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Concord Pacific’s new Flagship development sends Winfall Lottery winners to the heart of the Vancouver Waterfront ›› p.7

New riverfront townhomes are selling fast at Aragon’s Regatta ›› p.4 in New Westminster

August 6, 2009

Builders ‘blindsided’ by new tax Harmonization of provincial and federal taxes may affect new home affordability, say industry leaders TRICIA LESLIE Making new homes more expensive cannot be good for the housing sector. That is what industry leaders are saying in the wake of the provincial government announcing July 23 that it plans to harmonize federal and provincial sales tax. “I think to say that the industry was shocked with the announcement is an understatement,” says Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association CEO Peter Simpson. “They rolled it out very quickly, without any consultation. That’s what was irksome to (GVHBA) members – there was absolutely no consultation. We feel we were blindsided, in B.C. and in Ontario (Ontario’s government recently made the same tax harmonization move).” The new tax will add Peter Simpson a provincial sales tax to the federal goods and services tax on new homes, effective July 1, 2010. Under the new plan, prior exemptions from the provincial sales tax for new homes will disappear, meaning homebuyers could pay an extra seven per cent in taxes. But some of that tax was already built into prices, since it covered things such as building materials, so the effective tax rate will climb about five per cent, says the B.C. Ministry of Finance. CONTINUED ON P.2

Christine and her children visit this Clayton Heights park nearly every day. She and her husband enjoy living in the young neighbourhood because of its location and all the new friends they’ve made. Tricia Leslie photo

New neighbourhood thriving Cloverdale’s Clayton Heights is expanding and growing rapidly into a close-knit community TRICIA LESLIE Bring up new homes in the Greater Vancouver area, and many point to the flourishing South Surrey neighbourhood near Morgan Creek Golf Course, where several

new homes and amenities have been recently constructed. With the brand-new Grandview Corners Shopping Centre nearby, as well as the under-construction Morgan Crossing Lifestyle Centre, the South Surrey neighbourhood is also close to major transportation routes, area golf courses, parks and recreational facilities. But that Surrey community is not the only neighbourhood burgeoning with new homes and new residents. At Clayton Heights, a Cloverdale community on the Surrey-Lang-

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ley border, many new homes projects are underway, while several have been completed within the past two years. From single-family detached houses with coach homes to townhomes, from rowhomes to condo resort-style living, there is a home style for every family type in the thriving neighbourhood. Willowbrook Mall is nearby, along with several “big box” outlet stores, including CONTINUED ON P.2

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HST: ‘Anything that we see as an impediment to affordability is an issue’ CONTINUED FROM P.1

According to the ministry, the new plan will give a five per cent rebate of the provincial portion of the single tax, but only up to a maximum of $20,000. People who purchase homes more than $400,000 will still receive the maximum $20,000 rebate, but will see the price above that level subject to the extra tax rate. (According to the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, the average price of a home in Greater Vancouver is expected to drop to $516,000 this year.) Simpson, who predicted in a June column that B.C. would follow Ontario’s lead, notes the federal government will pay the provincial government $1.6 billion if B.C. jumps aboard with tax harmonization. While Simpson says there are still many unknowns and a lot to learn about the proposed harmonization, he adds the biggest concern builders have is that affordability of new homes will be compromised. “We’re dealing with reduced starts, and we’re just now starting to see sales pick up. We don’t need another impediment placed in front of that process,” he says, adding people pay enough taxes as it is. “We are concerned about tax pyramiding.” Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president Scott Russell agrees, and adds that he and the REBGV are attempting to learn all they can about the tax harmonization, and what it will really mean for homebuyers. Scott Russell “We don’t really know enough about it yet, but like other stakeholders, we would have liked to have been involved in some kind of consultation,” Russell says. The REBGV is researching the proposed harmonization right now, he adds, with industry professionals. “At the end of the day, anything that we see as an impediment to affordability is an issue,” he says. “We certainly welcome dialogue and we want to make sure that the right information gets out there, for homeowners.” Although Simpson and other industry leaders met with the premier and finance minister July 24, no promises were made, says Simpson. “There was no promise for tax neutrality, but we are hopeful that, going forward, they will meet with us and discuss the implementation.” He doesn’t think there will be much flexibility, but if there is any, Simpson believes it will be related to the taxation’s transitional process. Plus, Simpson worries about the renovation sector of the industry, and how the harmonized tax could lead to the potential for fuelling the underground economy, if more people look for cash deals instead of certified renovators whose work is held to several highquality standards. “The home building and renovation industries are significant contributors to the provincial economy, and while I respect the HST will likely benefit some sectors, I believe that there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Won’t you be my neighbour? Off the front: “I love that

we’re within walking distance to the mall.” – Clayton Heights homeowner CONTINUED FROM P.1

Home Depot, Old Navy and Chapters. Restaurants, coffee shops, boutique stores and other businesses are all close, as are many parks and golf courses. The TransCanada Highway is also just minutes away, should residents want to travel to Vancouver, or perhaps, to see historic Fort Langley or the Greater Vancouver Zoo. And with the new Golden Ears Bridge now operating, getting to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is much faster. “I love that we’re within walking distance to the mall,” says Carla, a Clayton Heights-area resident who moved to the neighbourhood about two years ago. “We try to walk everywhere.” Carla, husband Sascha and son Nicholas moved from Richmond to the growing community in order to live in a larger house that was more affordable, and to allow Carla’s mother to move in as well. “It’s a very family oriented neighbourhood and it’s nice and quiet. There’s parks close by – everything is close by. We really like it here,” Carla says. Terry Vinet agrees. As marketing director for Two Blue II, a Lakewood project that offers stylish new townhomes to homebuyers in Clayton Heights, Vinet says the young neighbourhood is thriving. “It’s a really neat little area. You’re able to walk to get your milk and eggs, and the homes here are priced more affordably than in other areas,” Vinet says. Vinet is also sales manager for Gramercy Park, a Gramercy Developments Ltd project that offers 11 new single-family homes (five with coach homes) to potential buyers (the same company has already completed 40 homes in the same neighbourhood). Gramercy Developments partner Daphne LukingKlassen says the nearby hub of Langley’s trendy shops and restaurants is appealing to homebuyers, as well as the fact that parks and schools are also close at hand. “We have seen many of our homeowners start friendships and embrace the community aspect of Clayton by really being ‘homeowners’ and not just people in a house on a street,” says Luking-Klassen. “That community feel has evolved so much over the past few years and now you can just move in and have it.” While young families make up a large part of the area’s demographic, there is still a wide range of residents. One development offers resort-style living in a 487-unit condo development that also features a 15,000-square-foot amenities clubhouse. Waterstone, an HJ Property Investments Ltd. project, is still under construction, but new homeowners will move in this fall. love A lot of young professionals have been your buying new homes at Waterstone, says sales neighbourhood manager Laurie Melo, as well as families with older children in their teens. “It’s a new and upcoming area,” Melo says. “Not that long ago, this was all farmland. A lot of people who grew up around here are moving here.” The City of Surrey has been helpful in ensuring plenty of parkland remains in the area, Melo says, and adds that 64th Avenue is being widened to four lanes to help accommodate extra traffic. For Christine, enjoying one of the neighbourhood’s parks with her four children on a sunny afternoon, the Clayton Heights community is the perfect, quiet place to own a home. “I love my house, I love this area’s location, and we’re at this park all the time – that’s one of the reasons we moved here,” she says. Carla and Nicholas, above, love the Clayton Heights neighbourhood where they “We’ve made lots of new friends in the neighbourhood and we absolutely love it.” live, due to its location, the parks, and the others who live there. Tricia Leslie photo

Publisher: Fiona Harris • 604-575-5822 • Editor: Tricia Leslie • 604-575-5346 • Advertising Sales - Black Press National Sales • Adrian Saunders • 604-575-5812 • Online Advertising • Nicole Hutchinson • 604-575-5826 • Designer: Brad Smith • New Local Home is published once a week by Black Press Group Ltd. (Suite 309 - 5460 152 Street, Surrey, B.C. V3S 5J9) 350,000 copies are distributed free across Metro Vancouver. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.

New Local Home | August 6, 2009 • 3

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Live in a central, quiet locale

Regatta:river front living New Westminster community offers homes in a hidden, peaceful enclave An affordable home near the waterfront may seem like only a dream in Metro Vancouver. But at Aragon’s Port Royal neighbourhood in New Westminster, that dream can become a reality. Located in the Queensborough area, at the eastern tip of Lulu Island, the community features new homes on the mighty Fraser River, along with a 1.7-kilometre river walk built for residents by Aragon. At Regatta, the latest new homes to be released, condos and townhomes are selling fast. On top of the riverfront living, Regatta also offers residents quick access to transportation with the Alex Fraser Bridge minutes away. Shopping, restaurants, businesses and entertainment are also close, at Queensborough Landing, a shopping centre in the middle of the island suburb. Stores at the popular hub include Le Chateau, Mexx, La Senza, Guess, Aldo, Tommy Hilfiger, Espirt, Payless Shoes, Best Buy, Walmart, Boston Pizza, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Tora Sushi, Taco Del Mar and Opa! Greek restaurant, among many others. The riverboat Starlite Casino is just to the west of Queensborough Landing, and eventually, a pedestrian walkway will connect Queensborough to mainland New Westminster. CONTINUED ON P.6

Homes at Aragon’s Regatta are located in a new Queensborough community – Port Royal – in New Westminster. The neighbourhood is located right on the historic Fraser River, and residents use the 1.7-kilometre river walk daily.

New Local Home | August 6, 2009 • 5

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6 • New Local Home | August 6, 2009

Watch the river keep rolling along

Regatta residents use this scenic 1.7-kilometre river walk daily, as well as others who don’t even live in the area.

Rob Newell photo

‘It’s a hidden gem’ CONTINUED FROM P.4

Port Royal sales manager Dee Johnson notes the neighbourhood is only 10 minutes to the airport and close to buses, SkyTrain, schools and community amenities. “It’s a hidden gem. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful. And we’ve got everything at our doorstep,” Johnson says. “It’s right on the water, and yet, so affordable.” Regatta homes have patios in both the front and back, and exteriors have Hardiplank siding, cedar wall shingles, heavy timber detailing and river stone accents. Inside, 10-foot ceilings are featured throughout, and homeowners can choose from three designer colour schemes. Reclaimed brick feature walls are chic and stylish, while kitchens have granite countertops. Bathrooms are designed to pamper, with soaker tubs, shaker-style cabinetry and Kohler accessories. All the finishings and details are highquality, Johnson notes, such as standard four-inch baseboards and reclaimed solid fir plank flooring. Janet and Rey Nacario, who bought a home in the Port Royal neighbourhood nearly two years ago, love the island community. So do daughters Jada, 11, and Jordan, eight. “It’s very nice here and very quiet. It’s pretty central to everywhere we want to go,” Nacario says, noting one daughter goes to school in Coquitlam. Her children and others enjoy using the complex’s playground, and everyone loves the waterfront walkway. “We use the river walk all the time. We walk our dog there and we see others using it every day. It’s a nice walk,” Nacario says, and adds that they meet people from elsewhere who travel to Lulu Island, just to use that walkway. “It feels safe. There’s less traffic and it’s off the beaten path.” Remaining Regatta homes start at $348,900 (for a two-bedroom). Visit for more information.

Regatta homes feature soaker tubs in the bathrooms, granite kitchen counters and open living area designs in a new Queensborough enclave.

New Local Home | August 6 , 2009 • 7

Visit the Grand prize homes today

Get your ticket to waterfront paradise… Imagine choosing one of two brand-new homes – one with spectacular ocean views from three levels in White Rock, and one set on Vancouver’s False Creek waterfront with the dynamic cityscape surrounding it – for your own. If you haven’t thought about the WinFall Oceanview Lottery yet, now is the time to purchase your tickets. With three incredible grand prize packages to choose from, they are selling fast. Proceeds go toward the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation and its initiative, the Partners in Caring Campaign, to raise funds to provide better health services for the community. For the first time ever, tickets are available at three for $100, nine for $250, or 16 tickets for $400. If you purchase yours early enough, you also get the chance to win one of two bonus draws or an early bird prize as well. The three grand prize packages are: Q A stunning, three-level oceanview home in White Rock, a 2009 Mercedes-Benz B200, and $50,000 in tax-free cash. Q A two-bedroom, two-level townhome right on Vancouver’s False Creek, a 2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid, and $300,000 in tax-free cash. Q Or, a huge cash prize of $1.75 million, tax-free. “Proceeds directly benefit patient care at Peace Arch Hospital,” says Jackie Smith, executive director of the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation. Smith explains that proceeds from

the 14th annual lottery will go toward the foundation and its Partners in Caring Campaign, to help provide state-of-the-art hospital equipment and improve overall health services.

“It’s a chance to win a dream home and share the gift of wellness with others,” Smith says. In total, there is more than $2.9 million in prize packages, Smith notes, and adds if people buy their tickets early, they can win early. There are two early bonus draws, where ticket holders can win $20,000 (each draw), and the Early Bird prize draw, which can win one lucky ticket holder $100,000. Cut-off dates are midnight on Aug. 21, Sept. 11 and Oct. 2, and draw dates are Sept. 11, Oct. 2 and Oct. 23 (respectively). Cut-off for the final draw is midnight, Oct. 15 and the final draw date is Oct. 29 at 11 a.m. on Global TV. The three grand prize packages offer amazing deals for the winning ticket holder,

and Smith says it will likely be difficult for the lucky winner to choose between them. “It’s unbelievable – every year, the beauty of the homes seems to surpass the year before,” she says. “That’s truly what we’re hearing. I think it will be an extremely hard choice (for the winner).” The prize home in White Rock boasts three levels of windows and ocean views, and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 14436 Sunset Drive, White Rock. In a spectacular False Creek waterfront location, the Flagship townhome features a huge private patio, the seawalk at the front door, and the bustle of busy Vancouver nearby. Located at Townhome 102, 8 Smithe Mews,Vancouver, the show home is open from noon until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (subject to change) and on holiday Mondays. Ticket sales are starting out strong, and people are already visiting the prize homes in White Rock and Vancouver, Smith says. “We’re very pleased with what we’re seeing so far... it’s all about health, wealth and happiness – for everyone.” Cut-off to buy WinFall Oceanview Lottery tickets is midnight, Oct. 15. Tickets are available at both prize homes, at Peace Arch Hospital and online at, or by calling 604-602-5880 or 1-800-811-7744.

Win and live in Vancouver

Flagship townhome – False Creek [Concord Pacific] Townhome 102, 8 Smithe Mews, Vancouver, open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5p.m., and open Mondays on holiday weekends. Enjoy urban waterfront living in a spacious two-bedroom, two-level townhome at Flagship. Set right on Vancouver’s False Creek, the seawalk and Cooper’s Park are at the front door, with the vibrant bustle of the city nearby. More than 1,500 square feet inside, the townhome also boasts a 580-sq.-ft. private patio overlooking False Creek.

14436 Sunset Drive, White Rock (30-minute parking available on Marine Drive), open daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This absolutely stunning, brand-new home in White Rock offers phenomenal ocean views from all three levels. Set in a desirable neighbourhood in the popular seaside community, the single-family home also comes complete with a self-contained onebedroom suite.

Thank you for supporting the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation and its Partners in Caring Campaign.

Win and live in White Rock Buy Tickets at Grand Prize Home: • 14437 Marine Dr. (Front)14436 Sunset Dr. (Back) White Rock. (11am ~ 6pm daily) or • Flagship, Townhome 102, 8 Smithe Mews, Vancouver, (Noon ~ 5pm Wed - Sun), or Peace Arch Hospital & London Drugs

Oceanview Home – White Rock [Oasis Development Ltd.]

8 • New Local Home | August 6, 2009

Live the Vesta Life

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Pub: New Local Home

Visit one of our Communities. Open 1 to 5pm daily (except Thurs and Fri)

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