Housing market set for autumn boom
Figures coming in from regional real estate boards suggest that September was a great start to the autumn season. The hot markets of Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver have all seen year-over-year increases for existing home sales; 10.9 per cent for Toronto, 11.9 per cent in Calgary and 17.7 per cent in Vancouver. In Victoria there has been an MLS rise of 16 per cent and the local real estate board says it hasn’t seen sales at the current level in September since 2009. Although we have over a week to go until the Canadian Real Estate Board publish the national figures, and individual data is not available for every region, the three hottest markets are likely to push the overall market higher, unless we see some large declines elsewhere. Read the full story.
Realtors avoid the issue of fees
The Toronto Real Estate Board is having a hard time in the press after hosting a campaign event for Doug Ford to allow him to promote his planned cut to the city’s land transfer tax to 15 per cent. It’s not the event itself that’s being criticised though, but reaction to questioning about realtors’ fees. When a TV reporter made a point about the fees being more than the transfer taxes he was reportedly told by two TREB executives that the topic was not open for debate. Recent figures from StatsCan suggest that realtors are making 13 per cent more this year than last, and based on average house prices in Toronto in September a realtor will be pulling in around $28,000 on a sale. That’s roughly twice the cost of taxes. The comparison is not entirely fair though; people generally have more of an issue with government taxes than they do with commercial fees and of course the realtors’ fees are not profit, with many costs to consider. Read the full story.
Vancouver commercial property set for large tax hikes
Commercial property owners on Vancouver’s west side could be about to face some steep tax hikes due to recent assessments from BC Assessment. The issue is land that is in areas where zoning is for split use; the assessment could be based on high value residential property while the tax bill will be at the commercial rate, which is more than 4 times higher. This is because although the zoning allows a split, the percentages are not set so it could be used either way and is taxed at the higher rate. Although this has been highlighted as unfair by the Amacon precendent and a city-appointed tax commission, no change has yet been put in motion. Read the full story.