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With the HST upon us fairly soon, here is some legal information courtesy of Spagnuolo & Co Real Estate Lawyers.
On July 23, 2009, British Columbia announced its plans to implement a Harmonized Sales Tax ("H.S.T.") for B.C. effective July 1, 2010. The H.S.T. is a combination of the 7% Provincial Sales Tax ("P.S.T.") with the 5% federal Goods and Services Tax ("G.S.T.") for a single sales tax rate of 12%.
For consumers, goods and services (with some exceptions) will be subject to the H.S.T. in the same manner as they are currently subject to GST. This applies to real estate as well.
For both used and new homes, there are some extra costs for buyers or sellers but these are for the services required to buy or sell, not on the price of the home.
Buyers of used residential real estate can expect to pay H.S.T. on items such as home inspectors, appraisals and other such services. Lawyer fees will not change as they have been forced to charge P.S.T. for years.
Sellers of used residential real estate can expect to pay H.S.T. on realtor commissions, and any other services they may use (we can’t think of any).
H.S.T. has different implications for used residential real estate and new residential real estate. There are also different rules for commercial properties, mobile homes and other types of real estate. Below is an explanation of each situation.
There is no H.S.T. on the price of used residential real estate, much like the current rules regarding G.S.T. There are no extra closing costs on the purchase or sale of a used residential house, subject to the comments above.
Here is where the costs will increase.
H.S.T. will be payable
on the sale of new or substantially renovated homes, where the Contract of Purchase and Sale was entered into after November 18, 2009 and both ownership and possession of the home is transferred after...
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                 Not sure if this a Cuda or Challenger but it seems that it requires some tlc.
                         This rat rod with Alberta plate cruised by me heading east on the #1.
            Back in the garage. A freinds hot rod that threw a rod out the block awaits a fresh engine.
                                                                    Local 71 Scamp
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For immediate release: January 5, 2010



(Surrey, BC) – Results from Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) in

December reflect the real estate story of 2009: recovery.

“In 12 months, we went from the worst January in 20 years to the third best December,” said Paul Penner, President of the Board. “Home buyers took Boxing Day shopping to new levels with some Fraser Valley REALTORS® showing multiple homes per day between Christmas and New Years.”

According to Penner, a significant portion of the 148 per cent increase in activity in December’s sales,

1,260 compared to 508 in December 2008, can be attributed to first-time home buyers confident with the current economic conditions and taking advantage of all-time low interest rates. “An informal poll of our members in December revealed 40 per cent of home sales were by first-time buyers when it would normally be in the 25 per cent range.”


The trend overall for 2009 was one of increasing sales, decreasing inventory and prices rebounding. The Board’s MLS® processed 16,721 sales in 2009, compared to 13,194 the previous year, an increase of 26 per cent. However, it received 15 per cent fewer new listings during the same time period – 30,221 in 2009 compared to 35,651 in 2008. Over the year, the number of active listings for buyers to choose from dropped by 34 per cent going from 9,960 properties in December 2008 to 6,534 in December 2009.


“We’re seeing the combined effect of fewer homes being listed, which is normal for this time of year, a

flurry of buying activity, plus a decrease in the number of new homes being built. This has put pressure

on prices in the Fraser Valley, particularly on homes in the lower to mid-range markets,” explained


The MLSLink Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for detached homes was $497,732 in

December compared to $464,189 in December 2008, an increase of 7.2 per cent. Although prices have


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August 5, 2009
SURREY, BC – Fraser Valley saw the highest number of real estate transactions ever recorded for the month of July. There were 2,089 sales processed on the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board's Multiple Listings Service® (MLS®), an increase of 62.3 per cent compared to 1,284 sales in July of last year. The previous highest July was in 2005, with 2,051 sales.
"The factors contributing to last month's sales are completely different than they were in 2005," explained Board President Paul Penner. "Low interest rates, home prices that are lower than last year by about 6 per cent, and a surge of first-time home buyers that came back to the market in late spring have created the right conditions for a 'move-up' market.

"In July, 37 per cent of Fraser Valley buyers were first-timers. In June, it was one third. That volume creates a significant ripple effect, as the sellers of those homes buy up."

Penner said that despite seeing an increase in new listings over the last few months, current demand has led to a shortage of inventory in certain markets. "Whether you're buying or selling, it's important to tap into local housing market expertise. Your REALTOR® will be able to explain why some properties are attracting multiple offers, while others aren't moving."
The Fraser Valley Board's MLS® showed 9,510 active listings at the end of July, a decrease of 22.7 per cent compared to the record high of 12,299 listings available in July of last year. It received 14.3 per cent fewer new listings in July; 3,207 compared to the 3,742 new listings received during the same month last year.

The benchmark price measures the value of a 'typical' Fraser Valley home as determined by the MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI). The HPI benchmark price of a detached home in July was $477,420, a decrease of 5.6 per cent compared to July 2008. In the last three months, the HPI benchmark...

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