Latest Market Trends
Detached: Overall sales and inventory have remained steady, keeping us at a 3.6 months supply and in a Seller's market. By area, Oak Bay slowed down the most and supply increased from 4.8 months last week to 6.8 months this week; I expect these numbers to revert somewhat in 2 weeks after the effects of spring break are behind us. Westshore saw higher sales and only a few more listings so the supply reduced from 3.8 months to 3.5 months. By price, the market is remaining strong and supply low for anything under $1.5M with only 2.9 months supply and averaging 23 days on market; the slow down continues for anything over $1.5M with a supply of 22 months now for homes up to $4M and as before, the market for homes over $4M is unique but sales have slowed significantly. Listings were averaging 73 days on market a year ago and the current listings are now on market an average of 135 days. 2 sales in the last 6 months and a total of 10 sales in the last 12 months.
Condo: The 1 week trend is showing a slow down overall for condos but these numbers are being biased by condos over $650k, where sales slowed. Under $650k we are still at a 2.4 month supply, which is a tough market to shop in and a great market to sell in. Again I think the spring break vacations are temporarily impacting luxury sales. There were no significant changes to any one geographic area.
Townhouses and Duplex: Townhouses bucked the trend this week; more sales and steady listing count led to a reduction in supply down to 3.4 months from 4.1 (259 listings and 76 sales in 30 days); we are definitely in a Seller’s market now.
It will be up to homeowners to apply for exemptions, with a deadline of March 31, 2019
Letters should have now arrived outlining speculation tax fees and the exemption processes for Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island and Lions Bay, but including Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack) in Owners mail boxes.
It will be up to all homeowners to apply for exemptions by phone or online, with a deadline of March 31. Those who don’t apply, or qualify, will be sent tax bills due to be paid by July 2. The opt-out process will become an annual event for property owners under the new speculation tax rules. People who pay mistakenly can get a rebate within six years, according to the ministry.
The NDP government’s speculation tax was announced in the February 2018 budget and described as a way to encourage owners of empty residences to put them onto the rental market, or sell, in areas where housing is unaffordable and rental vacancy rates are low.
Because the tax is retroactive, the first letters will actually be for taxes incurred in the 2018 calendar year — before the tax rules were even finalized.
The tax rate is 0.5 per cent of a home’s assessed value in 2018, which would be $5,000 a year for a property assessed at $1 million. Starting in 2019, the rate rises to two per cent for out-of-province owners, foreigners and satellite families (households where more than 50 per cent of income comes from outside Canada).
Owners are exempt from the tax if it is their principal residence, they rent it at least six months of the year (only three months is required in 2018), they are disabled, the property was just inherited, it’s valued under $150,000, or a person was away and it was vacant due to medical reasons, residential care, work or spousal separation.
Condos and apartments in buildings where stratas ban rentals are also exempt, but only for 2018 and 2019, to give stratas time to change their bylaws, according to the ministry. Exemptions are available for First Nations, local governments, charities, co-ops, some not-for-profit organizations, and developers working on construction or renovation of property.
British Columbians with second homes who aren’t exempt will still get a credit intended to cover the tax on the assessed value up to $400,000, with the remaining value of the property then taxed at the full rate.
The following exemptions are available for individuals:
What Does This Mean?
Have Any Questions? Contact the BC Government for help with your inquiries about the speculation and vacancy tax:
1 (833) 554-2323
Please note that there is a disclaimer that where information on the website and the legislation conflict, the legislation prevails and you should seek independent advice from your accountant or lawyer.
WRITTEN BY JEANINE MATLOW
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BARBARA CORSICO
A Mix of Patterns and Colours Defines This English Abode
According to Roisin Lafferty, the talented founder and creative director of Kingston Lafferty Design in Dublin, Ireland, color is the single most transformative tool in interior design. “It can dramatically change the look and feel of any space. . . . We got to have fun with color here,” she says about a renewed two-story apartment in a London townhouse that originally lacked personality, character, and charm.
Lafferty describes the former interiors of the roughly 1,000-square-foot space as standard and plain. “The client already had the bold and brave House of Hackney sofa with so many colors, which allowed us to be all the more creative,” she says.
The clients—a Finnish husband and his Irish wife—met in London where they’ve lived for the past decade and had their young son. “The bustling, creative area of Hackney, East London is a place that is close to both their hearts. They wanted to create a fun-filled home that embraced the context of the location,” says Lafferty. “In terms of style, both have an appreciation of art and design and they were extremely open to color, pattern, and playfulness; the ideal clients!”
The apartment was completely redesigned with a focus on custom built-ins and other distinct features like the playful selection of furniture and lighting. New floors and freshly painted walls appear throughout, while an eclectic blend of styles combines market and vintage finds with contemporary elements, industrial references, and luxe details. “The main objective was to create a space that expressed the clients’ interests and personalities and one that would not date over time,” says Lafferty.
The monochrome patterned tiles provide a visual guide through the apartment spaces. “We wanted to draw your eye to the dining space and be playful here. We sourced a traditional gilded mirror to reflect the copper Tom Dixon pendants and opted for a pop of neon yellow on the mirror and the wall behind it,” she says. The artwork was a big color contributor as well, adds the designer, who worked with Hackney-based gallery Nelly Duff to get the right combination of prints.
In the kitchen, the subway tile makes its way to the high ceiling to create symmetry and frame the space. There, the original London tube tiles, which feature beautifully curved edges, surround a mirror-backed, illuminated alcove accessed by a custom ladder that travels through the kitchen and the lounge.
The lounge, which was meant to be more intimate, features generous proportions that allowed them to mix various prints and tones. Dusty blue appears on the walls with a brighter sky blue on the custom cabinetry, while mirrors reflect pattern and color around the space. A dark, chevron timber floor lends balance and depth.
“We wanted to deliberately play with ‘maximalism’ in this space,” says Lafferty, who counts Italian and Spanish designers among her favorites. “It was a space that lent itself to a ‘more is more’ approach. Taking reference from designers like Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana, when done right, mixing clashing prints and colors can create excitement, fun, and drama.”
Repetition is definitely not in Lafferty’s repertoire. Instead, the designer likes to push the boundaries for interiors that are unique to the client and to the context of the space. “Sometimes the details make a project, and, in this case, it was getting all of those transitional details perfect. That is what makes it work in such a small space,” she says. “We are really happy with the depth and level of interest. It feels very [homey], which is what the client wanted, and it really is an environment that you want to spend time in.”
Her clients are very social and love to entertain. “We designed the kitchen and dining space to feel almost like a café or restaurant, so that there were lots of points of interest and different zones in which to have different experiences,” she says. For the kitchen, the husband wanted a streamlined “Scandi” feel. Instead of stark-white cabinets, they chose a bright mint green. “It is a positive color,” says Lafferty. “The copper detailing adds a feminine warmth and color tone, contrasting against the mint. We used authentic London tube [subway] tiles to frame the space in white with dark grout to emphasize the shapes.”
Robin Cushing Copyright © 2019