If you haven’t already heard, the City of Toronto Council has approved changes to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax which will result in additional costs for some home buyers with a closing date on or after March 1, 2017 (which is when the tax will be harmonized with the provincial LTT).
Click here to see the detailed City of Toronto Notice on the “original” proposed changes posted in December 2016 (NOTE: changes made to original proposals as per below).
The following changes to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax were considered and approved by Toronto City Council on February 15, 2017. The changes are effective AS OF MARCH 1, 2017, for real estate transactions closing on or after this date:
- Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential or non-residential property from $250,000 to $400,000 (an additional $750)
- Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential property above $2 million
- Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value above $400,000 of a non-residential property
- Increasing the maximum allowed First-Time Home Buyer Rebate to $4,475, up from $3,725
- Amended the first-time home buyer rebate program eligibility rules to restrict rebate eligibility to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
I’ve been a realtor for over 10 years now, and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen as many WTF sale prices as I saw last week.
It’s not unusual for a house to sell for stupid money in this city (it is Toronto after all), but last week was notable because it happened so many times!
All over the city, almost every day, houses and condos were selling for unprecedented figures.
“Unprecedented” is the key word here, but I’m not sure it really does justice to what we saw last week.
A few examples…
Following is TREB’s market report for January 2017:
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2017.
This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016.
Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.
January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.
Following is TREB’s market report for the year 2016:
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales.
Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System – up by 11.8 per cent compared to 2015.
The calendar year 2016 result included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.
The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium apartments followed by detached homes.
Following is TREB’s market report for October 2016:
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record 9,768 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in October 2016 – up by 11.5 per cent compared to October 2015.
For the TREB market area as a whole, the largest annual rate of sales growth was in the condominium apartment market segment.
Detached home sales were up by 10 per cent year-over-year, driven predominantly by transactions in the regions surrounding Toronto.
“The record pace of GTA home sales continued in October, with strong growth observed throughout the month. As we move through November and December, we will be watching the sales and listings trends closely, in light of the recent policy changes announced by the Federal Minister of Finance. TREB will once again be conducting consumer survey work, in order to report on home buying intentions for 2017,” said Mr. Cerqua.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 19.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis in October 2016.
If you haven’t already heard, the Canadian Department of Finance made an announcement earlier this month outlining a handful of changes that will have an impact on the mortgage/housing market.
The Globe & Mail followed the announcement pretty quickly with a detailed breakdown of all the changes, and how the affects might be felt.
Below is a reposting of that article in full. Enjoy!
From the Globe & Mail, on October 3rd, 2016:
Four Major Changes To Canada’s Housing Rules
The Liberal government has announced sweeping changes aimed at ensuring Canadians aren’t taking on bigger mortgages than they can afford in an era of historically low interest rates.
The changes are also meant to address concerns related to foreign buyers who buy and flip Canadian homes.
Below is a breakdown of the four major changes Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced Monday.
The current rules
Buyers with a down payment of at least 5 per cent of the purchase price but less than 20 per cent must be backed by mortgage insurance. This protects the lender in the event that the home buyer defaults. These loans are known as “high loan-to-value” or “high ratio” mortgages.
In situations in which the buyer has 20 per cent or more for a down payment, the lender or borrower could obtain “low-ratio” insurance that covers 100 per cent of the loan in the event of a default.
Mortgage insurance in Canada is backed by the federal government through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Insurance is sold by the CMHC and two private insurers, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada and Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company. The federal government backs the insurance offered by the two private-sector firms, subject to a 10-per-cent deductible.
Following is TREB’s market report for August 2016:
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record 9,813 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2016.
While this sales result was 23.5 per cent above the number of transactions reported for August 2015, it is important to note that the majority of sales are reported on working days and there were two additional working days in August 2016 compared to 2015.
When the year-over-year discrepancy in working days is accounted for, the annual percentage change in sales is closer to 13 per cent.
“The conditions underlying strong demand for ownership housing remained in place, including a relatively strong regional economy, growth in average earnings and low borrowing costs. Unfortunately, we did not see any relief on the listings front, with the number of new listings down compared to last year. This situation continued to underpin very strong home price growth, irrespective of home type or area,” said Mr. Cerqua.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for August 2016 was up by 17.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.
Summer doesn’t officially end until the Autumnal Equinox in the 3rd week of September, but we all know it really ends the day after Labour Day.
Every year, the Tuesday after Labour Day sees the kids go back to school, the white clothes go back into the closet, and the real estate market come back to life after the August slow-down.
A whole slew of new listings hit the market during that first week after Labour Day, and plenty of eager sellers (and realtors) are excited to get the ball rolling.
In my opinion though, it’s a good idea to consider waiting until the following week to list your home for sale.
The goal is to expose the property to as many buyers as possible, but a good chunk of the buyer pool is distracted at this time of year.
There’s so much happening in people’s lives during that first week after Labour Day, that there’s a good chance many of the new listings are going to slip-by unnoticed.
- People are busy getting back into the swing of things at work.
- Anyone working in a seasonal industry is likely focused on transitioning over to their fall market.
- People are coping with the fact that summer’s over and the cold & rainy weather is just around the corner (ugh).
- And then of course there are the families that have small children…
Following is TREB’s market report for June 2016:
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,794 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2016.
This result was 7.5 per cent higher than the 11,905 sales reported in June 2015.
In line with the prevailing trend so far this year, the number of new listings was down by 3.8 per cent.
Back in April, MPAC started mailing out their 2016 property assessment notices to property owners across the province of Ontario. If you don’t have yours yet – keep checking the mail; they should all be out by the fall.
I’ve spoken to a number of clients recently about their assessments, and most are asking the same two questions:
- The assessed value is significantly less than what we know our property is worth. Is this normal?
- The assessed value has increased since the previous assessment. Does the municipality increase my property taxes by the same rate?
These are both excellent questions! Below are my answers.
The market value of your property is very likely going to be higher than MPAC’s assessed value.
While some assessments in the City of Toronto do come-in fairly close to market value, MPAC’s numbers are usually quite a bit lower than what the property would sell for on the open market. Sometimes the difference is quite significant!
It’s not uncommon to see MPAC’s assessed value be hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars less than the current market value (depending of course on price point, location, etc.).
MPAC relies on a number of factors when doing their assessments, but apparently recent comparable sale prices don’t weigh heavily in the process!