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Real Estate Transactions And Recent Changes To Environmental Management Act And Contaminated Sites Regulation – Real Estate and Construction – Canada – Mondaq News Alerts

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Canada:

Real Estate Transactions And Recent Changes To Environmental Management Act And Contaminated Sites Regulation

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On February 1, 2021, amendments to the Environmental
Management Act
 (EMA) and associated changes to the
Contaminated Sites Regulation relating to the process for
identifying contaminated sites came into force. A notable amendment
for commercial real estate lawyers is the replacement of the former
“site profile” with a “site disclosure
statement” in the context of a sale or redevelopment of a site
that has been used for a specific industrial/commercial
activity.

Site Disclosure Statements

Fundamentally serving the same purpose as a site profile, a site
disclosure statement is a form that requires information about the
past and present uses of a site to identify the potential
requirement of a site investigation or to disclose past uses that
may have caused land contamination to a prospective purchaser as a
part of due diligence. Unless waived by a purchaser in its
discretion (as permitted pursuant to the Regulation), a vendor of
real property must deliver a site disclosure statement to a
purchaser 30 days prior to completing a conveyance if the vendor
knows or reasonably should know that the property has been used for
a specific industrial or commercial use specified in Schedule 2 of
the Regulation.

The B.C. Government’s Site Remediation website highlights

number of changes
 made to the list of the list of
triggering uses under Schedule 2. Several exemptions have also been
added, including for a property undergoing rezoning where there is
no change to the active Schedule 2 activity or subdivision to bring
about a minor boundary adjustment or lot consolidation. The most
significant differences between the site profile and the site
disclosure statement forms are the additional obligations to
provide a summary of proposed land uses and the information used to
complete the site disclosure statement that apply to land use
operations requiring municipal approval and not to a sale of
property.

Considerations

Contaminated sites pose commercial and financial risks to both
vendors and purchasers of real property, and thorough due diligence
is always advised in a purchase and sale transaction. However,
completing and providing a site disclosure statement involves time,
effort and costs that may not be available and/or worthwhile to the
parties. For this reason, B.C. purchase and sale agreements
commonly contain standard waiver language for properties that have
been subject to the requirement for a vendor to provide a site
profile under the EMA.

The additional uses that trigger the requirement for delivery of
a site disclosure statement by a vendor of real property may make
it more likely that a vendor will want the purchaser to waive this
requirement as part of the closing process. If so, the relevant
changes for commercial real estate practitioners in the context of
purchase and sale agreements that contain site disclosure statement
waiver language are minimal.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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Canada's million dollar real estate club grows | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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Move over Vancouver there’s a new member of the million dollar real estate club. A day after Vancouver reported a 73 percent jump in sales for February , Toronto numbers jumped over 50 percent with the average price of a home topping the million dollar mark. Financial analyst Michael Campbell has the details.

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Ottawa real estate market sets record in February – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa’s real estate market remained red hot during a cold and snowy February, setting a record for properties sold during the month.

“Resale properties are virtually flying off the shelves,” Ottawa Real Estate Board president Debra Wright said in a news release.

The board reports 1,390 residential properties were sold in February, up from 1,134 in February 2020.

The sales volume for residential properties and condos in Ottawa was $885,592,105 in February, 54 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“Even though our inventory is significantly lower than 2020 – a combined 46 per cent decrease in housing stock for residential and condos – we witnessed a record number of sales in February 2021,” said Wright.

“How is that possible? Simply put, properties that come onto the market are selling very quickly.”

February’s sales included 1,028 in the residential-property class, and 362 condominium-properties.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board says the average number of days on the market for a property declined from 30 days in February 2020 to 14 days last month.

The average sale price for a residential-class property was $717,914, an increase of 27 per cent from a year ago. Condominiums sold for an average of $407,671, an increase of 17 per cent from February 2020.

“There is no denying that scarcity is leading to a more rapid price acceleration,” said Wright about the sales volume for residential and condo properties.

“This scarcity combined with buyer’s willingness to pay and compete in this market will continue to drive up the sales prices.”

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Greater Victoria real estate sales, prices surge amid 'mobs' of buyers, low inventory – Times Colonist

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“Mobs” of buyers are viewing homes for sale across the region, putting in offers well above asking prices and waiving inspections as the real estate market continues surging during the pandemic and traditional slower winter months.

Home sales of all types hit a record 863 during February, smashing the previous mark of 780 in 1992, and sailing past the 772 sales in 2016.

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And prices are climbing.

The average price of a ­single-family home in the capital region breezed past the $1-million mark in June as the inventory of available homes for sale withered.

February’s single-family home average price hit $1.16 million — up from $888,000 during the same month a year ago. Last month’s average was beefed up by the sale of 30 properties that sold for more than $2 million — with 12 of those selling for asking prices and above, said Dustin Miller of 8X Real Estate in Victoria.

He said an equestrian farm in Central Saanich listed for $6 million went $155,000 over asking and there were three ­condominium sales for more than $2 million each, including the penthouse at Hudson Place One, the tallest building in Victoria.

The Victoria Real Estate Board said the benchmark value — or median price without the high and low end of sales — for a single-family home in the region’s core municipalities during February increased year-over-year by 9% to $948,200, a 1.7% increase from the previous month.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the core remained close to last year’s value at $525,400.

Real estate board president David Langlois said the market is caught between constrained inventory and high demand.

“The good news is that we have seen some stabilization in listings and condo pricing between January and ­February, but we continue to see huge pressure on single family homes,” said Langlois. “New listings are snapped up as soon as they are listed.”

That’s resulted in pressure on single family homes, where there is significant competition for desirable homes. “And in our marketplace most homes are desirable … and people are ­competing for properties and pushing prices up.”

There were 1,318 active listings for sale on the board’s Multiple Listing Service at the end of February — 38% fewer than the same period a year ago.

Miller said there are fewer than 400 single-family homes available across the entire system right now. “In a typical year we will see the most amount of inventory go online in April and May, but if the current trend continues, we will see only around half of the number of new listings compared to what was normally seen in the past.”

Kevin Sing of DFH Realty listed a modest, three-bedroom no-step rancher in East Saanich on Thursday for $759,000 and has shown it to nearly 50 prospective buyers over four days. He’s scheduled appointments from dawn until dusk and has received several offers, some unconditional, and several well over the asking price.

Sing said although the federal government’s mortgage stress test has put many younger buyers out of the single-family-home market, empty nesters, older couples who are downsizing or families with students at nearby Camosun College and the University of Victoria are lining up for the East Saanich home.

The demand for real estate seems insatiable, said Sing, and it isn’t just Greater Victoria.

“It’s worldwide,” he said. “I get on regular Zoom calls and everyone is experiencing the same thing, from Manhattan to the Grand Caymans. Unless you’re in a war zone, the demand for housing right now is just ridiculous.

“It’s hard to explain … it seem we have collectively decided [during COVID] that nesting is what we want to do.”

Langlois said the theme for 2021 is going to be inventory — “where does it come from and how much new supply can be approved — so that this situation does not persist.”

“We’ve seen the government attempt to influence the housing market in hopes of dampening the demand for home ownership,” he said. “The foreign buyer tax has changed nothing … our market continues to zoom forward with almost no foreign buyers. The government adjusted mortgage qualification rules, those are absorbed by the market and buyers adjust.”

Langlois said concerns about housing prices and availability should be addressed by supporting new developments in municipalities. “Be vocal with your local council or neighbourhood association,” he said. “These stakeholders hold the power in these negotiations and help to make space in your community. Gentle density and the building of new homes are the only pathway to moderate housing prices in our area.”

Miller said buyers and sellers should expect a competitive trend, including “mob-like numbers of people” showing up to see new listings.

He noted “bully offers” being submitted within hours of a property being listed and the waiving of all buyer protection contingencies such as home inspections.

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