What are the Best and Worst Cities in Ontario for Land Transfer Tax?

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by Ratehub.ca December 24, 2018 / No Comments

The City of Toronto isn’t just one of the most expensive places to buy a home in Ontario, it also has some of the highest closing costs, especially land transfer tax.

The Province of Ontario itself already charges land transfer tax of up to 2.5 per cent based on the purchase price of the home. On top of that, Toronto is the only city in the province which charges an additional land transfer tax, on the same sliding scale and also up to 2.5 per cent. This expense must be paid in cash and cannot be added to the mortgage.

Since the amount of tax owed is based on the purchase price of the home, there’s a huge disparity in how much Ontarians are actually paying. In cities where the average home price is lower, Ontarians can end up paying as little as $1,374, or 0.08 per cent. But in cities like Toronto where home prices are higher, and buyers get charged twice, residents end up paying an average of $27,521, or 3.2 per cent, of the purchase price.

That’s no chump change and requires careful budgeting — especially for first time home buyers in Ontario trying to determine how much mortgage they can afford.

First-time home buyers do get a rebate of $4,000 from Ontario and $4,475 from the City of Toronto. That means if first-home buyers purchase a home for less than $368,360 than they will avoid paying this levy completely. This is possible in many cities in northern Ontario. Sudbury, North Bay, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie all offer great value to buyers with the average home price well under $300,000. First-time buyers will pay zero land transfer tax, while repeat buyers will end up spending around $2500, or more than 10 times less than a Torontonian.

If you’re looking cities closer to the US border with perhaps a more robust economic landscape,  check out Kitchener homes for sale and homes for sale in Hamilton. In both these cities the average home is around $500,000, so you’ll pay under $6,500 at closing if you’re a resale buyer, or under $2,500 if you’re a first-time buyer.

Check out the infographic below to see how all the other cities in Ontario stack up:

Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.