VICTORIA - Buyers of newly-built homes will get a break on their taxes, as part of changes in the B.C. budget designed to address the Lower Mainland's red hot housing market.

The government will, starting Wednesday, exempt any purchaser of a newly-built home, condo or townhouse valued under $750,000 from the property transfer tax, potentially saving them up to $13,000.

The deal only applies for the first owner of a new home, and the buyer must live in the property for at least a year. It's valid anywhere in the province, but only for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

To make up the money, government will increase the property transfer tax by one per cent, to a total of 3 per cent, on any home sale worth more than $2 million.

The move may help encourage the construction of new housing, which Finance Minister Mike de Jong said is crucial to addressing the limited supply, but rising demand, for homes in B.C.

"We've taken some pretty purposeful steps to assist those who have the demand and incent the supply," he said.

It's on top of an existing first-time homebuyer exemption for new and used homes, which remains in place for properties less than $475,000.

Read more:


An Early Spring for the Victoria Real Estate Market? 

February 1, 2016 Victoria BC - The Victoria Real Estate Board today released its report on Multiple Listing Service® real estate activity in the Victoria area for the month of January 2016.
2016 started with the busiest month of sales in January since 2002. A total of 539 properties sold in the Victoria Real Estate Board region this January, an increase of 53.6 per cent compared to the 351 properties sold in the same month last year.
Inventory levels are lower than the previous year, with 2,471 active listings for sale on the Victoria Real Estate Board Multiple Listing Service® at the end of January, 24.7 per cent fewer than the 3,283 active listings at the end of January 2015.
"Though the ongoing count of properties for sale is low, the number of new listings entering the market is close to what we saw last year," notes Wendy Moreton, 2016 president of the board. "The recent month of January saw 934 new listings, where last year we saw 1,027. The good news for buyers is that there are new properties for sale every day. The good news for sellers is that there appears to be more buyers in the market, so well-priced properties in high demand areas (like the Victoria core) are swift sellers."
"Last year we saw the traditionally busy spring market start early as sales picked up over February and March," adds Moreton. "This year that spring market may be starting even earlier, as our sales numbers for January are close to the numbers we saw last February. We'll watch this trend over the next few months. This busy market is the perfect time to enlist the help of your local REALTOR®. Realtors have access to up-to-date trends for all the different markets across the Greater Victoria area and can best assist buyers and sellers to navigate this exciting market."
The Multiple Listing Service® Home Price Index benchmark value for a single family home in the Victoria Core in January, 2015 was $561,600. The benchmark value for the same home in January 2016 has increased by 10.2 per cent to $618,600.
MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.