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HomeRun Homes is a centralized marketplace which helps people Find or Sell a Rent to Own Home, both Nationwide and Globally to the thriving Rent to Own Market. http://www.lease2buy.com
Showing posts with label Buy Homes in Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buy Homes in Canada. Show all posts

September 4, 2011

Far-Reaching Impact of the HST on Canadian Real Estate

Hi Everyone,

   Happy Labor Day to you and your family. I hope you are resting and relaxing with your family and friends and enjoying some quality time together.

   As you all may know, our website and our company are headquartered in New York, but we cover the entire globe in terms of Rent to Own deals. After the United States market, the second largest market for Rent to Own deals is in Canada. As a matter of fact, just to let you know how large that market is, last summer I was interviewed for the esteemed "Canadian Real Estate Magazine" for a story on Rent to Own in Canada (FULL ARTICLE HERE). Apart from those that reside within Canada, there are also a substantial number of buyers and sellers of Canadian Real Estate that reside in the United States. Some of these buyers and sellers are Real Estate Investors with offices in Canada, so I felt it important to discuss a hot-button topic of our northern neighbors; the Harmonized Sales Tax, or "HST", for short.

   According to the website hstincanada, the HST is the "combination of Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) into one unified tax", and in the Spring of 1997, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia implemented a 15% HST (which has dropped slightly since then). However, despite the relative uniformity, the HST is not as cut and dry as it may seem, and as mentioned on the same website, some reports have shown that "implementing HST in the eastern provinces caused consumer prices to fall". Canada is a large country with multiple Provinces with diverse industries and requirements, and not all of the provinces favor the HST. The HST Controversy Hot-Spot is British Columbia (referred to commonly as "BC).

   Just last month, 55% of voters in BC elected to reject the HST, per a story titled "HST is Officially Defeated in BC" on hstincanada. What happens next? The former taxation system will be reinstated, but this will be quite expensive, costing an estimated $3 billion to repay "transitional funding" to Ottawa and to also bring back the administrative structure to process the PST. As is the case in every country, that money will be recouped by trimming some programs and adding new taxes.

   In regards to the relationship between the HST and the Real Estate market, let's review some background on the HST as it applies to the Real Estate Industry in Canada (Building and Construction, Realtors, Renovations, Existing Homes, etc.), since this will help paint a very clear picture of which ones are impacted by the HST.

   Earlier this year, Canada added some new mortgage rules, to stabilize high ratio mortgages and decreasing household debt, per the hstincanada article titled, "HST Impact on Housing Market". These new rules raised concerns over the affordability of housing, due to "two-punch combo of HST and regulations", as it was referred to in the article.

   The first punch of the of the "two-punch combo" - The mortgage rules translate into higher income requirements for buyers for higher ratio mortgages, and thus, higher monthly payments.

   Punch #2 - The HST, which is applied to the purchase of new homes (new homes, not existing homes), and is applied to "any amount over $400,000 with a rebate of up to $20,000", per hstincanada, and is also applied to "any legal fees, closing costs, and processing fees associated with buying a new home", as well as realtor fees and home inspections.

   In an article written by Sally MacDonald for the Daily Townsman ("HST vote a blow for real estate"), BC Realtor Jason Wheeldon points out the HST is "not applicable to existing housing", but says that "there is a lot of the market out there that believe that even if they buy a house that's two years old, they are going to be subject to HST, and there isn't any. It's only on new homes offered by the developer or the builder".

   Apparently, as told by hstincanada, the "added tax has been reportedly stalling new home projects and causing a decrease in the purchase of new homes in both Ontario and BC", and evidently, in the article by MacDonald, this has translated into confusion, says Wheeldon. He goes further and says that "market confusion" could stall the real estate market while the province reverts back to the PST. "I think people are going to review their big spending decisions and see if they are going to hold off for 18 months".

   It is important to note that from MacDonald's article, we are reminded that Real Estate is exempt under PST as well as the HST, and that the "return to the PST in 2013 will be positive for out-of-province homeowners", as per Wheeldon. He said that when it restores back, "it will benefit home owners, particularly recreational real estate. Recreational buyers were subject to the full HST with no rebates whatsoever".

   From the angle of Housing Construction, MacDonald's article says that housing construction will suffer a blow over the next 18 months, and that the cost of labor (i.e. home renovations), will get hit with the full 12% HST (but not the 7% PST). Also, in the same story, Peter Simpson of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders' Association expects consumers will delay renovation projects until the PST is back in place (very similar to what Wheeldon mentioned above). Simpson recommends a system that "makes it neutral whether you do it now or wait".

   Things do not look much better from the perspective of foreign investment, as hstincanada points out that in BC, it is still a concern that "foreign investment will be lost and businesses will see a rise in expenses with the former taxation system reinstated which in turn will translate into higher consumer costs". To balance this out, they are hoping for the "supposed influx of provincial investments to balance out the economy".

   Are you either a buyer or seller of Canadian Real Estate or Real Estate in British Columbia? If you are, I would love to hear your "inside scoop" on what is really going on up there and what people are thinking. Even if you are a foreign Real Estate Investor and you buy homes in Canada, your insight would be incredibly helpful here.

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #HST #Canada #CanadianRealEstate #RealEstateInvestor #BritishColumbia #BuyHomesCanada #RenttoOwn