What costs more than $20,000 in Vancouver and just $239 in Edmonton? The tax you pay when buying an average home.
Residents of Toronto and Vancouver, already saddled with the highest housing costs in the country, also face the highest tax rates on their home purchases, along with Quebec City, a new study has found.
In Toronto — the only city with both provincial and municipal land transfer taxes — a repeat homebuyer would spend $25,162 on the transfer tax for an average-priced property, a tax rate of 3.1 per cent. First-time buyers qualify for a rebate, and would spend $16,687 for a tax rate of 2.1 per cent.
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Either way, that’s the highest land transfer tax rate in the country, according to research from real estate site Zoocasa. Compare it to a pocket-change $239 “title transfer fee” for an average house in Edmonton. The taxes you pay when buying a home are basically a postal-code lottery.
In the priciest cities, “you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars in closing costs,” said Penelope Graham, managing editor at Zoocasa. “And that’s a cost that can’t be mortgaged, it has to be paid in cash.”