•  
  •  
  •  
Burnaby North

Meet your area specialist:
Sutton Grp-West
301-1508 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6J 1W8


Major lenders hike rates following BoC decision


Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Canada’s major banks have been quick to react to the Bank of Canada’s decision to raise interest rates to 1.25%.

CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and TD were among the first lenders to increase their prime lending rates by 25 basis points to 3.45%; the new rates take effect from today (Jan 18).

The BoC rate hike was widely expected but what happens next is the burning question.

Although BoC governor Stephen Poloz painted a rosy picture of the Canadian economy at the end of 2017, his speech Wednesday noted that growth is forecast to slow to 2.2% this year and 1.6% in 2019, compared to the forecast 3% growth in 2017.

NAFTA also presents a challenge to the economy and the governor sounded a cautious tone over its uncertainty.

Governor Poloz said that while interest rates would need to rise over time, the Bank would need to provide some continued “monetary policy accommodation” to keep inflation in check and keep the economy operating close to its potential.

So when might those increases come?

CIBC Economics chief economist Avery Shenfeld says one more increase is likely this year – he’s forecasting early in the third quarter – with two further increases (50 basis points) in 2019.

TD’s senior economist Brian DePratto says that July is penciled in for the next increase but notes that data may present a case for that to be moved forward or pushed back.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd



What to do if council doesn’t enforce bylaws


Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

Our strata has never provided any information regarding the enforcement of bylaws to our owners. This recently became an issue over two owners, one, a council member who had not paid their special levies or strata fees for over six months.

At our annual meeting, someone started questioning why we had over $40,000 in receivables and we were told that was confidential information. As a result, we lost confidence in our council and elected five new council members who have discovered that council has been cutting special deals with owners on payment schedules and totally ignoring bylaw enforcement. 

We have also lost the ability to collect an insurance deductible from an owner who did their own plumbing, causing a flood. The owner recently sold, so the rest of us were stuck with the $10,000 deductible. 

Judith W., Penticton

Dear Judith:

As a basic requirement of governance in the Strata Property Act, “the council must exercise the powers and perform the duties of the strata corporation, including the enforcement of bylaws and rules”.

The enforcement is determined through the act and the bylaws of each strata corporation. The act then says the strata corporation “may” do one or more of the following to enforce bylaws by imposing a fine, remedying a contravention by physical actions permitted in the act, or denying access to a recreational facility permitted by the act.

It is common for strata corporations to go for years without ever having to impose bylaw enforcement penalties. Provided the council can manage compliance with the bylaws, further enforcement may not be necessary. 

In your situation, your strata council is not only ignoring its bylaw enforcement against owners, but also council members. Your bylaws stipulate that owners must pay their strata fees on the first of each month. If they do not, then a bylaw violation has occurred, which triggers two separate types of penalties in many strata bylaws.

The first is the financial penalty. In your strata, interest is automatically calculated at a rate of 10 per cent annually and imposed monthly. Interest in bylaws is not a bylaw infraction and may be automatically calculated and included in an amount to be liened against a strata lot.

The second enforcement issue is a bylaw that impacts the eligibility of council members to be either elected to council or continue to sit on council if the strata corporation is entitled to file in lien against a strata lot. Your strata has even gone as far as adding a third bylaw requiring council to issue a demand notice for payment for strata fees and special levies and notice of being entitled to file a lien if the owner does not pay within 14 days. 

Your bylaws indicate “the strata council must issue the notice within five days of anyone being late on their payments”. As a result of not enforcing the bylaws, your strata council permitted a fellow council member to continue to act contrary to the bylaws and interest has not been imposed or collected and the debts are still outstanding with no collections started.

There is no harm in sending out demand notices to enable the strata corporation to file a lien and take further action if the owners cannot pay their fees. Nothing requires the strata to file a lien after the demand has been sent; however, a strata corporation cannot take the next step on collections to secure debts without issuing the notice. 

A decision to enforce a bylaw is a decision of council at a council meeting as council is not permitted to delegate bylaw enforcement to the property manager or a single council member. A general list of bylaw enforcement and collection decisions that are included in the council minutes, but exclude personal information, is a valuable record for both council and owners. It provides council with a record of its decision-making and the ability to track monthly progress and indicates to the owners that bylaws are being enforced and collections are being applied equally and fairly against everyone. 

If the council is not willing to enforce bylaws, elect a new council that will. The Civil Resolution Tribunal is always another option to order your strata to enforce its bylaws.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.



Cascade City 271 homes in two towers 5788 Gilbert Road (tower A) and 5766 Gilbert Road (tower B) by Landa Global Properties


Richmond’s Cascade City takes high-end inspiration

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Cascade City

What: 271 homes, with retail space on the ground level. The 15-storey towers will stand on a narrow 87,252-square-foot site at Gilbert Road and Elmbridge Way in Richmond

Where: 5788 Gilbert Road (Tower A currently selling); 5766 Gilbert Road (Tower B, coming soon)

Developer and builder: Landa Global Properties

Residence sizes and prices: One, two and three bedrooms, 505 – 1,505 square feet; one bedroom starting from mid-$500,000s

Sales centre: 7100 Elmbridge Way, Richmond

Sales centre hours: Noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs

When Geèle Soroka envisioned the interiors of Cascade City, Landa Global Properties’ new-home community in Richmond, she found inspiration in the names often associated with comfort and luxurious living.

The illustrations of the details in decor and finishes in the Cascade City suites show the simplicity of great design. “The concept was to create a luxury dream space for potential buyers,” says Soroka, the principal of Sublime Interior Design. She based the look of the dining room lighting on the styles found at Restoration Hardware, while the dining room chairs take on the flavour of the luxury brand Minotti, and the living room chairs, sofa and throw were inspired by Versace, Roche Bobois, and Hermes, respectively.

Her rendering of the lighting over the kitchen island is a thing of beauty — a conversation piece inspired by Restoration Hardware that blends traditional with contemporary style, she says.

“We selected this light fixture because of its brushed bronze tone, sleek lines and sparkly crystal spheres. It has sleek contemporary lines with a traditional colour, making it a perfect mix.”

In a kitchen, the marriage of just two tones — high-gloss light grey upper cabinets and white lower cabinets by Aster Cucine — creates a dramatic effect.

 “The high-gloss finish creates a chic look and reflects light, while smaller details in the cabinetry and the island transform their look and practical uses,” Soroka adds.

“Using finger-reveals [which allow the homeowner to see a portion of the cabinet frame] instead of cabinet hardware creates a clean and minimalist look. The side gable on the island creates the illusion of a waterfall edge that integrates into the countertop, enlarging the appearance of the island.”

In a bathroom, the Sublime team used the same tile on the wall and flooring, which gives the room a posh feel. These Italian marble-inspired tiles “give the look of luxurious marble, but offer durability. By using the tiles on the floor and walls it creates a more streamlined and clean look, enlarging the appearance of the space, and … giving the room a luxurious spa hotel feel.”

The suites are shallow, which allows for room for more windows to brighten the space and emphasize the view, says Arno Matis, principal at Arno Matis Architecture, whose firm collaborated on the development’s design with Rafii Architects.

“Efficient floor plans [give] the homeowner gets more square footage in useful, living spaces (living, kitchen, dining, bedroom) as opposed to less desirable locations (like corridors),” he says.

“The shallow tower floor plate also means units have more access to decks: Each unit has a deck that wraps the full length of the unit. As units are more shallow, decks are more generous.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc



No ban on foreign buyers says BC premier


Steve Randall
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

The premier of British Columbia has rejected calls for a ban on foreign buyers of real estate in the province.

John Horgan has reacted to the Green Party’s leader Andrew Weaver who has been calling for a ban similar to that implemented in New Zealand.

“I just don’t believe, in an open economy, that’s an appropriate way to proceed,” Mr Horgan said at a news conference Tuesday, adding that a ban would send the wrong message internationally.

He did acknowledge that something has to be done to tackle affordability issues in BC and said that there will be proposals in the budget to curb speculation, reduce demand and soften prices.

Mr Horgan says that the BC government will help boost the construction of rental apartments and single-family homes.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd



U-Six a great investment near UBC Okanagan


Units a fraction of the price of those near UBC in Vancouver

ROBIN BRUNET
The Vancouver Sun

Students attending university as well as the parents funding them – are often faced with accommodation challenges. Finding housing on campus is difficult and costly, and is only guaranteed for firstyear students.

But for parents who think paying rent for student housing is the only recourse, U-Six demonstrates that this is not the case. The latest addition to the Mission Group’s U-District Community near the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus gives them the ability to turn rent money into home equity and earn an income by renting the condominiums (U-Six has 57 of them) to their children and roommates if desired.

U-Six is an equally strong opportunity for investors to rent to students or locals. “Everyone benefits, whether the buyer is a parent or an investor, and the beauty of U-District here in Kelowna is that students work towards a degree from a world-class university, but the accommodations are just a fraction of the price of those available at UBC in Vancouver,” says JoAnne Adamson, vice-president of marketing and sales for Mission Group.

U-Six by Mission Group Homes Ltd. and designed by Meiklejohn Architects is within easy walking distance of the Okanagan campus. It offers a variety of contemporary, open-concept studios as well as spacious two- and three-bedrooms units. All homes feature full kitchens, in-suite laundry and a bathroom for each bedroom.

As with the other U condominium buildings, Mission Group’s aim was to give students the chance to enjoy the fun, study-oriented feel of living on campus without the dormitory experience. “Plus, U-Six gives them the freedom to choose their roommates,” says Adamson.

Capping all of this off is U-Six’s price. “The studios start from $199,900,” says Adamson. “Two bed, two baths sell from $329,900, and three bed, three baths start from $409,900.”

Affordability was one key reason why Vancouver-based engineer Victor Mao purchased two three-bedroom condos at U-District last year, and he has lost no time renting out both units. “Quite frankly, with rising costs in Vancouver I was worried about how to fund my retirement, but when I read about U-District and did some investigating, I realized this was a great investment in a location that is rapidly evolving.”

Mao is referring to growth in the surrounding areas of the UBC Okanagan Campus. Kelowna is undergoing a massive change, with everything from the Kelowna International Airport to the popular city’s downtown enjoying expansion and upgrading. And with a vacancy rate of just 0.2 percent, investors like Mao are guaranteed to generate income from U-District almost immediately.

Vancouver-based Ajesh Sen purchased a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the U-Three building last August and is currently renting it to two students from China. “While Kelowna was attractive to me, finding out that UBC had a campus there was the deciding factor,” he says. “Given the way real estate has evolved in and around UBC Vancouver, I felt like I was getting into a ground-level opportunity.” Indeed, the 10-year-old campus has already embarked on its second master plan that may see it double in size over the next 15 years.

A computer engineer by trade, Sen was also impressed by the quality of his condo. “It has beautiful, thoughtful details as well as fabulous appliances,” he says. “The people at Mission Group went out of their way to ensure the homes would live up to being long-term investments.”

Sales for U-Six will begin in early February with all of the homes ready in time for the fall academic start of 2019. For more information please check out usixliving.com. U-Six Sales Specialist Wilf Lethbridge is available at 250-718-7072 or wilf@usixliving.com

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.



U-Six a great investment near UBC Okanagan


Units a fraction of the price of those near UBC in Vancouver

ROBIN BRUNET
The Vancouver Sun

Students attending university as well as the parents funding them – are often faced with accommodation challenges. Finding housing on campus is difficult and costly, and is only guaranteed for firstyear students.

But for parents who think paying rent for student housing is the only recourse, U-Six demonstrates that this is not the case. The latest addition to the Mission Group’s U-District Community near the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus gives them the ability to turn rent money into home equity and earn an income by renting the condominiums (U-Six has 57 of them) to their children and roommates if desired.

U-Six is an equally strong opportunity for investors to rent to students or locals. “Everyone benefits, whether the buyer is a parent or an investor, and the beauty of U-District here in Kelowna is that students work towards a degree from a world-class university, but the accommodations are just a fraction of the price of those available at UBC in Vancouver,” says JoAnne Adamson, vice-president of marketing and sales for Mission Group.

U-Six by Mission Group Homes Ltd. and designed by Meiklejohn Architects is within easy walking distance of the Okanagan campus. It offers a variety of contemporary, open-concept studios as well as spacious two- and three-bedrooms units. All homes feature full kitchens, in-suite laundry and a bathroom for each bedroom.

As with the other U condominium buildings, Mission Group’s aim was to give students the chance to enjoy the fun, study-oriented feel of living on campus without the dormitory experience. “Plus, U-Six gives them the freedom to choose their roommates,” says Adamson.

Capping all of this off is U-Six’s price. “The studios start from $199,900,” says Adamson. “Two bed, two baths sell from $329,900, and three bed, three baths start from $409,900.”

Affordability was one key reason why Vancouver-based engineer Victor Mao purchased two three-bedroom condos at U-District last year, and he has lost no time renting out both units. “Quite frankly, with rising costs in Vancouver I was worried about how to fund my retirement, but when I read about U-District and did some investigating, I realized this was a great investment in a location that is rapidly evolving.”

Mao is referring to growth in the surrounding areas of the UBC Okanagan Campus. Kelowna is undergoing a massive change, with everything from the Kelowna International Airport to the popular city’s downtown enjoying expansion and upgrading. And with a vacancy rate of just 0.2 percent, investors like Mao are guaranteed to generate income from U-District almost immediately.

Vancouver-based Ajesh Sen purchased a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in the U-Three building last August and is currently renting it to two students from China. “While Kelowna was attractive to me, finding out that UBC had a campus there was the deciding factor,” he says. “Given the way real estate has evolved in and around UBC Vancouver, I felt like I was getting into a ground-level opportunity.” Indeed, the 10-year-old campus has already embarked on its second master plan that may see it double in size over the next 15 years.

A computer engineer by trade, Sen was also impressed by the quality of his condo. “It has beautiful, thoughtful details as well as fabulous appliances,” he says. “The people at Mission Group went out of their way to ensure the homes would live up to being long-term investments.”

Sales for U-Six will begin in early February with all of the homes ready in time for the fall academic start of 2019. For more information please check out usixliving.com. U-Six Sales Specialist Wilf Lethbridge is available at 250-718-7072 or wilf@usixliving.com

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.