Time for some real estate news! From time to time, we’ll keep you updated on what’s going on in the real estate world at the local and national level. Keep reading to learn more about the stories making headlines this month!
If you haven’t already, read last week’s post about the ongoing drama surrounding the Capitol condominium project. The controversy is particularly headache-inducing to one city councillor, who stated in a recent interview that he’s rethinking his future as a councillor after the treatment he’s received this year. And why is the councillor so frustrated? This councillor is real estate agent, and has drawn criticism for participating in the vote regarding the Capitol condos last September. While the councillor insists that there is no conflict of interest—he doesn’t sell condos for IN8 development, the company building Capitol condos—an integrity commissioner found links advertising the condominium project on his personal website. Since the controversy, the councillor guesses that he’s refrained from 30 to 40 votes concerning city planning and development.
Out on the west coast, new loophole-closing regulations in China are causing people to worry about the future of Vancouver’s real estate market. China has always had capital controls that restrict how much yuan can be converted into foreign currency. However, as of January 2nd, these regulations got a bit stricter. Chinese citizens are still allowed to convert up to $50,000 US worth of currency per year, but now Chinese banks must report money transfers over $29,000 US. Additionally, when exchanging currency, citizens must pledge not to use the money to invest in foreign property. Those found violating the new regulations are subject to a three-year ban on exchanging currency, and may be investigated for money laundering.
Vancouver is a popular place for Chinese buyers to invest in real estate, so news of the stricter regulations has people understandably worried. However, experts claim that there is little to worry about. According to an article published by the Vancouver Sun last month, “… the new rules would have no more than a minor effect in Vancouver, with tighter mortgage rules and the foreign buyers tax having a bigger impact.” Hugh Stephens—a distinguished fellow with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada—is also unconcerned, stating that, “… anyone who is serious about getting money out of China will continue to do so.”
Want to read more about the stories covered this week? We’ve included the links below: