In December, new changes to the Strata Property Act came into effect to end all strata rental restriction bylaws and to limit age-restriction bylaws.
Stratas will no longer be able to stop condo owners from renting out all, or a portion of their homes. This will open up vacant units for rental and means there will be more homes to rent across the province.
In addition to rental restrictions, age restrictions in most BC strata buildings are also being lifted (only 55+ buildings will remain). The only permitted age restriction of “55 plus” is to preserve and promote senior’s housing. Buildings that previously had a 19+ age restriction meant that couples starting a family would have to move out of a building with the 19+ designation, this is no longer the case.
HOME BUYER’S RECISSION PERIOD
The Home Buying Rescission Period (HBRP), previously known as the "Home Buyer Protection Period" or the "Cooling Off Period" comes into effect January 1, 2023.
The HBRP gives buyers the right to withdraw from a purchase agreement for 3 business days after an offer is accepted. Buyers who use their right to rescind will have to pay a fee of 0.25% of the purchase price. The recission fee is immediately given to the seller (generally from the deposit that is held in trust by the brokerage.) To give you an idea of the fee structure, on a purchase price/offer of $1 million, the fee on the buyer for rescinding the offer would be $2,500.
BANK OF CANADA RATE CHANGES
We saw the Bank of Canada raise their benchmark rate a total of 7 times in 2022, to where it currently sits at 4.25%. Though we cannot predict how the 2023 rate announcements will go, starting with the next rate announcement on Wednesday ,January 25, 2023, there are a few things that you can do to preserve your buying power.
- First and foremost – keep an up-to-date mortgage pre-approval as your lender will have locked your rate in for up to 120 days (protecting you from another potential rate increase.)
- Sharpen your knowledge on alternative mortgage products such as shorter terms or variable mortgage rates.
- Stay in your current job, keep your credit in top standing and know your options by working with a trusted mortgage professional.