Realtors Insight April 24, 2007

Greetings from rainy Victoria. Rain or not, it has been nice to jump the Tumbler Ridge ship and see green grass, trees that have giant sized green leaves and flowers, beautiful array of color, and the sail boats sailing early in the morning. If you time it right you might catch a glimpse of the rowing team in the bay. I am in Victoria, not for pleasure but for the British Columbia Real Estate Association Annual General Meeting. My first time in attendance as the President of the Northern Lights Real Estate Board. It is absolutely fascinating to see all the busy people at work making all sorts of decisions to make the Quality of Life better for British Columbians and Canadians as a whole. Before I continue with my information packed article I would like to CONGRATULATE my friend and partner, Claudette Huber of her recent appointment on the Northern Lights Real Estate Board. Claudette has taken on the task of Education Co-coordinator. I must say it is truly a milestone for Tumbler Ridge to have the two first Realtors to start up licensing careers in TR join the RE/MAX franchise and shortly after to take up positions on the Northern Lights Real Estate Board. We look forward to our new positions and promise that the extra knowledge will benefit our past, present and future clients.

Did you know that the Canadian Real Estate Association is one of Canada?s largest single professional trade associations, representing more than 88,000 Realtors, and represents members at the federal level of government and defends the public rights to own and enjoy property? Its true Realtors, not only assist Buyers and Sellers purchase and sell properties but are an integral part of lobbying both Federal and Provincial governments on a number of major issues such as Capital Gains Tax (Federal). The following is what we as Realtors have taken to the Canadian Legislature: The Income Tax Act should be amended to enable a deferral of both the capital gains tax and recaptured capital costs for real property investments when one property is sold and the proceeds are invested in another within one year.

This is the Capital Gains issue: The current capital gains tax regulations suppress the opportunity to reinvest in real property in Canada, because investors are deterred by a lock-in effect. This means lost opportunities for Canadians to reinvest in real property in Canada.

Realtors have found that many investors are reluctant to sell and reinvest because of punitive tax consequences. Under the current system, Canadians who have financial assets or property other than a principal residence must pay tax on the capital gains resulting from the sale of a financial asset or property. This includes residential and commercial investment properties. Small-scale investors are often unable to ?grow? their real estate investments because of the tax consequences when selling a small asset to buy a larger one.

To address this issue Realtors recommended that the Income Tax Act be amended to allow real property investors to defer the capital gains tax and recaptured capital costs of the sale of an investment property when the funds are reinvested into another investment property within one year.

The proposal resolves some of the unique difficulties associated with holding real property as an asset class, such as the lack of liquidity and the lack of mobility. It also provides some of the advantages now enjoyed by tradable securities like stocks and bonds. Real property investments provide both economic stimulus and social benefits, housing everything from manufacturing and retail operations to rental living accommodations. Private investment by everyday Canadians provide real benefits to the Canadian economy and our society.

Provincially one issue Realtors are proposing to cut back on or eliminate is the Property Transfer Tax. British Columbia Real Estate Profession is recommending that the Provincial Government create housing opportunities for all British Columbians and to further reduce the impact of the Property Transfer Tax. A tax that is applied to all Real Estate transactions in the Province of BC.

Here is a little bit of information at the home front level. Maybe we should absorb this information and consider where Tumbler Ridge residents are spending their dollars?Fuelled by historically low interest rates. Canada?s housing market continues to be a pillar of the national economy. A total of 522,560 properties were sold through the Multiple Listing Service. In 2006. This is just 0.14% below the highest annual level on record, which was reached in 2005. MLS sales in 2006 were valued at a staggering $143.3 billion ? the eighth consecutive annual record. Of those MLS totals, 483,917 of the properties sold in Canada in 2006 were residential, with a total value of 134.0 billion. The national MLS residential average price reached $276,921 in 2006, representing an annual increase of 11.1%.This was the eighth consecutive annual record for residential average price and the largest annual increase since 1989.

Resale housing transactions across Canada generate significant economic activity. Each MLS sale generated an average of $32,200 in additional economic activity. That amount is above and beyond the actual price paid for the building and land, and covers expenses like professional fees, taxes, renovations, appliances and furnishings. This represents an average of $14.8 billion per year in additional spending that results from MLS home sales ? a significant contribution to the total Canadian economy. 153,400 jobs were generated by average annual MLS resale activity in Canada over the period between 2003 and 2005.

There you have it. Some interesting facts on Realtors and some of the behind the scene things Realtors do for Canadians, British Columbians and the Communities they live in.

Do you have a question? Feel free to ask, submit questions to B.C. Force Connecting Buyers and Sellers in writing to Brenda Banham RE/MAX Dawson Creek Realty:

e-mail bbanham@neonet.bc.ca fax: 250-242-3256 or mail Box 1769 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0 OR Claudette M.M. Huber RE/MAX Dawson Creek Realty: e-mail claudetterealty@xplornet.com fax: 250-242-4410 or mail Box 2106 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0