Is UBC on leased land? 


In 2019, 71% of detached houses, and 98% of attached Condos & Townhouses sold in UBC were Leasehold properties. What this means is that when a Buyer is looking to buy a UBC Home or invest in UBC Real Estate, he or she will mostly encounter a leasehold property.


As a UBC Realtor working in the UBC area for more than ten years, many buyers have asked me, "What is a leasehold?" I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the concept of "leasehold" in this blog.


Please note that this blog is for information only. Buyers are advised to obtain independent legal advice before buying a real estate property.


What is Title to Land?

In common law, title to land means "ownership" of land. Historically, one can prove he/she has title to land or ownership of land by producing documents or deeds. Nowadays, in BC, ownership of land is registered in the Land Title Office.


There are two main types of "ownership" of land: Leasehold and Freehold. We will delve deeper into each below.


Freehold

Freehold ownership is the most common type of ownership to land or real estate property in Canada. It is also what we ordinarily think of as ownership of real property. But what does freehold mean? According to the Real Estate Council of British Columbia's (RECBC) definition, freehold means, " ... The owner of the freehold interest has full use and control of the land and the buildings on it, subject to any rights of the Crown, local land-use bylaws, and any other restrictions in place at the time of purchase". 


Confused? Don't worry, to put it in layman's term, freehold land or property simply means the owner has full use and control. Also, the owner could own the land or property for an unlimited period of time


The two most important takeaway concepts about freehold are the idea of, full use and control and ownership for an unlimited period of time. Now let's look at the concept of leasehold and see how leasehold is different from freehold.


Leasehold


What is a leasehold, and what does leasehold mean? According to the Real Estate Council of British Columbia's (RECBC) Leasehold definition, "... the right to use a residential property for a long, but limited, period of time. The owner of this right of use has a type of ownership called a leasehold interest."


In the simplest term, the Leasehold title property means the owner DOES NOT have full use and control, and ownership is for a LIMITED period of time.


What does it mean when the leasehold property owner does not have full use and control of the land?


The use of a leasehold property is generally spelled out in a document called the Head Lease or Ground Lease. The Ground Lease documents set out the terms and conditions for the use of the land between the lessor (owner of the land) and lessee (user of the land). One good example is that the lessee (person who owns the right to the use of the land) cannot build a building on the leasehold land without prior approval from the lessor (owner of the land).


If you like a sample copy of UBC Ground Lease, please contact me.


How long is the lease period?


Leasehold interests are usually set for 99 years. All of the UBC Condos and Townhouses are set for 99 years. Some leasehold interests have a shorter time period. For example, many False Creek Leasehold properties in Vancouver have a lease period of 64 years.


What is a Strata property or Strata Apartment or Townhouse?


BC had strata legislation since 1966. On July 1, 2000, the Strata Property Act replaced the former Condominium Act. A strata development is a way of subdividing land and buildings into parts for separate ownership with common features. In a strata development, individuals can own separate parts of the same development, but share common areas and related expenses. The part of the property that an individual owns is called the "strata lot." Informally, we often call this part of the strata a "unit." The remainder of the property is called the "common property."


Types of Leasehold


There are many different types of leasehold real estate. We'll be looking at the various types of leasehold real estate in detail.


  • Leasehold Prepaid - Non-Strata

This is non-strata, property, meaning the ownership of the property or land is not divided. The property sits on Leasehold land, and the use of land has been prepaid. Because the lease (use of the land) has been prepaid, the sale price is higher than the non-prepaid leasehold. An excellent example of this leasehold prepaid non-strata is 4114 Yuculta Crescent, Vancouver. It is a house with a prepaid lease until 2073.


  • Leasehold Not Prepaid - Non-Strata


This is non-strata property, meaning the ownership of the property or land has not been divided. The property sits on a Leasehold land, and the use of land has not been prepaid. An example of this Leasehold prepaid non-strata is 10 Sennok Crescent, Vancouver.


  • Leasehold Prepaid-Strata


This is a strata property where the lease has been prepaid. A good example of this is 307-5835 Hampton Place, Vancouver. This condo in UBC has a lease period of 99 years. It is a property with a prepaid lease until 2073. All the UBC leasehold condos and townhouses are prepaid and have 99 years lease period.


  • Leasehold Not Prepaid-Strata


This is a strata property where the lease has not been prepaid. An example of this is 47-1425 Lamey's Mill Road, Vancouver. The monthly lease is $770.61/month until 2040.


  • First nations lease


If the leasehold is on First Nation's Land, we often call it a First Nation Lease or First Name Leasehold. In the examples above, 4114 Yuculta Crescent, Vancouver, and 10 Sennok Crescent, Vancouver, are both on the Musqueam Band Reserve Land. There's a whole set of laws in BC and Canada that deals with First Nation's Land. Banks in Canada typically requires at least 50% down payment from the buyer for the purchase of a First Nations Leasehold property.


TYPES OF DWELLING


There are many types of dwelling a buyer may encounter when searching for a real estate in Vancouver. A residential dwelling can be broadly divided into two categories: detached or attached.


Detached House or Single Family home is a type of dwelling where there are no shared walls with any other residential property. The detached house has its front, rear, and side yards. The detached house is the most expensive type of dwelling in Vancouver.


Attached dwelling generally refers to a property with a common wall attached to another property. Townhouses and Apartments (or commonly referred to condos) are examples of the attached dwelling.


Thus, when you hear people talk about a "leasehold condo" or "leasehold property," it means the title to the condo or property is in the form of leasehold, and the dwelling type is a condo.


Is leasehold property common in BC?


Leasehold property is a very common type of real estate in British Columbia and Vancouver. Lessor (person or entity owning the land) can be a government entity (e.g., City of Vancouver), education institution (e.g., UBC and SFU), or private corporation.


Many condos in the Vancouver False Creek area are leasehold properties. As well, there are quite a few leasehold properties in the Vancouver West End area. Both 1251 Cardero Street and 1850 Comox Street are leasehold condos.


Why most condos & townhouses in UBC are leaseholds? 


The reason that many condos & townhouses in UBC are leaseholds is that when the University of British Columbia was established in 1908, the Provincial Government stipulated that UBC cannot sell the land that was given to them.


In 1988, UBC Properties Trust was established to develop and bring out the untapped potential of its real estate holdings. Using the leasehold development model, UBC Properties Trust was able to circumvent the law that prohibits the university from selling free title to the land. Since 1988, UBC Properties Trust has generated over $1.6 billion in revenue to the UBC Endowment Fund.


Why do all UBC leasehold properties have a 99 years lease period?


The idea of the 99-year term was only an arbitrary period beyond the life expectancy of any possible lessee or lessor.


What happens to the UBC lease after 99 years?


At the end of the 99-year term, the lessee will have to surrender the Strata lot to the lessor unless the lease is renewed.


What will happen to the value of the leasehold property when I want to sell it ten years later?


It is generally hard to predict the future value of real estate prices. I generally tell my clients that leasehold property usually depreciate in value when there are less than 25 years left on the lease term. The reason is that banks do not want to lend money to a buyer buying a leasehold property when the term of the lease is less than the term of the mortgage.


The first leasehold property was built in 1992, and this means it has 71 years left on the lease. If a buyer bought the condo that was built in 1992, and owns the condo for ten years, by the time he or she sells the condo, the condo will have 61 years of lease remaining. The value of the leasehold property will be on par with a freehold property of the same age, size, and condition.


In my experience, UBC leasehold properties maintain excellent value because of the superb location in Greater Vancouver.


What is a leasehold property? 


A leasehold property is any type of dwelling property built on leasehold land. 


Is leasehold property easy to sell?


The sale of any real estate is contingent on the price, condition, location, supply, and demand. Thus, any of the above factors will affect the saleability of real estate. If a leasehold property is not priced well and not in good condition, it will take longer to sell.


What is the resale value of a leasehold property vs. freehold property?


As mentioned earlier, real estate is contingent on the price, condition, location, supply, and demand. The resale value of a leasehold property will start to decline when the lease term remaining is less than the term of a mortgage (usually 25 years). 


Freehold vs. Leasehold


It is hard to say which one is better. When I work with a buyer looking to buy a property in UBC, I usually advise them to find a property that best suits their needs. Some buyers I have worked with could never get over the emotional hurdle of owning a leasehold property. In that case, I tell them a freehold property suits them best.


On the other hand, I have worked with buyers who value location more than leasehold properties. These are buyers who are suitable to buy leasehold properties.


Do I still need to pay property tax for a UBC Leasehold property?


UBC leasehold property owner is still required to pay property tax. The property tax in UBC is different than that of the City of Vancouver. 


Leasehold properties in UBC do not pay Vancouver property tax. UBC property owners only pay UBC Servies Levy and Rural Tax.


If I want to buy a UBC Leasehold property, can I get a mortgage from the bank?


From the bank's perspective, UBC leasehold is generally considered as solid as a freehold property. Buyers can apply for the first mortgage from major banks such as RBC, Bank of Montreal, and TD Bank. Leasehold property value starts to depreciate when the term of the lease is less than the term of the mortgage. The average mortgage term is 25 years amortization period.


I have worked with many buyers and helped them obtain mortgages for buying a home in UBC. If you need any help getting mortgage finance, we have a team of mortgage brokers who can help you.


More Homes & Real Estates for Sale MLS Listings


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About the UNA


The University Neighbourhoods Association (UNA) acts as a municipal council for the residential areas on campus, promoting a vibrant, sociable, safe and diverse community at the University of British Columbia (UBC).


When you own or lease a property in BC, property taxes must be paid yearly. The money raised from the property taxes you pay is used to fund local programs and services. Homeowners in the UNA pay a Rural Tax to the BC Government and a Services Levy to UBC.


What is the UBC Services Levy?


The UBC Services Levy is a charge collected annually from homeowners at UBC to fund local programs and municipal-like services. The Services Levy is like the municipal portion of property taxes. It is called a levy rather than a tax because UBC is on unincorporated land and is not a municipality.


What is the UBC Services Levy used for?


Services Levy funds are collected by UBC and deposited into the Neighbours’ Fund which funds the University Neighbourhoods Association. The Neighbours’ Fund goes towards the UNA Operating Budget and Reserves.


The Operating Budget is used by the UNA to provide municipal-like services to UNA residents. The annual budget is developed by the UNA Board of Directors and approved after public consultation. Money the UNA generates is also put towards the Operating Budget.


The Neighbours’ Fund Reserves are held to meet the future needs of the community. Reserves are best practice and are required planning for the replacement of infrastructure and to guard against surprise costs.


How is my Services levy Calculated?


The Services Levy Rate equals the difference between the BC Rural Tax Rate and the City of Vancouver Residential Tax Rate. Your invoiced Services Levy amount is based on the value of your property, as determined by BC Assessment. For more information on the assessed value of your property, you can contact the BC Assessment Authority at 604-739-8588 or visit www.bcassessment.ca


When will I receive UBC Services Levy Notice?


UBC Services Levy notices are mailed out by UBC in mid-June annually. You can also access your account balance online or get more information by visiting https://finance.ubc.ca/tax-services-levy/services-levy


What is the Rural Property Tax?


If your property is not located in a city, town, district or village, it is in a rural area. UBC is unincorporated land so it is considered rural.


The BC government collects taxes on properties in rural areas to fund provincial services. The BC government also collects taxes on behalf of other organizations, such as Translink and the Greater Vancouver Regional District.


Rural tax is paid directly to the BC Government.


When will I receive Rural Property Tax if live in UBC?


Rural Property Tax notices are mailed out by the BC Government in early-June annually. You can also access your account balance online or get more information by visiting www.gov.bc.ca/ruralpropertytax


How do my taxes and services levy charges compared to residents in Vancouver?


UBC is required to ensure that the total property taxes paid by UNA homeowners is the same as the property taxes of a comparable property in the City of Vancouver. While homeowners in the UNA pay a Rural Tax to the BC government and the Services Levy to UBC, the two added together are the SAME as the City of Vancouver municipal tax for a property with the same assessed value.


I still have questions, who can I contact?


For questions on the UBC Services Levy:


UBC Department of Financial Services
T: 604-822-3596
E: levy@finance.ubc.ca
www.finance.ubc.ca/revenue/services-levy


For questions on the BC Rural tax:


Surveyor of Taxes Office
T: 604-660-2421
E: ruraltax@gov.bc.ca
www.gov.bc.ca/ruralpropertytax

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...and don't advertise it either...

 

As the end of January approaches many households begin to plan their up and coming vacations to escape the remaining cold winter weeks or have even started thinking about spring break (for those of you impacted by elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schedules). While vacation time should always be a happy one, being away from your house for a significant amount of time can weigh on the mind. Granted while those of you living in UBC area homes enjoy the benefits of living in a safe community environment, it’s only natural to feel over-protective of your abode when away from it. Thus, I thought I would offer a few useful tips to put your mind at ease while on vacation.


5 Tips to Protecting Your Home While Away on Vacation


1. Don’t Let the Mail Pile Up

 

One tell-tale sign that the residents of a home, are not home, for a long period of time is a pile of mail spilling out of the mail box or flyers and newspaper subscriptions building up on the front steps. Put your mail delivery on-hold with the local post office if gone for longer than a week or have your trusted neighbors pick it up for you every day or two. Another preemptive option, which is a good idea for other reasons (less environmental paper waste and less clutter in the home) is to convert hardcopy mail to electronic alternatives - have monthly bills and periodical subscriptions delivered online instead.


2. Get Someone to Take Care of the Front Yard

 

If it’s the spring or summer have someone (friends, family, neighbors kid) mow your lawn mid-vacation. If it’s winter and there is snowfall, have them salt and shovel the walkways and paths fronting your home. This will “keep up appearances”, making your home looked lived-in while you are away on vacation.


3. Use Your Smartphone to Create a Smart-Home and Appear that You Are At-Home

 

There are a slew of iPhone and Android apps out there that will convert your home into a smart home. Depending on your mobile device a simple visit to the respective app store will uncover apps that you can use to turn your home’s lights off and on, in addition to controlling the on/off status of your TV and stereo. By randomly hopping on your mobile device while on vacation and having a little fun with these controls your home will give off the appearance that someone is within. Just make sure you don’t blast your stereo at 2 AM, waking up your neighbors, because you forgot that you are currently in a different time zone while away.


4. Watch the Water

 

Turn off the outside water valve, preventing leaks and accidents from your garden/carport hoses. In addition, especially in the winter, you should consider having a trusted friend or neighbor drain the water pipes within the home, or turn them off altogether when gone for a week, so that homes in cold climates do not succumb to frozen (and thus damaged) pipes.

 

5. Don’t Leave a Key Outside

 

If you can imagine a hiding place for your house keys outside than others can too. While we are all wise enough to no longer place them under the front door mat the other alternatives such as within outdoor planters, garden gnomes, and the rest are also among the usual suspects. If you need a back-up set of keys keep them with people that you can trust that are located within near proximity to your home should you need them to gain access for whatever reason.

 

I hope you found these tips useful. Of course, as mentioned above one of the best ways to ensure a safe home while you are away on vacation is by first deciding to live in a neighborhood community where such a thing is of little concern. The UBC area is such an area and if you want to learn more about finding a home in UBC then please feel free to contact my UBC real estate office anytime.

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In my years of working in UBC Real Estate, I have often asked by Buyers “Where should I buy in UBC?” UBC has 5 distinct neighbourhoods and each with its very own uniqueness, character, and personality.    

 

In this week’s UBC Realty Blog, I’ll give an overview of the neighbourhoods in UBC.

 

Hampton Place was established in the early 1990’s. This is the oldest residential neighbourhood in UBC.  In Hampton Place, there are a total of 957 residential units located in 11 buildings with each building widely spaced. This area is also close to the Rashpal Dhillon Track & Field Oval, Thunderbird Park, Save-On-Foods, and University Hill Secondary School. This neighbourhood has approximately 2,000 residents living here.  Many of the original residents were retirees and older adults, but today, there are many families with children.  Average 2 Bedroom UBC Condos in Hampton Place run about $630,000.

 

The East Campus is bound by University Boulevard on its northern border, Agronomy Road on its southern border, and Wesbrook Mall on its western border, and Acadia Road on its eastern border. This is an area favoured by families with children studying at the UBC. The reason that families find it desirable to live here is because of its central location. Also, it has many amenities within walking distances, i.e. Starbucks coffee, a Food court, Staples, Gold’s Gym, and a Grocery store. Average 2 Bedroom UBC Condos in East Campus are about $688,000. However, Buyers can find 2 Bedroom UBC Condos starting price at around $550,000.

 

Hawthorn Place provides a variety of housing options, including faculty and staff rental housing, faculty and staff co-development housing and family housing. This is a very Family-Friendly neighbourhood. The area incorporates a greenway and 3 parks. Families also enjoy the many activities offered at the Old Barn Community Centre. Pedestrian paths and cycling routes replace parking areas and assist in traffic calming. Average 2 Bedroom UBC Condos in Hawthorn Place are about $773,000.

 

Located north of the Gage Residences, Chancellor Place is bound by Wesbrook Mall on its eastern border, and Chancellor Boulevard on its northern Border. Restored to its original grandeur, the granite Iona Building stands at the head of this neighbourhood. Duplex townhomes along Chancellor Boulevard are complemented by apartment condominiums in the interior of the neighbourhood. Average 2 Bedroom UBC Condos in Chancellor Place are about $1,042,000, although you will find many 2 Bedroom UBC Condos at Chancellor Place that are less than that.

 

UBC's latest family housing initiative stretches across 110 acres of South Campus. When completed, Wesbrook Village will be the largest neighbourhood on UBC's Vancouver campus. Over 12,500 students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and members of the general public will live here in a mix of townhouses and apartments. Average 2 Bedroom UBC Homes in Wesbrook Village are about $869,000.

 

As a UBC Realtor, I am here to help newcomers find their suitable neighbourhood and home. If you are looking for UBC Condos or UBC Townhouses and would like more information, please contact UBC Homes today or call me anytime at 778-991-0649.

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Wesbrook Village UBC Real Estate


Many that have previously worked or studied at UBC are often drawn back by the real estate developments in the area. The Campus landscape is not what it used to be 10 years ago. Many old buildings have been renovated while brand new buildings have been constructed. The topic of today's UBC Realty blog is in regards to the recent UBC real estate development in Wesbrook Village.


This new area, in my view, is the most exciting of them all. Wesbrook Village is the area located between W 16th AVE and SW Marine Drive. It is at the South Campus of UBC. The original Community Plan for Wesbrook Village was for 5,000 residents. However, in the latest Land Use Plan Amendment, the community is projected to grow to between 10,000-15,000 residents in 20 years.


As the community of Wesbrook Village grows, so is the number of shops and services. Currently, there is a Save-On-Foods, a Royal Bank of Canada, a BC Liquor Store, and the Mozart School of Music. Recently, the new University Hill Secondary School just opened its door to welcome its students in January.


Future development includes a new community centre, residential housing, and commercial spaces. Although the area is undergoing a tremendous change, UBC real estate and area development regulations also require that the area have certain Parks and Recreation facilities for its residents. For every brick and mortar an equal (or more) amount of green space is being created/maintained and that is one of the most important developments to the proud UBC community. 


I am sure as the area grows more people will be looking for UBC Condos and Townhouses in the Wesbrook Village. As a UBC Realtor, I am here to provide valuable resources for future residents and to help them make the right move to this incredible living and learning environment.


If you are considering a return to, a transition within, or are joining the UBC Community for the first time, please do not hesitate to contact my UBC real estate office today or call me anytime directly at (778) 991-0649. 

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I feel so blessed everyday to have the opportunity to live and work in UBC. As a UBC Real Estate Agent it is always a pleasure to show properties to buyers planning to move in to this great neighbourhood.

 

Buyers that are new to the area may not be too familiar with the surrounding neighbourhood. That's what I'm here for. In addition to providing you all with up to date information on UBC real estate market trends and the like, I continue to use this blog as an opportunity to introduce you to some of the beautiful areas in and around UBC.

 

Take Spanish Banks for example. I was there this morning. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and i took a panoramic shot of the Spanish Banks Beach Park to prove it. This is a stunning beach park on the north-east side of UBC. It is about 5 KM from UBC Campus. You can drive, bike, jog or walk there. I have done so many times in the morning, jogging from UBC Hampton Place to Spanish Banks Beach Park.


In addition to its walking trails and stunning views, Spanish Banks beach park offers plenty in the way of amenities including expansive parking lots, BBQ pits, beach volleyball courts, concessions, restrooms, showers, and park benches for everyone’s enjoyment.


If you are preparing for a move to the UBC area please feel free to contact my UBC real estate office today. Otherwise I am honored to have you "stay in touch" by following me here on my UBC Realty blog.

 

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UBC Community Info
UBC offers a full range of housing options in five distinct neighbourhoods to provide a unique opportunity to live, work and learn in a truly integrated campus community.

  1. Chancellor Place
  2. Hawthorn Place
  3. East Campus
  4. Hampton Place
  5. Wesbrook Village
The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.