Five Misconceptions About Property Taxes

  1. You can appeal property taxes: No. You can appeal your assessment, not your taxes. You annually receive your assessment the first week of January and must appeal by January 31.
  2. An appeal will change the market value: The market value may not correlate to the assessed value. BC Assessment typically assesses properties as of the previous July 1. A REALTOR® valuing a home now – 11 months later – may find the market has changed, the home has had an addition or the street has been re-zoned, all of which affect value.
  3. If you just bought a home, the previous owners are liable for taxes: No. When you buy a property you become liable for all outstanding taxes.
  4. New home owners can claim the Home Owner Grant:  No. New home owners cannot claim the Home Owner Grant if the seller paid the taxes or if the new home owner claimed a grant on another property.
  5. If you’ve been eligible for the Home Owner Grant and didn’t claim it , you can make a back claim: No, you cannot make a back claim on the Home Owner Grant. The Grant must be used the year it is offered.




The Beautiful Baja

The Baja was a lovely place to spend Christmas & New Years – Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo 2014 – but we’re back to work & hard at it now so hopefully will be able to revisit beautiful San Jose. We made our first visit almost 25 years ago. The changes are remarkable. While much of the welcoming, small town atmosphere remains, their tourist industry is certainly thriving.

BCREA Economics Now


Canadian Consumer Price Inflation – January 24, 2014

Canadian consumer prices rose 1.2 per cent in the twelve months to December, a modest increase from 0.9 per cent inflation in November.  The Bank of Canada’s index of core inflation, which strips out the most volatile components of the CPI, such as food and energy prices, increased 1.3 per cent in December. Consumer prices in BC were unchanged in December on a year-over-year basis.

The Bank of Canada’s repeated messaging around downside risks to inflation continue to have their desired effect. The five-year Government of Canada bond yield, the key benchmark for fixed mortgage rate pricing, has now fallen over 30 basis points since the beginning of the year to under 1.6 per cent, prompting lenders to cut posted mortgage rates. While we still anticipate that mortgage rates will be higher at the end of the year, a continued low-rate environment early in the year should provide a boost to the market heading into the spring home-buying season.

Vancouver Island Real Estate Market Report Jan 2014

January 2, 2014

Solid Sales in Second Half Lead to Strongest Market Activity in Four Years

NANAIMO, BC – Sales activity across the Vancouver Island housing market area finished on a high note in December, capping off the strongest year since 2009. After a sluggish market in 2012, sales began to pick up some steam in the second half of 2013, resulting in a stronger finish to the year than the Board anticipated a few months ago.

The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) reports a total of 3,941 single-family homes sold in VIREB coverage area on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in 2013. this signifies a ten per cent increase over the 3,582 sales recorded in 2012. Average sale price remained relatively flat for the year, decreasing by one per cent.

BCREA’s chief economist, Cameron Muir, is cautiously optimistic heading into the new year, but warns that low employment growth a listless economy will likely have some impact on the BC housing market heading into 2014.

“We anticipate that slow economic growth will lead to a slight retrenchment in demand through the first quarter of 2014, but expect that sales will pick up momentum in the latter half of the year,” he stated.

A total of 210 single-family homes sold in the VIREB coverage area on the MLS® in December 2013. This is a 39% increase over the 151 sales recorded in December 2012, and a 26% drop from this time last month.

“While we had a very robust month in terms of sales this December, it is important to look at these numbers in terms of the bigger picture,” said VIREB president, Gary Gray. “We are encouraged by this healthy sales activity, but the market is still quite price sensitive, so it is important to consult with a local REALTOR® in order to get a clear picture of what is happening in your area,” he said.

For December 2013, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $307,900, with an MLS® HPI index value of 144.7. (this represents a 44.7 per cent increase since January 2005, when the index was 100). This benchmark price is down 0.5 per cent from last month and declined 0.2 per cent from last year. The average price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $314,367, down for per cent from this time last year.

The benchmark price for a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $266,800, up 5.9 per cent over last year; in the Comox Valley the benchmark price was $313,800, down 0.5 per cent over last year; Duncan reports a benchmark price of $277,900, dropping 2.8 per cent from last year; Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $327,600, down 0.2 per cent from last year; Parksville/Qualicum has a benchmark price of $343,600, up 1.4 per cent last year; and Port Alberni is listed at $177,100 for a benchmark home, dipping 3.2 per cent from last year.