Buying a house is not an easy endeavour. It’s often the largest financial decision young families make and an increasingly difficult one too. This past year of 2016 set new sales records with the average home cost in Ontario rising 20 percent in one year. This is affecting us locally as well in the Brant region, as average house costs rose approximately 15 percent in 2016.
Many people have benefited from recent increases in the value of their homes but young families and others looking to buy their first home are having a challenging time getting into the housing market. To help young families, the province has doubled the maximum Land Transfer Tax refund for first-time home buyer’s from $2,000 to $4,000, starting January 1, 2017. This means that no land transfer tax will be payable on the first $368,000 of the cost of your first home.
In the Brant area, which has an average house cost of $337,000, first-time home buyers will pay no tax! This is excellent news for young families as high closing costs, legal fees and taxes can make purchasing a home unattainable or challenging. Eliminating the this tax will mean first-time home buyers in Brantford and surrounding areas will get a much deserved break in this hot housing market.
The upward trend in prices is predicted to rise for Brant real estate. A main contributing factor of this growth is the lack of new houses for sale in Brantford and beyond. Overall supply is currently running at record lows. There were 288 active residential listings in Brantford on the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association's MLS® System at the end of October 2016, dropping 38 percent on a year-over-year basis. Where demand cannot be converted into sales because of a supply shortage, prices have increased as a result.
Paying little to no land transfer tax on the growing cost of houses is one piece of great news for first-time home buyers. The government says it is doing what it can to make owning a home easier for young families.
If you have any questions about the land transfer tax rebate, please contact the constituency office at 519-759-0361 or drop by for a visit at 96 Nelson Street in Brantford.