged by the demolition of the building next door. (Enzo Zannatta/CBC)

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One of the city's oldest missions in the Downtown Eastside, which has been serving the needs of the neighbourhood's most impoverished and addicted for decades, has been sold.

The building has been standing on Carrall Street since 1889. The Gospel Mission Society moved in during the 1940s and has since been offering religious day services, meals, movie nights, and warm showers and welcomes some of the city's most vulnerable residents.

"Everything you read about, everything you hear about the Downtown Eastside, this is core central for that," says board member Randall Andrus. 

Next door to the Gospel Mission, another building was also sold, and is in the process of being demolished. Staff at the mission believe a condo tower is set to replace it.

A year ago, the demolition work next door to the Gospel Mission damaged its foundation, causing the mission to temporarily shut down the community shower area that had served 11,000 area residents.

Community showers rebuilt

Pastor Wesley Chadwick spent six months doing repairs and renovating the four shower stalls. The grand reopening was Saturday morning.

"It's somewhere to get clean, to shower and to feel human and to be treated with dignity in an environment that is welcoming," Chadwick said. 

mission to close

Pastor Wesley Chadwick spent six months renovating the mission's four showers. (Enzo Zanatta/CBC)

 

But the pastor's efforts will soon be for naught, because the building will eventually be demolished and the mission will need a new home.

"We've been advised anything from six months to two years. Whatever we have, we'll take and we'll make the best of it," said Chadwick.

Chadwick said the Downtown Eastside area is shifting from one of dire poverty — it encompasses Canada's poorest postal code  — to a gentrified neighbourhood. 

DTES on the move

In the meantime, the mission is searching for new rental space in the same neighborhood. Where will they go?

"I have no idea. I'm not worried about it, as people get to know and support us more, something will come up," said the pastor.

"I have faith in that much."

With files from Deborah Goble

 

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story provided incorrect information on the amount of time Pastor Chadwick spent repairing the building's shower stalls.
    Mar 25, 2018 1:01 PM PT
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Barclay Street home in Vancouver's West End for sale for almost $7 million

 

This house on 1511 Barclay St. is listed for sale for close to $7 million.

This house on 1511 Barclay St. is listed for sale for close to $7 million. Nick Procaylo / PNG

A rundown residence on Barclay Street in downtown Vancouver that only needs “a little TLC” would need a buyer with considerably large pockets. 

The two-storey, 1922 house on 1511 Barclay has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an eye-popping list price of $6.98 million. That’s especially noteworthy considering the same house sold for $2.8 million just over two years ago, $700,000 above its then-asking price. Land-title documents list the current owner as Sahara Jetha. 

The reason for the high price tag — now and then — is: “Location, location, location!!!,” according to the description of the listing by realtor Sydney Deng of Royal Pacific Realty Corp. 

The house at 1511 Barclay St. Nick Procaylo / PNG

The property is being marketed as a “land assembly” and an opportunity for “investment and self-use.” 

The 2,372-square-foot house has a “well-laid-out floor plan,” said the ad, with two bedrooms and living space on the main floor, another bedroom on the top floor and a fourth bedroom in the basement. 

It sits on a 33-by-131-foot lot on Barclay, just off Nicola Street, between an apartment building and a townhouse in the West End, where single-family dwellings rarely come on the market.

Like most of the West End, the property is zoned RM-5 — another selling point, as it allows for a floor-space ratio of 1.5, or up to 6,484 square feet of living space with the retention of the house and infill in the back.

The RM-5 zoning allows for residential developments with “compatible retail, office, service and institutional uses,” says the city, with an emphasis placed on developments that are compatible with the neighbourhood and suited to families with children.

A representative of Deng said she was out of town and not reachable by phone. 

In 2018, the property was assessed at $3.3 million for the land and $117,000 for the house, according to B.C. Assessment. 

A nearby house on a smaller lot on 977 Broughton St., which had operated as Nelson House B&B, was sold last year for $2.8 million, just slightly over its assessed value of $2.7 million. 

Another house on 1390 Thurlow St., near Pacific Street, sold for $6.4 million last year. It was assessed at $5.6 million.

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Büro Ole Scheeren towers coming to Thurlow & Barclay in Vancouver

1040-1080 Barclay Street rendering dusk 20181040-1080 Barclay Street, looking south. The Butterfly and an unnamed tower at Nelson and Thurlow are shown in the background. Credit: City of Vancouver/Bosa Properties

 

Two residential towers designed by German architect Büro Ole Scheeren are proposed for Barclay and Thurlow in downtown Vancouver.

Developer Bosa Properties is partnering with Kingswood Properties to develop the project, made up of a 49-storey tower, and a 48-storey tower.

The site is currently occupied by four low-rise apartment buildings with a total of 173 units, and is adjacent to the Patina tower.

481 market condo units are proposed for the development, as well as 162 social housing units. There will be 626 parking stalls over eight levels of underground parking.

Unit sizes range from studios, all the way up to three bedrooms. A commercial retail unit will be located along Thurlow Street.

Amenities include a fitness centre, yoga room and landscaped terraces.

1040-1080 Barclay by Büro Ole Scheeren

1040-1080 Barclay Street rendering 20181040-1080 Barclay Street. Credit: City of Vancouver/Bosa Properties1040-1080 Barclay Street rendering 20181040-1080 Barclay Street. Credit: City of Vancouver/Bosa Properties1040-1080 Barclay Street rendering courtyard 20181040-1080 Barclay Street courtyard. Credit: City of Vancouver/Bosa Properties

Market unit sizes in the towers are roughly as follows:

  • studios 359 sq ft.
  • one bedroom 611 sq ft.
  • two bedroom 854 sq ft.
  • three bedroom 1262 sq ft.

minimum of 50 per cent of the social housing units will be two bedrooms or larger and suitable for families, and 20 per cent will be three bedrooms or larger. 

The architectural design of the project is said to reflect the surrounding blocks and scale, by assembling those smaller elements into two sculptural towers.

The local architecture firm on the project is Francl Architecture.

This is Büro Ole Scheeren’s second design for a downtown Vancouver development; the first being the “Jenga tower” at 1500 West Georgia Street, also for Bosa Properties.

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B.C.'s "Speculation Tax"

If you are a resident in a province other than B.C. for the purposes of paying income taxes, and you own residential property in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Capital and Nanaimo Regional Districts, or in the municipalities of Kelowna and West Kelowna (the "Target Areas"), you should be paying special attention to the new "speculation tax" in B.C 1.

B.C.'s NDP government introduced its 2018 Budget and Fiscal Plan ("Budget 2018") on February 20, 2018. As part of Budget 2018's Homes for B.C. – A 30-Point Plan for Housing Affordability in British Columbia (the "30 Point Plan"), B.C.'s provincial government indicated that it intends to levy a speculation tax against non-resident owners of residential property in the province starting this fall. While Budget 2018 was extremely sparse with respect to details regarding this new speculation tax, here is what we know so far:

  • It will apply to all residential properties located in the Target Areas;
  • It will be applied "broadly" to target foreign and domestic "speculators" who own residential property in the Province of B.C. but do not pay taxes into provincial coffers;
  • It will target those who leave residential property vacant;
  • It will target "satellite families" – households with high worldwide income that pay little or no tax in B.C.;
  • There will be up-front exemptions for most principal residences, qualifying long-term rental properties and special cases;
  • A new, non-refundable, income tax credit will be introduced to provide relief to those who do not qualify for an up-front exemption, but who pay income taxes in B.C.;
  • For 2018, the speculation tax will be 0.5% of the assessed value of the property and will increase to 2% thereafter; and
  • It will be administered by the Province, outside of the normal property tax system.

Let's call a spade a spade; the speculation tax is not a tax on speculation, it's a tax on non-residents with vacant properties as well as on asset-wealthy-income-poor residents with vacant properties – a "non-resident/part-time resident tax" 2 or "inactive resident tax," if you will. As noted, the speculation tax is located in Budget 2018's 30-Point Plan wherein B.C.'s provincial government has laid out its strategy to stabilize the demand for housing in the Target Areas. However, when asked about the fact that the speculation tax applies to Canadians who own vacation homes in the Target Areas ("Part-time Residents"), B.C's Finance Minister Carole James stated the following principle behind the speculation tax:

"If you have a place in British Columbia and you are benefiting from the services in British Columbia, you should pay your taxes in British Columbia...I certainly see it more as a fairness tax."

It seems that the general intent behind the speculation tax wasn't to curb speculation in B.C.'s hot housing markets, rather it's an attempt to make Part-Time Residents pay their "fair share" to provincial coffers 3. Further, if the tax was designed to curb speculation in the province, why provide relief against the speculation tax to B.C. residents?

The speculation tax will likely have the greatest effect on part-time residents. Speculators generally own a home for a short period of time and would therefore presumably only be subject to the speculation tax for a year at most 4 whereas most part-time residents likely intend to own their homes for the foreseeable future and would consequently be subject to the speculation tax annually. Many part-time residents are likely now in a position where it no longer makes financial sense to own a home in British Columbia 5. The B.C. provincial government's attempt to brand the new tax as a speculation tax is political craftsmanship on behalf of a government in a province that has a significant tourism industry and where many Canadians spend their tourism dollars.

With the legislation for the speculation tax not being made available in Budget 2018, it is difficult at this point to advise clients on the potential planning options available. With that being said, our firm will pay close attention to how this non-resident/part-time resident/inactive resident tax unfolds. Stay tuned!

Footnotes

[1] Actually, even if you own property in B.C. which falls outside of the Target Areas, you should be paying attention. Budget 2018 clearly indicates that the Target Areas are only the initial locations subject to the tax.

[2] Not to be confused with the pre-existing "foreign buyer's tax" which was implemented in August 2016 and applies to "foreign entities" which was also expanded to include the additional Target Areas in Budget 2018.

[3] What is "fair" is obviously subjective. Part-Time Residents would argue that they contribute to B.C.'s economy by spending their money in B.C., including, but not limited to, the provincial sales tax and paying BC property taxes.

[4] We do not know if the speculation tax will be pro-rated where a home is only owned for part of the year.

[5] As mentioned, the Target Areas are the initial areas subject to the speculation tax. B.C.'s provincial government is free to expand the Target Areas in future years so there is no guarantee that a home outside of the Target Areas would not be subject to the speculation tax in the future.

Moodys Gartner Tax Law is only about tax. It is not an add-on service, it is our singular focus. Our Canadian and US lawyers and Chartered Accountants work together to develop effective tax strategies that get results, for individuals and corporate clients with interests in Canada, the US or both. Our strengths lie in Canadian and US cross-border tax advisory services, estateplanning, and tax litigation/dispute resolution. We identify areas of risk and opportunity, and create plans that yield the right balance of protection, optimization and compliance for each of our clients' special circumstances.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Judge rules Vancouver West End condo assembly can be sold off despite holdout owners' protests

Barclay Terrace is a 36-unit concrete complex built in 1992 and located at 1075 Barclay St. in Vancouver's West End. A judge has ruled that a sale can proceed despite the protests of two holdout owners. GOOGLE MAPS / SCREENGRAB

A judge has ruled that the sale of a Vancouver West End assembly can proceed despite two holdout owners who believed the sale price was too low and that they were not kept informed during the sale process.

Barclay Terrace is a 36-unit concrete complex built in 1992 and located at 1075 Barclay St. in Vancouver’s West End.

Of the 36 units in the building, 34 belong to two corporations, Barclay Thurlow Property Inc. (BTPI) and Shepstone Investments Inc., referred to as the majority owners.  The units had been gradually purchased by the companies from individual owners with the goal of winding up the strata corporation and selling the property for redevelopment.

According to B.C. strata bylaws, owners can force a sale if 80 per cent agree; with 34 of the 36 units in hand, BTPI and Shepstone owned 94 per cent of the strata vote.

An adjacent complex of four two-storey townhomes was also bought by Shepstone to be sold as part of the assembly.

 
 

The remaining two units at Barclay Terrace belong to Grace and Lisa Francescato and Ramin Malekmohammadi Nouri, referred to as the minority owners in court documents.

The Francescatos had been in discussions to sell their suite to the majority owners in 2016 for $1.9 million, but the sale fell through after the Francescatos raised their price to $2.1 million and then changed their minds.

Nouri had been contacted by the majority owners in 2015 and 2016 to sell his unit but he refused on both occasions. In early 2017, BTPI offered Nouri $3.5 million to sell and said they were “prepared to offer more.”

“According to … the realtor engaged by BTPI to negotiate with Mr. Nouri, Mr. Nouri said his price was $10 million,” read court documents. When told the “figure was absurd” but that a counteroffer would be entertained, Nouri lowered his price to $9.75 million. The negotiations ceased.

After a purchase offer for the complex was made by Grand World Holdings Ltd. in June 2017 for a price of $105 million, the majority owners applied to the court to confirm its resolution to wind down the strata and proceed with the sale. They also notified the holdout owners of the deal struck, and informed the Francescatos they would receive $2.7 million and Nouri $2.2 million as part of the sale.

The minority owners, however, opposed the application based on their beliefs that they weren’t adequately consulted during the sale process and that the sale price is too low.

In his decision dated March 13, 2018, Justice Warren B. Milman ruled that the minority owners were as informed as could be since the majority owners were required to keep the details of the sale agreement confidential. Milman also said the holdout owners had fair warning as to what the future was likely to hold for Barclay Terrace.

“The minority owners were not taken by surprise by what occurred,” wrote Milman. “They were able to see the writing on the wall by late 2015 or early 2016, when the majority owners sought and then acquired a controlling block in pursuit of their patent agenda to redevelop the property.

“At that point, a dissolution and sale of Barclay Terrace was all but inevitable (and, in the case of the Francescatos at least, initially welcomed).”

As for the sale price, the judge noted that the assessed value – which the minority owners suggest is closer to $150 million – is based on the assumption that all 36 units and the adjacent townhomes are sold as a controlling block under one owner. He also rejected the notion that the minority owners were being unfairly treated or that the sale price was prejudiced against them.

“In the end, the minority owners are to receive enormous premiums over the 2017 assessed values of their units as a result of the efforts of the majority owners in marshalling the combined properties for sale as an assemblage,” he wrote.

“The Francescatos are to receive $2,677,500 for a unit assessed at $793,000 and Mr. Nouri is to receive $2.2 million for a unit assessed at $672,000.”

Milman then granted the majority owners’ application to wind down the strata and sell off the property.

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Real estate developer pitches plan for 50,000 units of affordable housing plan in Toronto, Vancouver

The federal government is looking at a real estate developer’s proposal to build 50,000 units of affordable housing primarily in Toronto and Vancouver — a plan valued at as much as $14-billion that could become a big part of Ottawa’s national housing strategy.

According to a proposal submitted to Ottawa, the project would be led by the Creative Housing Society, an independent non-profit group to be based in Toronto. Creative Housing was established last fall by Ian Gillespie, a prominent Vancouver real estate developer whose firm, Westbank, is active in Toronto and Vancouver.

The founding partners of Creative Housing, according to the proposal, would be Westbank, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), Allied Properties REIT and an investor such as a pension fund. The project would be open to other investors. The plan is to leverage public money with private-sector investments.

 

CMHC on Tuesday said Creative Housing is one of several organizations that the Crown corporation is consulting. CMHC wants “innovative” ideas and collaborations, it said, but it did not comment on the status of the proposals. Westbank declined comment.

Creative Housing, if it proceeds, would be a part of the national housing strategy announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last November. At the time, plans were vague, but it was billed as a $40-billion investment over a decade.

 

In the federal budget two weeks ago, Ottawa allocated $1.35-billion of new money to CMHC for “building more rental housing for Canadian families.” The first chunk of money is $447-million for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which begins April 1.

“Beginning in April, 2018, several initiatives will be launched as part of the National Housing Strategy,” CMHC spokeswoman Audrey-Anne Coulombe said in an e-mail on Tuesday. “More information on those initiatives will be available soon.”

A primary focus for affordable housing is Toronto and Vancouver, where real estate has become extremely expensive for the average person. Creative Housing’s goal is to build 50,000 units, mostly rental. They would be designed for median-income households, workers such as teachers and bus drivers.

The median household income in Vancouver and Toronto is a little less than $80,000 a year, according to Statistics Canada.

In the Creative Housing proposal, CMHC would be the primary lender. Institutional investors in the private sector, such as pension funds and insurers, would provide most of the equity capital. Westbank and Allied would also contribute some equity. Land owned by cities, provinces and the federal government would be used as building sites.

 

Adam Vaughan, a Liberal MP in Toronto who is parliamentary secretary for housing and urban affairs, said the challenge to build affordable housing is complex and will require a variety of partnerships. Creative Housing is one idea, but it is not yet a formal application, Mr. Vaughan said, as Ottawa has asked for more information.

“It’s a very ambitious program, but it’s a little short on details,” he said.

Jennifer Keesmaat is expected to be in a leadership role at Creative Housing. Ms. Keesmaat was chief planner for the City of Toronto from 2012 through 2017. She could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Before the February budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau suggested a plan was in the works. On Twitter in late January, he posted a picture with Ms. Keesmaat and thanked her for meeting to discuss “creative housing.”

“Canada is back on the housing file,” Mr. Morneau tweeted.

On Tuesday, questions to Mr. Morneau were passed on to CMHC.

 

Ms. Keesmaat has also spoken out on affordable housing recently.

“Vancouver and Toronto need affordable rental housing - and lots of it quickly,” Ms. Keesmaat wrote on Twitter last week. She said “something exciting” was coming soon.

In any plan, CMHC will play a key role. Its rental construction financing initiative was launched a year ago, to provide $2.5-billion in low-cost loans to support the construction of new rental housing. In the February budget, the government boosted CMHC’s lending capacity for rental construction by 50 per cent to $3.75-billion over the next three years.

Housing strategy aims to make lasting impact: TrudeauTHE CANADIAN PRESS
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Economist pleased to see measures he proposed included in B.C. speculation tax

They changed the name of the tax, but UBC economist Tom Davidoff was pleased to see the measure he helped devise largely adopted in the B.C. government's speculation tax.

Davidoff was one of three lead authors who, in 2016, proposed a a 1.5 per cent surcharge on Lower Mainland homes whose owners don't pay income tax in the province and called it the B.C. Housing Affordability Fund.

"I was very happy to see that the speculation tax as it was defined in the budget sounded a lot like what we called our B.C. Housing Affordability Fund," said Davidoff, an assistant professor of real estate economics at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

But many second-home owners from B.C. and Alberta are not happy about the prospect of paying potentially thousands annually under the new tax.

The tax will apply to non-resident B.C., Canadian and foreign owners of residences in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and regional districts in Nanaimo and Victoria, along with Kelowna. 

Tom Davidoff spoke with On the Island host Gregor Craigie about the reaction and the problem of what he calls 'bargain-basement' property tax rates in Vancouver and Victoria.

Tom Davidoff, UBC Sauder School of Business economist

UBC real estate professor Tom Davidoff says very low property taxes in high-demand cities such as Victoria and Vancouver reward people who buy homes but don't live in them. (CBC)

Gregor Craigie: What do you think of the B.C. government's speculation tax?​

The government has gone a bit higher than we suggested (Davidoff's B.C. Housing Affordability Fund proposed 1.5 per cent).

If you add in about .3 to .6 per cent, depending on the municipality local property tax rate, you're looking at a 2.5 per cent property tax bill. That's pretty hefty.

Do you think this tax will help with vacancy rates or lower housing costs?

I think it very much depends on the market ...They painted with a very broad geographic brush.

If you live on one of the islands where there's vacant lots here and there, and there's not a problem of housing the locals, to have a second home there, I think it's hard to argue in certain cases that that's having an impact on affordability. 

I think anyplace where this is applied, we're going to see a lot of people rent out the property or sell it to a local, which was, of course, largely the idea.

 

 

What do you think of the concerns from property owners who feel the tax is unfair?

Our property tax rates are incredibly low. 

We have a tax system today that says, "come here to buy property, but we're really going to hit you with the taxes in income and sales taxes, if you live and work here."

And what does that do? It just encourages people to buy property as second homes, because it's tax smart to buy a second home but not so smart to live and work in the province.

When you compare superstar cities in North America like San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago; property taxes are much, much higher.

How important is it for the B.C. government to be flexible about the tax rates and who it applies to?

I think the more important thing is to be transparent about exactly what the motivation is.

There's no reason to charge bargain-basement property taxes to people who have the luxury to own a vacation home in those markets.

And to be clear, the key is to provide affordability for locals and have a sensible tax system that rewards work and does not reward buying homes and leaving them empty most of the year."


This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Vancouver has highest construction costs in Canada

 

 

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A high-quality 2,000-square-foot detached house would cost up to $460,000 in hard construction costs to build in Vancouver. In Toronto, this house would cost $420,000, and in Montreal, Calgary or Halifax, the cost would run around $300,000, according to the Altus Group’s Canadian Construction Cost Guide 2018.

Commercial construction costs are not as out of line, but are slightly higher in Vancouver than in the rest of Canada.

For example, the hard construction cost for a Class A five-to-30 storey office building in Vancouver ranges from $270 to $340 per square foot. This compares with $220 to $290 per square foot in Calgary and Edmonton. The price for such an office building in Toronto ranges from $210 to $315 per square foot, according to Altus.

Industrial and retail buildings are slightly more expensive to build in Vancouver than in other major cities. 

The annual Altus construction cost report, released in January, also shows that prices for quality custom-built houses are much higher in Toronto or Vancouver than anywhere else in Canada. For example, a high-end custom house in Toronto has per-square-foot construction costs of $900 per square foot and it reaches $1,000 per square foot in Vancouver. This compares with Montreal, at a maximum of $700 per square foot, and Halifax at $600 per square foot.

The price spread is also pronounced in the condominium sector. 

In Vancouver, for example, Altus Group says construction costs for a higher-quality four-storey, wood-frame condo building would peak at $250 per square foot. This compares with $195 per square foot in Toronto and $175 or less in nearly every other city in the country.

The Altus cost estimates are for hard construction costs only and do not include land values, or any of the soft costs, including profit, associated with completing a project. Altus did not provide an explanation why construction costs would vary from one jurisdiction to another.

Western Investor

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By ThinkPol Staff

More than half of all Vancouver detached houses sold for below assessment in February, with some going as low as 24% below, MLS sales data show.

The MLS sales data, jealously guarded by the real estate industry, was provided to ThinkPol by an industry source.

The data show that a house on the 2100 block of 18TH Avenue West, assessed at $4,495,900[1], sold for $3,398,000, or 24% below assessed, after being listed at $3,788,000[2].

Another property on the same avenue, on the 3500 block, assessed at $2,717,700[3], sold for $2,356,000, or 13% below assessed, after being listed at $2,298,000[4].

A third West Side property, on the 900 block of 57 Avenue West, assessed at $3,343,700[5], sold for $2,930,000, or 12% below assessed, after being listed at $2,998,000[6].

Interestingly, the house that sold for most above asking was also in the West Side.

The property, on the 700 block of 22 Avenue West, assessed at $2,876,000[7], sold for $3,600,000, or 25% above assessed, after being listed at $3,598,000[8].

While the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver February 2018 stats show that 130 detached houses were sold in Vancouver last month[9], our data shows that only 51 houses were sold.

44 out of the 86 appear to have been sold for below assessed value.

We have repeatedly asked REBGV to provide us anonymized sales data so that we can independently verify the data we have received, but our requests have so far fallen on deaf ears.

Jill Oudil, REBGV president, has acknowledged the slowdown in the single family homes market.

“Rising interest rates and stricter mortgage requirements have reduced home buyers’ purchasing power, particularly for those at the entry level of our market,” Jill Oudil, REBGV president said. “Even still, the supply of apartment and townhome properties for sale today is unable to meet demand. On the other hand, our detached home market is beginning to enter buyers’ market territory.”

Update 2:15PM: We have received a more complete dataset from a different source. We have updated the information accordingly. We also wish to thank Chuck Hallett AKA Barley_Mowat[10] for his constructive criticism.

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  • GOOGLE

A chart on a local real-estate agent's website tells the story of a sharply slowing housing market.

Citing Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver statistics, Andrew Hasman & Associates is reporting that only 33 single-family houses have been sold on the West Side this year.

That's down from 94 sales last year, or 65 percent.

 

The average length of time for these sales was 44 days, up from 35 days last year.

There's also a 21.48-month supply of homes on the market on the West Side, up from a 6.04-month supply last year.

It has all the earmarks of a housing market ready to go into decline.

But for some reason, the average price of a West Side house this year still remains significantly higher than last year: $4.108 million to $3.745 million.

It's a similar story with West Side condos. The number of units sold has fallen 33 percent and there's 2.71 months worth of supply, up from 1.82 months last year.

Yet the average price has risen from $960,898 to $1.13 million.

Sales volumes of East Side houses and condos are also down over last year, 55 percent and 15 percent respectively.

But prices are significantly higher.

This data doesn't take into account the B.C. NDP government's incoming speculation tax or the increase in the foreign-buyers' tax.

In the meantime, Finance Minister Carole James is on the receiving end of massive criticism from the B.C. Liberals, B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver, and organizations across the province because of a new payroll tax, which is replacing revenue lost by the cancellation of medical services premiums.

That's likely to lead to job losses at small businesses and nonprofit groups that didn't previously pay their employees' premiums.

The B.C. Liberals were elected in 2001 after denouncing the so-called "decade of decline" when the NDP was in power in the 1990s.

Don't be surprised to see new B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson start reviving that phrase in connection to what's could soon occur in the housing and job markets.

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