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Strata council can’t make a policy change to how notice is issued or received


Council can?t change policy

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

Our strata council and strata manager have sent the following notice to owners advising that the only way we can give notice or request any items from the strata corporation is through the property manager.  The council claim they have made a policy change with the instruction of the strata manager that no one may deliver a notice to any council member, and any such notices would be deemed to be void.

We have read the strata act and cannot find where the strata council or property manager has the authority to change how notice is issued or how it is received.

As a result of this change, several owners have had their requests for hearings declined and have been denied access to information. To the owners this looks like a slick way of preventing access to our strata information.

Could you please clarify how notice can be issued?

Devon M. North Vancouver

Dear Devon:

No, neither the strata council or manager may make a policy change to how notice is issued or received. A notice, record or other document that is required or permitted under the Strata Property Act or Regulations must be given to the strata in one of the following methods:

  1. a) by leaving it with a council member
  2. b) by mailing it to the strata corporation at its most recent address filed in the Land Title Registry
  3. c) by faxing or emailing to the strata corporation to the contacts provided or to a council member if a fax or email has been provided for the purpose of receiving notice or by putting it through the mail slot or in the mail box used by the strata corporation for this purpose.  

When a strata management company is contracted, they are acting as an agent of your strata corporation, and they may also be a destination for giving notice if they have provided an address, fax or email address. The Act in this section does not permit strata corporations to change or amend the form of notice that is provided or received.  The strata corporation must inform the owners who the council members are, and the council members must receive notice if it is delivered to them.  It is then up to the council member to inform the other council members the details and purpose of the notice.

Strata council members need to be vigilant about the procedures of having received notice.  The best solution is one location for address, email and fax so the council and manager can closely monitor what requests and notice have been received; however, because notice can be served on any council member, they need to be educated to understand the requirements for processing the notice immediately as many notices have requests that are time sensitive and could adversely affect your strata corporation. 

For strata corporations with rental bylaw limitations, a request for a hardship exemption requires a written decision within two weeks if no hearing is requested, or within one week of a hearing, otherwise the exemption is automatically granted.   Requests for hearings require the hearing must be held within four weeks after the request and notice of a Civil Resolution or Court action requires a response within the prescribed time period otherwise judgements may be made without the strata corporation involvement.  Requests for documents must be filled within 14 days of the request, seven days for a request of bylaws and rules, and a Form F Payment Certificate and Form B Information Certificate must be provided within seven days.  

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.



Fraser Commons 725 Southeast Marine Drive 363 homes in the complex by Serracan Properties


A Fraser Commons Interior designer plays all the traditional shapes and angles to give rooms a refreshed look

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Fraser Commons

Where: 725 Southeast Marine Drive

What: 363 one-to-three-bedroom homes

Residence sizes and prices: Remaining homes include two – and three-bedroom units ranging from 738 to 1,066 sq. ft; starting at $772,900 for a two-bedroom and $984,900 for a three-bedroom

Developer and builder: Serracan Properties

Sales centre: 725 Southeast Marine Drive

Sales centre hours: noon — 5 p.m., Sat — Thurs, or by appointment

Telephone: 778-737-3178

Fraser Commons is a project from Serracan Properties in Vancouver. (Note that image can’t run prior to project profile on March 24, 2018.) [PNG Merlin Archive] PNG

When interior designer Cristina Oberti took on the design of the display space for Fraser Commons, a condo project slated for Fraser and Southeast Marine Drive, its eventual occupants were uppermost in mind.

“The design and development of this project was first and foremost about the people who will live in it or in its surrounding area, and to me this was an endless source of inspiration during the design process,” says Cristina Oberti, principal of Cristina Oberti Interior Design, which worked with Serracan Properties on the development.

It began with a detail as simple — and as significant — as the hexagonal tiles on the kitchen backsplash.

Oberti’s team was inspired by the exterior diamond pattern that covered the Blue Boy Motor Hotel, built by the Wosk brothers in the 1960s at the Fraser Commons’ site.

“It was a way for us to celebrate the present while remembering the past,” she says.
After the great popularity of subway tiles in kitchen and bathroom spaces, creative designers like Oberti love to present classic items in refreshed designs.
“The backsplash is the focal point of a kitchen, so what you choose to do with this surface can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of the dining and living room areas,” Oberti says. “The hexagonal tile, though traditional in its shape, is very current and speaks to the tastes of today. In its familiarity, the shape feels surprisingly modern and new. We used the shape of the kitchen backsplash tiles as a graphic inspiration for the display suite designs. ”

Where kitchen tiles make an impact with small details on a grand scale, Oberti chose huge tiles for the bathroom to create a spacious, seamless space.
“Large tile formats have a lot of benefits in the bathroom. From a functional perspective, less grout means less maintenance for homeowners and less work for the installers. From an esthetic standpoint, the larger tiles create the illusion of continuity. The tiles make the bathroom feel as though it was carved out of a single slab of stone.”

Oberti created an interesting open-concept space by pairing and contrasting shapes. The pendant light over the dining table reflects the contours in the living room artwork and appears to soften the lines and angles of the furnishings.

“Too many angles can make a space feel stiff, so adding in a few curves is essential to maintaining a welcoming environment,” she says. “Next to raising comfort levels, the combination of hard and soft edges makes those accent angles pop all the more.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.



B.C. market sustains sustain upward trend in prices


Ephraim Vecina
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Home sales in British Columbia plummeted last month compared with March of last year, but the B.C. Real Estate Association stated that the decline was not reflected in prices.

Sales figures released by the association for March showed that 7,409 homes changed hands last month, a decline of 24.6% over March 2017, while average property prices climbed 5.3% over the same period.

A news release from the association said that the average home sold for $726,930 last month. The BCREA attributed the climate of persistently high prices to the lack of properties available for sale, noting that the total of active listings has changed very little since March 2017, nudging a 12-year low across B.C.

Association chief economist Cameron Muir predicted that prices will continue to climb as long as the trend continues. He also criticized what he called the “burdensome” mortgage qualification rules that took effect in January, saying they have had the “predictable effect of swiftly curbing housing demand.”

 “You simply cannot pull as much as 20% of the purchasing power away from conventional mortgage borrowers and not create a downturn in consumer demand,” Muir said, as quoted by The Canadian Press.

B.C. home sales in March tallied $5.39 billion, a 20.6% tumble compared with March 2017. Meanwhile, quarterly sales dollar volumes since January have slipped 1.7% year-over-year to $13.9 billion.

Residential sales also fell 9.4% during the first three months of this year. On the other hand, the average price of a home increased 8.5% to just over $732,000 during the same period.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd



Bank of Canada makes interest rate announcement


Bank of Canada Interest Rate Announcement

Andy Blatchford
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

The Bank of Canada is maintaining its trend-setting interest rate as its careful assessment of the timing of future hikes continues amid a backdrop of moderating growth.

The central bank, which kept its rate at 1.25 per cent Wednesday, said slower first-quarter growth of about 1.3 per cent was largely a result of housing markets’ responses to stricter mortgage rules and sluggish exports. The bank had predicted the economy to expand by 2.5 per cent in the first three months of the year.

It’s expecting the economy to rebound in the second quarter with 2.5 per cent growth, in part because of rising foreign demand, to help Canada expand by two per cent for all of 2018. The economy saw three per cent growth in 2017.

“Canada’s economic growth has moderated, and the economy is operating close to capacity,” the bank said in its latest monetary policy report, which was released alongside the rate announcement.

“While a moderation was anticipated, temporary factors … are resulting in sizable short-term fluctuations in growth.”

The bank reiterated it expects further interest-rate hikes to be necessary over time and that it will follow a cautious, data-dependent approach when weighing future decisions.

“Some progress has been made on the key issues being watched closely by governing council, particularly the dynamics of inflation and wage growth,” the bank’s statement said.

“This progress reinforces governing council’s view that higher interest rates will be warranted over time, although some monetary policy accommodation will still be needed to keep inflation on target.”

The bank will also continue to watch the economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates and how well it builds capacity through investment, which would enable Canada to lift growth beyond what is viewed as its potential ceiling without driving up inflation.

Signs suggest the economy has made some progress in building this capacity, the bank said.

The bank is also keeping a close watch on the evolution of external risks.

Exports and business investment in Canada have been held back by competitiveness challenges and trade-policy uncertainties, which include escalating geopolitical conflicts that risk damaging global expansion, the bank said.

It laid out estimates on the growth impacts on Canada due to tax reforms in the United States, which are expected to lure more investment south of the border. Due to these investment challenges, it predicts Canada’s gross domestic product to be 0.2 per cent lower by the end of 2020.

Exports are also expected to take a hit from reduced investment and trade uncertainties. The bank projects that Canada’s GDP will be 0.3 per cent lower by the end of 2020 due to the negative impacts on exports.

Fiscal stimulus introduced in recent provincial budgets is expected to help offset these effects by adding about 0.4 per cent to Canada’s real GDP by the end of 2020.

Governor Stephen Poloz introduced three rate hikes since last summer in response to an impressive economic run for Canada that began in late 2016. But due, in part, to factors such as mounting trade unknowns, Poloz has not raised the rate since January.

The bank offered an analysis Wednesday of some of the key indicators it’s watching ahead of rate decisions.

On inflation, the bank said temporary downward forces weighing on the rate have largely dissipated. Other transitory factors, including higher gasoline prices and recent minimum wage increases are now expected to raise inflation above the bank’s January predictions.

Canada’s annual pace of inflation in February sped up to 2.2 per cent _ its fastest pace in more than three years _ to creep above the central bank’s ideal target of two per cent. Meanwhile, the average of the agency’s three measures of core inflation, designed to omit the noise of more-volatile items like gasoline, climbed slightly above two per cent for the first time since February 2012.

For wage growth, the bank said despite recent improvements it remains below what would be expected if the economy no longer had slack in its labour force.

On Wednesday, the bank also released new economic forecasts in its monetary policy report.

For 2018, it’s now predicting two per cent growth, as measured by real gross domestic product, compared to its 2.2 per cent prediction in January.

The bank raised its growth projection for 2019 to 2.1 per cent, up from its previous prediction of 1.6 per cent, before easing to 1.8 per cent in 2020.

It noted that these readings would still be slightly above Canada’s estimated potential output for the next three years.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd



Provincial government leaves mark on Vancouver housing market


Erik Hertzberg
Canadian Real Estate Wealth

Home sales in Canada’s third-largest city are still declining after the provincial government introduced new housing measures earlier this year.

Sales in Greater Vancouver fell 8.6 percent in March from a month earlier to 2,108 transactions, the fewest since 2013, data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association show. That’s in contrast to the broader Canadian market, which showed signs of stabilizing in March. Aggregate prices in Vancouver still ticked up, rising 1.1 percent on the month.

Sales in the Pacific Coast city may fall further as buyers come to grips with stiffer taxes on purchases by foreigners and a new levy on vacant homes, steps unveiled by the British Columbia government in February to deal with property speculation. “We expect this market to begin stabilizing towards the end of the year, or in early-2019,” Michael Dolega, an economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, wrote in a note to clients.

Benchmark prices, meanwhile, are up 16 percent in Vancouver from a year earlier, the CREA data show.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd



Spring Trends Report 2018

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