Monday June 14, 2010

Press Release

Lobbying Efforts Pay Off For Home Buyers

Real estate reps get HST threshold  upped

Submitted by Steve Lerigny, CADREB


June 7, 2010

It's always been a great idea to buy a new home in the beautiful eastern Fraser Valley, but thanks to the efforts of the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), it makes even more sense in the days leading up to the implementation of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

According to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board President Kyle Hislop, provincial association representatives were successful in their lobby to minimize the effects of the HST on Fraser Valley home buyers when it comes into effect in July.

"They successfully convinced the BC government to raise the Provincial HST new housing rebate threshold to $525,000 from $400,000 and increase the minimum rebate to $26,250 from $20,000," he explained.

"This is significant particularly to buyers shopping in Chilliwack and its surrounding areas where it is very feasible to buy a new home under the $525,000 mark, so the HST impact will be minimal."

For example, if a home priced at $475,000 was new and sold after July 1, under the originally proposed HST scheme, the buyer would have paid approximately $3,300 more, but due to the revised threshold and maximum rebate levels that REALTORS R lobbied for, they will be saving it instead.

This June, it is definitely a buyers' market as inventory remains strong. More than 400 new listings joined the MLS R last month, for a total of 1,736 active listings at the end of the month. This compares with approximately 1,450 at the same time last year.

Sales remain brisk, with May posting 248 sales, just slightly behind the number sold in May of 2009. Of the total sales, the strongest activity was in the $350,000 - $399,000 range (38), followed closely by those in the $400,000 - $499,999 range. Sales were also strong in the townhouse market, indicated by 60 sales in the $250,000 to $299,999 range.

"There is a good inventory of every type of housing on the market right now," said Mr. Hislop. "Whether you are in the market for your first home, a move-up home or an investment, there is a lot to choose from and there are some great deals out there."

Because of the competitive market, more than ever, sellers need to follow the advice of their REALTORS R to ensure that their property is priced aggressively and shows well.

For more information contact President Kyle Hislop or Steve Lerigny, Executive Officer, Chilliwack & District Real Estate Board - #1-8433 Harvard Pl., Chilliwack, BC V2P 7Z5 Board Office 604-792-0912