Toronto Real Estate Board

Toronto Real Estate Board

January 28, 2008 09:40 ET

City Budget Can Send Important Message to Homebuyers: Toronto REALTORS®

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 28, 2008) - In light of the upcoming implementation of the City of Toronto Land Transfer Tax, Toronto's REALTORS® believe that City Council can send an important message to homebuyers by keeping property taxes down in the City's 2008 Operating Budget.

"Last year, Toronto's REALTORS® and the public spoke out strongly against the City's land transfer tax. We continue to believe that it is unfair," said Maureen O'Neill, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). "It would be even more unfair if homebuyers have to budget for hefty property tax increases too. Enough already."

TREB's statistics of housing sales have shown an interesting trend since City Council's approval of a Toronto land transfer tax last October. In both December and November of last year, there was a significant increase in market activity. For example, although the month of December typically sees less market activity because of the holidays, in December 2007 housing sales in Toronto were up by 23 per cent over December 2006, significantly higher than the 5 per cent increase for the GTA as a whole. When City Council approved the Toronto land transfer tax, it also decided to exempt home purchases made by December 31, 2007.

"Clearly, there has been tremendous market activity in Toronto since Council's approval of the land transfer tax. Council's decision to grandfather home purchases made by the end of 2007 means that those homebuyers will avoid the City's tax," said O'Neill. "With the City's grandfathering period over, we are continuing to watch the market and we hope that the Toronto land transfer tax does not have a negative impact."

The Toronto land transfer tax will take effect on February 1, 2008.

"As we have always said, homebuyers pay close attention to their bottom line and they know that the Toronto land transfer tax treats them unfairly. By keeping property taxes down, City Council can send a message that they won't keep coming back to the same well to solve their financial challenges," added O'Neill.

TREB will be providing input to City Council with regard to the City's 2008 operating budget.

"We look forward to working with City Council as they begin debating the budget. We hope that City Council will consider viable and innovative options to addressing its financial challenges instead of asking homeowners to carry even more of a burden," said O'Neill.

Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Serving over 26,000 Members in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada's largest real estate board. Greater Toronto Area open house listings are now available on www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com.

Make the Right Move. Contact a Toronto Real Estate Board REALTOR®.

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