Global BC: B.C. to lift foreign buyers tax for people with work permits

Global BC: B.C. to lift foreign buyers tax for people with work permits

B.C.’s premier has announced the province is lifting the 15 per cent foreign buyers tax for anyone living in Metro Vancouver with a work permit.

The move is an effort to encourage people to come to the province. Those who live, work and pay B.C. taxes will now be exempt from the additional property transfer tax.

Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent


Bank of Canada maintains overnight rate target at 1/2 per cent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Relations 613-782-8782 Ottawa, Ontario 18 January 2017 Available as: PDF


The Bank of Canada today announced that it is maintaining its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 3/4 per cent and the deposit rate is 1/4 per cent.

Uncertainty about the global outlook is undiminished, particularly with respect to policies in the United States. The Bank has made initial assumptions about prospective tax policies only, resulting in a modest upward revision to its US growth outlook. Overall, the global economy is strengthening largely as expected and prices of some commodities, including oil, have risen. The rapid back-up in global bond yields, partly reflecting market anticipation of US fiscal expansion, has pulled up Canadian yields relative to the October Monetary Policy Report (MPR).

In contrast to the United States, Canada’s economy continues to operate with material excess capacity. While employment growth has remained firm, indicators still point to significant slack in the labour market. The resource sector’s adjustment to past commodity price declines appears to be largely complete, but negative wealth and income effects will persist. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar has strengthened along with the US dollar against other currencies, exacerbating ongoing competitiveness challenges and muting the outlook for exports. Consumption is expected to remain solid, while residential investment will be tempered by previously announced changes to housing finance rules and by mortgage rates that have risen in response to higher bond yields. Federal and provincial fiscal measures are still expected to support growth in 2017.

Bearing in mind the important assumptions embedded in its forecast, the Bank projects that Canada’s real GDP will grow by 2.1 per cent in both 2017 and 2018. This implies a return to full capacity around mid-2018, in line with October’s projection.

Inflation in Canada has been lower than anticipated since October, mainly because of declines in food prices. Measures of core inflation are below 2 per cent, reflecting material excess capacity in the economy. As consumer energy prices rise and the impact of lower food prices dissipates, inflation is expected to move close to the 2 per cent target in the months ahead and remain there throughout the projection horizon while excess capacity is being absorbed.

In the context of a projection that is largely unchanged, the Bank’s Governing Council judges that the current stance of monetary policy is still appropriate and maintains the target for the overnight rate at 1/2 per cent. Governing Council will continue to assess the impact of ongoing developments, mindful of the significant uncertainties weighing on the outlook.

Information note The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is 1 March 2017. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR on 12 April 2017.

CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums


CMHC to Increase Mortgage Insurance Premiums

OTTAWA, January 17, 2017 — CMHC is increasing its homeowner mortgage loan insurance premiums effective March 17, 2017. For the average CMHC-insured homebuyer, the higher premium will result in an increase of approximately $5 to their monthly mortgage payment.

“We do not expect the higher premiums to have a significant impact on the ability of Canadians to buy a home,” said Steven Mennill, Senior Vice-President, Insurance. “Overall, the changes will preserve competition in the mortgage loan insurance industry and contribute to financial stability.”

Capital requirements are an important factor in determining mortgage insurance premiums. The changes reflect OSFI's new capital requirements that came into effect on January 1st of this year that require mortgage insurers to hold additional capital. Capital holdings create a buffer against potential losses, helping to ensure the long term stability of the financial system.

During the first nine months of 2016:

  • The average CMHC-insured loan was approximately $245,000.
  • The average down payment was approximately 8%.
  • The average gross debt service ratio (GDS) was 25.6%. To qualify for CMHC insurance, a homebuyer’s GDS should not exceed 32% of their total monthly household income.
Down payment between 5% and 9.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $2.82 $4.70 $6.59 $8.47 $10.35 $15.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization 

*Premiums in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are subject to provincial sales tax — the sales tax cannot be added to the loan amount.

Premiums are calculated based on the loan-to-value ratio of the mortgage being insured. The premium can be paid in a single lump sum but more frequently is added to the mortgage principal and repaid over the life of the mortgage as part of regular mortgage payments. Additional details and scenarios are included in the backgrounder below.

CMHC regularly reviews its premiums and sets them at a level to cover related claims and expenses while also reflecting the regulatory capital requirements.

CMHC is Canada’s most experienced mortgage loan insurer. Our mortgage loan insurance enables Canadians to buy a home with a minimum down payment starting at 5%. As a Crown corporation, CMHC is the only mortgage insurer whose proceeds benefit all Canadians.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For additional highlights please see the attached backgrounder.

For more information, follow us on TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Facebook.

Information on This Release:

Karine LeBlanc Media Relations 613-740-5413


  • CMHC’s standard mortgage loan insurance premiums will be changing as follows:
Loan-to-Value Ratio Standard Premium (Current) Standard Premium (Effective March 17, 2017)
Up to and including 65% 0.60% 0.60%
Up to and including 75% 0.75% 1.70%
Up to and including 80% 1.25% 2.40%
Up to and including 85% 1.80% 2.80%
Up to and including 90% 2.40% 3.10%
Up to and including 95% 3.60% 4.00%
90.01% to 95% - Non-Traditional Down Payment 3.85% 4.50%
Down payment between 10% and 14.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $4.94 $8.23 $11.52 $14.81 $18.10 $27.98

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

Down payment between 15% and 19.99%
Loan Amount $150,000 $250,000 $350,000 $450,000 $550,000 $850,000
Increase to Monthly Mortgage Payment $7.06 $11.75 $16.46 $21.16 $25.86 $39.96

Based on a 5 year term @ 2.94% and a 25 year amortization

  • During the first nine months of 2016
    • Nearly 50% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $300,000
    • Nearly 95% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of less than $600,000
    • Less than 1% of CMHC’s transactional mortgage loan business were for loans of more than $850,000
  • CMHC follows OSFI guidelines for federally regulated mortgage insurers in Canada.
  • Calculating the gross debt service ratio (GDS) allows potential homebuyers to estimate the maximum home-related expenses they can afford to pay each month.

GDS = Principal + Interest* + Property Tax + Heat Monthly Income

*Interest is calculated using the qualifying rate

  • Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment of 5% with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price.
  • CMHC’s new premium rates will be effective for new mortgage loan insurance requests submitted on or after March 17, 2017. The current mortgage loan insurance premiums will apply for applications submitted to CMHC prior to this date, regardless of the closing date. As is normal practice, complete borrower and property details must be submitted to CMHC when requesting mortgage loan insurance.
  • The changes do not impact mortgages currently insured by CMHC.

News Release: Increased home owner grant helps families with property taxes

The Province is increasing the home owner grant threshold to $1.6 million, helping keep property taxes affordable for families and ensuring most home owners will continue to receive the full grant this year, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

“This is a 33% increase over last year,” said de Jong. “We are doing our part to help keep housing costs affordable for families. Local governments can also work to keep property taxes at a manageable level for residents by controlling their spending and reining in the amount of revenue they need to operate.”

The Province is projected to spend $821 million on home owner grants in 2017-18, compared to an estimated $809 million in 2016-17. The Province reimburses municipalities for the full cost of the home owner grant to ensure municipal revenues are not affected.

“The threshold increase to $1.6 million helps ensure virtually everyone who received the grant last year will also receive it in 2017. The strength of the Province’s economy and sound fiscal management have put us in a position to raise the threshold by such a large amount this year to help home owners.”

The increase to the 2017 home owner grant threshold means that provincewide, 91% of homes will remain below the threshold and if eligible, their owners will receive the full grant amount. In many communities throughout the province, most or all homes are covered by the threshold. In Metro Vancouver, 83% of homes will be below the threshold. For properties assessed above this threshold, the grant is reduced by $5 for every $1,000 of assessed value in excess of the threshold.

There are two types of home owner grants:

  • The basic grant can reduce residential property taxes on an owner’s principal residence by up to $570, or if the home is located in a northern and rural area, up to $770.
  • An additional grant is available to home owners 65 years of age or older, or who qualify under the persons with disabilities category, or who are the surviving spouse of a veteran who received certain war-veteran allowances. This additional grant can reduce residential property taxes on an owner’s principal residence by up to $845, or if the home is located in a northern and rural area, up to $1,045.

Low-income home owners who would have received the additional home owner grant can apply for a low-income supplement, which replaces any reduction in the grant caused by having a property valued over the threshold. The low-income supplement is available to qualifying seniors, certain veterans or their surviving spouse and persons with disabilities.

Property tax deferment is another option that can help make home ownership more affordable. Property tax deferment is a low-interest loan program that allows qualifying B.C. home owners to use the equity in their homes to defer payment of their annual property taxes. Qualifying home owners can defer all, or a portion of, the annual property taxes on their principal residence.

Quick Facts:

  • Decisions about the threshold are based on BC Assessment data, and are made in the context of setting priorities within a balanced budget.
  • Home owners who qualify for the home owner grant are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who live in British Columbia. Grants are only available for an owner’s principal residence.
  • Home owner grant thresholds in recent years:
    • 2016: $1.2 million
    • 2015: $1.1 million
    • 2014: $1.1 million (threshold lowered as a cost-savings measure)
    • 2013: $1.295 million
    • 2012: $1.285 million
    • 2011: $1.15 million
    • 2010: $1.05 million

Learn More:

For more information about home owner grants, visit: or contact your municipality or the Province if your property is in a rural area.

For more information about property tax deferment, visit: or call 250 356-8121 (Victoria) or 1 888 355-2700 (toll-free in B.C.)

Nick Chabros

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About: Nick is married and has a dog named Sunny. Born and raised in the Tri-cites area, he and his wife made a recent move to Mission and have been enjoying the new community immensely.

Interests: Sports – all kinds of them. Hockey, football, etc. Nick is what one might call, competitive and sports helps to feed that trait.

Likes (If you had more time, what would you do more of): Spending time with family, vacationing/weekend getaways and sports.

Loves (can’t live without): As a realtor, he can’t live without his phone or laptop.


Started as a Realtor in: 2011.

Specialization: Residential, but has been training in commercial properties and commercial leasing. For specific areas, Nick covers the Tri-Cities and out towards the Fraser Valley including, Abbotsford, Surrey and Langley.

One-piece of advice for your clients: Do your due diligence when buying or selling the biggest investment of your life. Surround yourself with experienced professionals that include a real estate agent, mortgage broker, inspector and a lawyer/notary. Take your time and speak to two or three of each. Always establish a good connection with whom you are working with. Remember, this is the biggest investment of your life.

Why Macdonald Realty? Nick interviewed a number of brokerages and in meeting with the team at Macdonald, he just felt at home right away. Unlike some offices where there were 200+ agents, this office had only 30, at the time. It felt like family then, and it still does with a team under 40 agents today. With 20 offices in BC, Macdonald Realty has as a strong presence and deep roots being founded locally.

Nick is a friendly, easy to talk to, and efficient realtor.  He was able to sell our townhouse quickly and, even in the red hot Greater Vancouver market, helped us to negotiate a great deal on our new house.

Sarah, Maple Ridge


Q & A

  1. What differentiates you from the 13,000 licensed real estate agents in the Greater Vancouver area?

I know who I am and how hard I work. I’m competitive and work for my clients. I’ve been in the customer service industry for 20 years and simply love working with people. Also, not only are you hiring me, as your agent, you’re hiring Macdonald Realty. We have been a BC owned company for over 70 years that can help with your residential, investment, relocation, rental and commercial needs.

  1. What do you think clients look for in a realtor?

Someone that is honest and works with integrity. They also want someone dedicated to helping them buy and/or sell the biggest investment of their lives.

  1. How do clients describe you and what’s your best feature?

Honest and hardworking.

Real estate is like a rollercoaster ride. Buying your first home or dream home…can be exhilarating. It can also be frustrating & disappointing when you lose in a bidding war or the inspection turns out ugly. Providing the keys to my clients to their new home is a great feeling but sometimes, as a realtor, you have to give clients bad news, and it’s important to have that level of respect and trust that comes from being open and honest.

  1. What inspired you to be a Realtor?

I was always interested in real estate. Having bought a couple of investment properties and going through the purchase and sale processes, I felt that it was something I wanted to pursue more and what better way than to actually get into the business.

  1. What do you love most about your job?

There are many things. Meeting new people daily, shopping for a home with clients, the rush of writing up an offer, giving clients the keys to their new home…It also allows for a flexible schedule. I used to have two jobs working 6 days a week, from early morning to late nights. Zero time for any fun time. Today, I’m my own boss and managing my own schedule, while also being able to be in full control of my earning potential is a great balance in life.

  1. What is the hardest part of your job?

There is nothing hard about my job. There can be challenges, but ultimately, it’s how you perceive them and what you do to keep going forward. There is always a solution for every problem. I was told early on in my career to always stay positive & persevere.

Contact Nick Macdonald Realty Ltd. #6-20691 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge, BC, V2X 2P9 (m) 604.377.8101 (o)  604.467.3871