Land transfer taxes pose another layer of consumer burden - study

These levies have a significant impact on the cost of residential real estate nationwide

Land transfer taxes pose another layer of consumer burden - study

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.

Read more: Majority of Canadians pin home price spikes on foreigners – CMHC

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)


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