The British Columbia Real Estate Association - the arm between us as Realtors® (all 24,000 of us!) our local boards and the provincial government act to help navigate regulations and rules and also provide ongoing mandated education for our industry.
This week the BCREA provided the provincial government with a white paper with some recommendations “aimed at addressing current concerns with the province's housing market, the real estate transaction process and consumer protection.”
(See all details here on the BCREA website:
One of the main proposals in the white paper addressed a ‘cooling off period’. As the market has been so active and competitive, the consumer has had to make some BIG decisions often in the heat of the moment. In an effort to ‘cool off’ the market and slow everything down, the government is suggesting that the buyer have a 5 day window of time to ‘rescind’ their offer, or in real talk - change their mind.
The idea is that the client will have time to do their due diligence investigating the property. But in our current market we anticipate some real problems with this proposal.
"A 'cooling off period' is not the answer to alleviating the stresses consumers are currently facing in real estate transactions," adds Hyde. "It won't stand the test of changing market conditions, regional market differences and doesn't equally serve buyers and sellers. It also does nothing to address the root of BC's housing affordability problem; namely, lack of supply."That may sound trite but it is a highly complicated and intertwined market where each deal is often contingent on another home sale completing. Imagine if buyers get in the habit of backing out. Those non-completing deals could collapse an entire string of other sales in a sort of ‘domino-effect’ and could potentially push prices EVEN HIGHER in reaction.
We all feel the pressure of an escalating real estate market. It’s definitely worthy of deeper conversation. As an industry, we have stood alongside our clients extending themselves in often nerve wracking competitive offers, however, what the government is proposing does not necessarily achieve the overall objectives. There are a number of factors affecting our aggressive market; low interest rates, lack of supply, high immigration, lifestyle shifts because of the pandemic and a myriad of others.
We’re pleased to see the BCREA take the initiative and consultative process with all of us as an industry and we’re committed to advocating for all of our clients.
One final note from the white paper:
"BCREA shares consumer and government concerns that current housing market conditions are untenable. Our recommendations include long-term measures to create more housing options for British Columbians, as well as immediate steps to give consumers in the market today more peace of mind," says BCREA Chief Executive Officer Darlene K. Hyde. "As the voice of BC's 24,000 Realtors, we want consumers to have full confidence in real estate transactions."
That is certainly our goal as well. If you have any questions or thoughts on the subject please let us know.
In the meantime you can read the entire white paper here: https://www.bcrea.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/BCREA_BetterWayHome_WhitePaper.pdf
OR get an overview by reading the Vancouver Sun article here: https://vancouversun.com/business/real-estate/real-estate-industry-at-odds-with-robinson-on-how-to-tame-housing-market