Anyone who has been following recent real estate trends will be vastly aware of the current market situation. Real estate in Penticton and surrounding British Columbian cities are being greatly affected by the voracious demand for property. With the supply of real estate at an all-time low, citizens of Canada are struggling to find adequate housing.
On February 28, 2022, BCREA released a statement on how to mend the current housing situation. In their white paper, A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in Real Estate, they made several recommendations on how to address problems like consumer protection and supply issues. BCREA is hopeful that their recommendations will solve longstanding housing problems in British Columbia. Follow along, as we go through BCREA’s suggestions for an improved real estate market in B.C.
What is the Government’s Proposed Cooling-Off Period?
The White Paper recently published by BCREA was all in response to the government’s vision of implementing a cooling-off period. B.C’s provincial government’s idea is to allow buyers to back out with little or no legal implications. However, many details about the proposed legislation have yet to be released.
To elaborate, buyers would be given a specific window of time to back out of the transaction. And, there would be a small to no penalty for doing so. Which essentially gives the buyer the chance to put the property “on hold”. Although, this flexibility is rumoured to favour experienced buyers over first-time buyers.
BCREA chief executive, Darlene Hyde, stated her concern for the implementation of a cooling-off period. She is worried that problems such as uncertainty for sellers, lack of affordability, and even more frivolous offers will arise in the case the government goes ahead with their proposed legislation. The association is fearful that the recommended cooling-off period has been created without broad consultation.
BCREA’s Response to the Provincial Government.
In response to this, BCREA has suggested a number of ways to combat low supply, create safe environments for buyers and sellers, and fix long-standing inventory issues. One of these ideas is to put into place pre-offer periods. A pre-offer period would require that properties be listed five days in advance of offers being opened. The outcome would hopefully provide more time for buyers to consider their offer, get an inspection, and ultimately, organize themselves. Furthermore, it would prevent other buyers from making pre-emptive offers. As well as, taking some of the pressure off of sellers to make a quick decision.
For those buying strata property, BCREAs plan would be to ensure strata bylaws, insurance paperwork, depreciation reports, and info on contingency funds be available once listings are posted. In addition, they would make sure that prospective buyers have immediate access to necessary information upon listing. This would be done by making property disclosure statements mandatory.
The board also included in its guide, new entry-level qualifications for aspiring REALTORS®. This would ensure that new licensees are ready to practice once they enter the workforce. Moreover, it would also support the changing dynamics of the market.
What is Needed For Real Estate in Penticton and Other Cities in B.C to Return to Normal?
The interests of BCREA and the government are being highly scrutinized by the public. Many individuals are wondering whose solution has B.C’s citizens’ best interest at heart? While the answer to this remains unanswerable, the problems are clear. Darlene Hyde has estimated that there need to be 25,000 more listings in order to achieve a balanced market. And, in a recent Vancouver Sun article, it was also said that roughly 70,000 to 80,000 new immigrants are expected in B.C this year. Which is likely to have a significant impact on the already dwindling supply.
Between COVID-19, low-interest rates, recent war outbreak in Ukraine, and drastic shifts in lifestyle, the housing crisis is just another problem in need of solving.
For those who want a more in-depth look at the BCREA White Paper, contact us today. Buying real estate in Penticton can be confusing without the help of a trusted real estate agent in today’s current economy. Feel free to reach out with any questions as you work towards achieving your real estate goals. The Okanagan is a great place to escape the doom and gloom and enjoy the outdoors! I look forward to working with you in the near future.