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Land transfer taxes pose another layer of consumer burden - study

by Ephraim Vecina 06 Jul 2018

In Canada’s hottest housing markets, first-time buyers are forced to deal with both elevated home prices and the significant impact of land transfer taxes, according to a new analysis by real estate information portal Zoocasa.

As the tax is a non-mortgagable amount that must be paid in cash upon the closing of a deal, this leads to “buyers in the most expensive and heavily-taxed housing markets [saving] for years longer to have that cash in hand, compared to more affordable markets with a moderate fee structure,” Zoocasa noted.

The analysis looked at average home prices (as of May 2018), land transfer tax structures, and applicable home buyer rebates to determine which major metropolitan markets impose the greatest tax burdens upon first-time buyers.

The Canadian cities with the highest land transfer taxes for first-time buyers are:

  • Rank 1 (Highest): Vancouver, BC - $20,076 (average home price of $1,103,803)

  • Rank 2: Toronto, ON - $16,687 (average home price of $805,320)

  • Rank 3: Victoria, BC - $12,270 (average home price of $713,485)

  • Rank 4: Abbotsford, BC - $8,780 (average home price of $538,999)

  • Rank 5: Kelowna, BC - $8,659 (average home price of $532,972)

Fortunately, first-time buyers can find respite from land transfer taxes in these markets:

  • Windsor-Essex, ON - $0 (average home price of $303,183)

  • London & St. Thomas, ON - $0 (average home price of $366,096)

  • Edmonton, AB - $239 (average home price of $386,750)

  • Calgary, AB - $269 (average home price of $471,030)

  • Niagara Region, ON - $629 (average home price of $407,693)

Editors Note:

Where does Ottawa rank in this list?

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017.

The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $281,247, an increase of 3.4 per cent from May 2017. Statistics provided by CREA [Canadian Real Estate Association]

Land transfer taxes on a sale price of $464,401 is $5763 and on a sale price of $281,247 is $2,694.

First Time Homebuyer Rebates:

Purchase Price:

Up to $368,333 Full LTT Rebate of tax.

Above $368,333 Maximum LTT Rebate of $4,000.

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