Times Colonist

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

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The Canadian Home Builders’ Associatio­n is a non-profit organizati­on dedicated to education, profession­alism, consumer awareness, and housing affordabil­ity. First, the bad news. Single family home building has posted double digit declines throughout BC. The following statistics from CMHC represent the reduction in single family housing starts in 2011 compared with 2010. Vancouver -23% Victoria -31% Abbotsford -31% Kelowna -16% Chilliwack - 44% Kamloops -39% Nanaimo -40% Prince George -25% Vernon -39% The HST, referendum, and transition have hammered new single family housing resulting in thousands of lost jobs in BC. The gov’t could create jobs in every community by removing the rebate threshold and restoring tax certainty during the transition back to the PST. Now here’s the good news for new homebuyers. Price reductions accompany soft markets. According to the New Housing Price Index, (Stats Can), new home prices declined -12% from 2007 to August 2011 in Greater Victoria. This represents a reduction of $72,000 on a $600,000 new home priced in 2007. Plus purchasers receive the HST rebate up to $26,250. There have been similar reductions in the Constructi­on Price Index for those considerin­g building or a renovation. Add historical­ly low interest rates, and it appears conditions for purchasing a new home or renovating are much better than popular belief. The HST is dominating consumer decision-making rather than facts. If you are considerin­g a new home, do your research and assess the conditions objectivel­y. Talk to profession­al home builders and renovators about the market. While the HST has created challengin­g times for builders, the same is not necessaril­y true for consumers considerin­g a new home or renovation. For a list of CHBA builders and renovators, visit www.chbavictor­ia.com

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