Select Page

Property /Land Transfer Tax Revenues

There are many current challenges for home buyers in today’s market including high prices, low inventory and rising purchase costs. Toronto and Vancouver stand out as the most unaffordable in Canada.

A property transfer tax or land transfer tax is a significant additional cost paid by a buyer every time a home is purchased. The tax is payable to the Province and each Province calculates these fees differently.

In 2022/23 the British Columbia Property Transfer Tax (PTT) brought in $2,026 Billion in revenue. The 2023/24 forecast was $1,799 Billion. British Columbia has added numerous other property based taxes including vacant properties, foreign buyers and the new home flipping tax in 2024 including those specific to Vancouver and regional zones.

In Ontario the land transfer tax brought in $5,685 Billion in revenue in 2021/22 with a similar forecast for 22/23. Toronto charges an additional tax and alone brought in about $948 million for Toronto in 2022.

 

Housing Affordability

According to RBC Housing Affordability report from April 2, 2024, this is the toughest time ever to afford a home in Canada. Each new tax and fee makes housing less affordable.

How incentivized are the provinces to solve this problem when they earn such high revenue from the transfer of property in their respective provinces through property/land transfer taxes and fees.

What are Average Sale Prices Across Canada?

Median home prices vary greatly across the country. The Fall 2023 Home Price in Calgary is $553,800 compared to $1,208,400 in Greater Vancouver or $345,700 in Winnipeg.

Source: Zoocasa. Oct 3, 2023.

What are the Property/Land Transfer Tax costs across Canada?

Note: There are exceptions or rebates across the country for first-time home buyers, family transfers and other status. As well, there are additional taxes in some Provinces related to foreign buyers, foreign corporations, property flipping and other exceptions. Check your region for specifics.

 

The general property transfer tax per Province on the purchase of a $500,000 home:

ProvinceCostNotes
BC$8,000 
Alberta$420, potentially increasing to $1,000 in 2024.Alberta doesn’t charge a true property transfer tax. There is a charge to register land titles and mortgages on title. This value assumes an 80% mortgage
Saskatchewan$2,000 
Manitoba$7,774 
Ontario$6,475 
   Toronto$12,950 
Quebec$5,903Adjustments for Montreal
New Brunswick$5,000 
Price Edward Island$5,000 
Nova Scotia$7,500Additional $25,000 for non residents
Newfoundland$3,796 

 

Now considering media home prices, using $500,000 as a benchmark makes sense for most of the country but not for Toronto, Vancouver or Victoria.

 

The general property transfer tax per Province on the purchase of a $1,000,000 home:

ProvinceCostNotes
BC$18,000 
Alberta$740, potentially increasing to $1,900 in 2024.Alberta doesn’t charge a true property transfer tax. There is a charge to register land titles and mortgages on title. This value assumes an 80% mortgage
Saskatchewan$4,000 
Manitoba$17,774 
Ontario$16,475 
   Toronto$32,950 
Quebec$13,403Adjustments for Montreal ($15,800+)
New Brunswick$10,000 
Price Edward Island$10,000 
Nova Scotia$15,000Additional $25,000 for non residents
Newfoundland$5,000 

 

The property/land transfer taxes are on top of all other home purchase costs including any fees associated with borrowing and mortgages.

 

The Revenue Handcuffs that impact Home Affordability

Wouldn’t just the act of removing/reducing these taxes assist with home affordability?

Since the Provinces collect such huge revenues from the property/land transfer taxes, especially in BC and Ontario, are they really even able to reduce the dependence on this revenue to make housing more affordable?

Since most Provinces and even cities like Toronto have been increasing taxes and fees rather than lowering them, it is unlikely to see this aspect of affordability change anytime soon.

Is this dependence also responsible for the lack of action around mortgage fraud, straw buyers and other challenges that have pushed up home prices in some regions?

 

May You Always Find Your Way Home