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Duly Quoted: Ann Hannah, Toronto Real Estate Board

“Buyers continue to face the substantial upfront cost associated with the City of Toronto’s unfair Land Transfer Tax… This goes a long way in explaining the disproportionate decline in sales in the City versus surrounding regions.”

—Toronto Real Estate Board president Ann Hannah, in a statement regarding GTA home sales in June, which declined by 5.4 per cent compared to this time last year. More specifically, the TREB reports that “The year-over-year decline was largest in the City of Toronto, where sales were down by 13 per cent compared to June 2011. Sales in the rest of the Toronto Real Estate Board market area were comparable to a year ago.” (The average selling price of $508,622, meanwhile, was up by 7.3 per cent.) It’s an interesting theory, given that the land transfer tax took effect February 1, 2008—quite the delayed reaction, it would seem.


  • Anonymous

    Let’s replace the LTT with the RESCT – Real Estate Sales Commission Tax.

  • Harald Koch

    Sales dropped because of “x”. Stock market fell because of “y”. It’s all the same – so-called experts trying to find explanations for essentially unpredictable human behaviour.

    It would be just as easy to claim that housing sales dropped because the weather was so much warmer than last year, so people stayed inside instead of going out house shopping.

    • Anonymous

      Not “trying to find” explanations in this case. Just pure bullshit – Ann Hannah doesn’t really care if her statement is true or false, the TREB just wants the tax gone, so they take any opportunity to spin to the public.

    • Anonymous

      Stock market and housing sale crashes are hardly “unpredictable human behaviour”

  • martha

    Or, maybe the cost of buying a house generally, along with the fact that job security is down is preventing people from mortgaging their futures (literally).
    I can completely understand that thoughtful people are renting until the stupidity passes. In the 80s I couldn’t imagine buying a house; then we bought in the mid-90s (&paid<$200k!). Today we couldn't afford our own neighbourhood.
    The tax is the tax. It's not the reason for falling sales. The PRICES are.

    • Capolicy

      nice logic. people aren’t buying houses because prices are too high. That’s like saying nobody drives in new york because the roads are too busy.

      • OgtheDim

        Ummm……..most people in New York don’t drive.

  • Anonymous

    You want to see sales drop? Keep cutting essential services that the LTT helps pay for. Watch property taxes and insurance rates rise. This is very much a zero-sum game.

  • KLW

    The sales are down but the prices are up, this indicates that we are at the top of a housing bubble. Vancouver is hitting the house melt first, Toronto follows as the bubble bursts. It has nothing to do with upfront costs and the LTT. Our housing market stats (the real ones, not the ones used by the REB’s) are worse than the US’s before the 2008 crash. We have only just now brought our mortgage rules back to reality from 40 yr amortizations and zero% downpayments, thanks to the Harper Government who promoted home ownership, at any cost. If you don’t want to pay the LTT, don’t live in Toronto.

  • Guest

    I would vote its the prices. Pay 1 million dollars for a townhouse? No thanks, would rather rent and have savings that be house poor.

  • Mg

    Maybe the sales are down because of the higher prices that result, at least in part, by the realtor-driven bidding wars.

  • Anonymous

    There’s been a massive condo boom in Toronto since the LTT came into effect unlike anything I have ever seen before, condos have been sprouting up like dandelions all over the city. Massive housing booms cannot last forever and if anything political has contributed to a slow down in Toronto’s housing boom its much more likely to be the mortgage rule changes the Harper Cons recently made making it necessary for potential home buyers to have more money saved up front and capable of affording higher monthly mortgage payments. Regardless there’s just no way this condo boom could last forever with its constant massive price increases, housing is already way over priced in Toronto. You shouldn’t have to be wealthy to afford to live in this city.

  • Paul Kishimoto

    If correlation is not necessarily causation, then lack of correlation is certainly not causation. The most apparent causal effect of taxes is actually prompting people to complain about taxes.

  • Monkeylizard0

    absolutely hilarious. sounds like that Lereah guy from NAR as the US market took a giant nosedive.