“Housing remains a top concern for people in B.C. and a top priority for this government,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of finance, in a statement.
According to the province, the homebuyer protection period is the government’s first move towards consumer protection in the real estate market this year, but a Kamloops real estate agent believes the new measures could create problems for several residents both buying and selling their homes.
“With real estate deals and stuff like that, there’s a whole domino effect that happens you know,” Tracy Moffett, a real estate agent at Royal LePage Westwin Realty told CFJC News.
“You’ve got an offer on one house and there’s another offer on another house, and they have another offer on another house, so when you insert this five-day cooling off period, it affects more than just one person.”
The province claims that the extra time will help buyers fully consider whether a purchase is right for them under any market conditions including in the face of rising interest rates and any high-pressure sales.
“Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of people’s lives,” Conroy said. “This is an important milestone as we lead the way in protecting people and strengthening public confidence in the real estate market.”
Moffett said the government is trying new ways to deal with the lack of housing province-wide but she doesn’t think this move will be effective.
“What they are trying to do is slow down the market but the only things that tend to slow down the markets are the interest rates,” she said.
“If the interest rates go higher, things naturally tend to slow down, but the government was trying to come up with something that would purposely slow down the market. I just think they missed the mark. I think they are too late and it’s not going to be effective. “
If a homebuyer does decide to back out of the deal within the allotted time, they will still owe the sellers a cancellation fee of 0.25 per cent of the purchase price to ensure all parties take the transaction seriously.