Best Of Luck To You

Four-leafed clovers are popping up everywhere these days: drawn out with green sugar sprinkles on the top of cookies, on the crafts that young children bring home from preschool, and— yes— out in the garden.

Despite the proliferation of those cheerful, green images, a 2016 study showed that the odds of finding an actual four-leaf clover is one in 5000. Those are some pretty rough statistics to live by if you’re hoping for a stroke of good luck to come your way!

On the other hand, the German philosopher Max Weber introduced a more serious philosophy: lebenschancen. Lebenschancen suggests that our life is partially shaped by the circumstances that we are given. For example, someone who is born in a small beach town is more likely to learn how to surf as a young child than someone who is born and raised in the Midwest. Or, someone who is raised in a home where both parents hold a college degree is more likely to see college as an inevitability.

Still, your story is not written for you. The choices that we make very well may be partially shaped by how we are raised and what we are told… but those circumstances are rarely insurmountable, and the things that we see as limitations can also be personal challenges. We, too, are able to give fresh life to our goals and plans. We are our own four-leaf clovers, plucked out of our own garden.

Throughout this month, I hope that you will find the time to truly think on what would look like “good luck” to you as you glance back on your life a year from now. What would you tell someone about how you used your luck and your lebenschancen?

A Reminder to Make Your Speculation and Vacancy Tax Declaration

The speculation and vacancy tax is a key measure in tackling the housing crisis in major urban centres in British Columbia, where home prices and rents have skyrocketed out of reach for many British Columbians.

The provincial government is taking action because people who live and work in B.C. deserve an affordable place to call home.

The speculation and vacancy tax is a part of government’s 30-Point Plan to make housing more affordable for people in our province.

This new annual tax is designed to:

  • Target foreign and domestic speculators who own residences in B.C. but don’t pay taxes here
  • Turn empty homes into good housing for people
  • Raise revenue that will directly support affordable housing

All owners of residential property in the designated taxable regions of B.C. must complete an annual declaration. Over 99% of British Columbians are estimated to be exempt from the tax.

How to Exempt Yourself

To claim your exemption, you must register your property by March 31, 2019 – and it’s easy to do, either by phone or online. The information you’ll need to register your property declaration will be mailed by mid-February to all owners of residential property within the taxable regions. 

Contact us if you’re expecting a declaration letter from us and haven’t received one by late February.

Please note that if your property has more than one owner, even if the other owner is your spouse, a separate declaration must be made for each owner.

How the Tax Will Be Charged If You’re Not Exempt

The speculation and vacancy tax rate varies depending on the owner’s tax residency and whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a member of a satellite family.By levying the highest tax rate on foreign owners and satellite families (those who earn a majority of income outside the province and pay little to no income tax in B.C.), the speculation and vacancy tax is a way to make sure these property owners are paying their fair share in taxes.

The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.

Note: The speculation and vacancy tax is distinct from the empty homes tax in the City of Vancouver.

Read our answers to questions on the speculation and vacancy tax and learn about how to declare, the taxable regions and the available exemptions.

Subscribe to receive updates as new information about the speculation and vacancy tax becomes available.

Declaration Now Open

You can complete your declaration as soon as you receive your declaration letter. You need the Letter ID and Declaration Code from your letter before you start. We keep your information private and secure.

Declare Now

Contact Information

Contact us with your questions about the speculation and vacancy tax.

Agents are available to take your call from 8:00am to 8:00pm, 7 days a week.

Toll Free: 1 (833) 554-2323

(Outside North America) Office: 1 (604) 660-2421

Or Contact Gino Pezzani if you need any help.

Here is the original link from the governmental website:

The Science Of Spring Fever

When the weather gets warmer, you might try blaming your spring fever on physiology. Spring fever’s symptoms usually appear during the onset of the vernal equinox. In the northern hemisphere, people begin to feel more energetic and enthusiastic because of chemical changes in the body, produced in part by increased exposure to daylight. Scientists cite a number of factors that contribute to spring fever:

• As the days grow longer, increased light sends signals to the brain’s pineal gland, whichthen reduces its production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our body clock and controls our mood and energy levels.

• Increased light also affects the hypothalamus, the section of the brain that regulates eatingand sleeping.

• Our other senses— sight, smell, and hearing— also wake up as blossoms and springbreezes assault them. Such stimuli can trigger strong emotions, from euphoria to sadness.

Policy-Induced Housing Slowdown Continues into 2019

Vancouver, BC – February 15, 2019. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 3,546 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, a decline of 33.2 per cent from the same month last year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $665,590, a decline of 7.7 per cent from January 2018. Total sales dollar volume was $2.36 billion, a 38.4 per cent decline from the same month last year.

“BC households continue to grapple with the policyinduced affordability shock created last year by the federal government,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “The resulting pullback in consumer demand is largely responsible for January’s lacklustre performance.”

Total MLS® residential active listings increased 41.2 per cent to 29,522 units compared to the same month last year. The ratio of sales to active residential listings declined from 25.4 per cent to 12 per cent over the same period.

“Many BC regions are now exhibiting buyer’s market conditions,” added Muir. “However, BC Northern, the Kootenay, Okanagan Mainline and the Vancouver Island markets continue to reflect balance between supply and demand.”

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Think Like An Entrepreneur

You may not dream of starting your own business, but thinking like an entrepreneur can help develop your creative talents in any career. Successful entrepreneurs consistently do a few things to keep their businesses running smoothly:

1. They think about their customers: people who depend on us, and whose support weneed. Get into the habit of analyzing demands and anticipating workplace needs to find new ways of satisfying them.

2. They measure results. Decide how you can best track progress and identify success.Don’t waste time on ideas that aren’t going anywhere!

3. Entrepreneurs try new ideas, starting incrementally instead of all at once. You’ll do abetter job of identifying what works when the stakes aren’t overwhelming.

4. They use their network. Tap the people you know— co-workers, friends, mentors, andthe like— when you’re looking for new projects or innovative solutions. Few entrepreneurs succeed totally on their own; they rely on the people around them for original thinking and support.

5. They learn from failure. Analyze what went wrong— was the idea itself flawed, forexample, or did it fall apart somewhere in your execution? You’ll probably uncover some new ways of attacking problems and finding solutions.

January 2019 Housing Market Video Update – Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

How Do you Keep Love Alive

It is easy to show your love on Valentine’s day. Sure, it may be hard to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant, but the world conspires to remind you why you liked someone in the first place. There is no shortage of chocolate, flowers or greeting cards to lavish someone with attention; and that is a good thing.

And it is important to remember that Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love. It’s an appropriate time to recognize all the people we care about.

However, people who have been in each other’s lives for a long time will tell you that the real secret to having a relationship that lasts a lifetime is what you do the rest of the year. Anyone can give a greeting card, but knowing how to handle a real disagreement is far more valuable.

Let the anger brew for a while. Many therapists and couples say to forget that adage about immediately resolving a disagreement. Time away clears our mind and vents unresolved issues. It may be easier to let go of frustration after a good night’s sleep. Just make sure to find time to resolve the argument as soon as possible.

Hug your friends or smooch your kids. Quit using logic to try and win a fight— a sincere hug works faster and lasts longer. Scientifically, people are more chemical than logical. During stressful situations, we generate chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine; a hug or a kiss tells our brain to create a chemical cocktail of dopamine, Oxycontin, and serotonin. That chemical release makes us feel good and possibly forget about an insignificant argument far faster than any amount of logical rhetoric.

Conflict is part of all growing relationships; the secret is letting go of unimportant upset and nurturing the important feelings which enrich our lives.

Remember to always celebrate love in your own way. What worked in the past may not be what you need in the future.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Canadian Employment – February, 2019

Canadian employment growth was very strong to start 2019. Total employment expanded by 67,000 jobs in January, a 1.8 per cent increase on a year-over-year basis.  The national unemployment rate increased by 0.2 points to 5.8 per cent due to growth in the number of Canadians actively looking for work.

In BC, employment grew by 8,700 jobs in January, though gains were concentrated entirely in part-time work.  On a year-over-year basis, employment was up 2.5 per cent. The provincial unemployment rate ticked 0.3 points higher to 4.7 per cent, the lowest rate of unemployment in Canada.

For more information, please contact:  Gino Pezzani.


Canadian Building Permits – February, 2019

The total value of Canadian building permits rose 6 per cent on a monthly basis in December to $8.8 billion. The increase was due to a record level of construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings across Canada.

In BC, the total value of permits increased 22 per cent to $2.1 billion, the first time in BC’s history that permits have eclipsed the $2 billion mark. The majority of the increase was the result of strong permit activity for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings. Total non-residential permits were up 35 per cent on a monthly basis and were 143 per cent higher year-over-year. Residential permits rose 14 per cent compared to November and 7 per cent year-over-year to $1.24 billion.

Construction intentions in December were mixed in BC’s four census metropolitan areas (CMA):
• Permits in the Abbotsford-Mission CMA increased 62 per cent on a monthly basis to $65.7 million. Year-over-year, permit values were up about 17 per cent.
• In the Victoria CMA, total permit values fell 28 per cent on a monthly basis to $91.1 million, a 8 per cent decrease over last year.
• In the Kelowna CMA, permits values fell for a second straight month, declining 21 per cent on a monthly basis to $87 million. However, the value of permits was up 44 per cent compared to December 2017.
• In the Vancouver CMA, the value of permits rose 26 per cent to nearly $1.4 billion. On a year-over-year basis, the value of permits was 48 per cent higher.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Stats Centre Reports January 2019 for Housing in Great Vancouver

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