A proposed move which could significantly increase the cost of homeownership in Toronto is being strongly opposed by the city’s real estate agents.

The city council is currently working through its budget plans and the Toronto Real Estate Board says that it should scrap changes to the Land Transfer Tax which would add $750 onto costs for buyers of average-priced homes.

There is concern about the negative impact on first-time buyers if the proposals go ahead as they include a cap on the rebate available for these buyers at $700,000 which falls $70k below the average price for the city’s homes.

“Toronto’s housing prices are top of mind for many Torontonians.  Simply put, housing affordability is water-cooler talk in Toronto,” said Larry Cerqua, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

“The last thing people want to hear is that City Hall wants them to dish out another $750, on top of the $11,000 that they already pay.”

Although the first-time buyers’ rebate would increase under the proposal, TREB says that it would not be enough to cover the additional tax burden for those buying in the $250,000-$400,000 range.

“City Hall should be looking for ways to make housing affordability in Toronto better, not worse; especially for first-time buyers who, under these proposals, will be going backwards, or at best be no better off,” added Cerqua.

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