New research released today by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) shows a massive loss of economic activity in the City of Toronto and a corresponding loss of thousands of jobs due to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT), imposed in Toronto in 2008.
The report, Economic Implications of the Municipal Land Transfer Tax in Toronto, conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting, outlined the economic losses incurred by the City of Toronto between 2008 and 2013 including:
- A loss of 38,278 resale home transactions
- A loss of $2.3 billion in economic activity
- A reduction of $1.2 billion in GDP
- A loss of 14,934 full-time jobs
- A loss of $772 million in wages and salaries
“The MLTT is bad for our economy,” said Costa Poulopoulos, OREA president. “For one, it kills jobs. With an unemployment rate worse than the national rate and even that of the province as a whole, the City of Toronto could have used those jobs. It also adds to household debt and pushes the dream of home ownership even further away.”
The study shows the MLTT has cost Toronto billions over the past five years – significantly more than the annual average of $270.2 million in revenue the city collected since 2008. The MLTT is applied to purchases on all properties in the City of Toronto over and above the existing provincial Land Transfer Tax (LTT). By increasing the total expense associated with housing transactions in Toronto, the tax makes buying a home in Toronto more costly. As a result, a significant number of housing transactions within the City of Toronto did not take place, which has, in turn, affected several aspects of Toronto’s economy.
Resale housing transactions across Ontario generate significant economic activity. The purchase and sale of homes generates fees to professionals such as lawyers, appraisers, Realtors and surveyors, as well as taxes and fees to government. In addition, homebuyers often purchase new appliances or furnishings and typically undertake renovations that tailor the new home to specific household requirements.
“This research proves that the MLTT is doing more harm than good where our economy is concerned,” said Poulopoulos. “It gets in the way of the economic spin-off that occurs when homes are purchased and sold. It should be repealed in Toronto and it should never be endorsed by the provincial government for any other municipality in this province.”
By repealing the MLTT, the City of Toronto could effectively increase the number of housing sales and purchases by an estimated 32,216 units over the next five years, resulting in the following economic benefits for Toronto:
- An additional $1.9 billion in economic activity
- An increase of $990 million in GDP
- The creation of 12,570 new full time jobs
- The addition of $650 million in wages and salaries
Toronto residents say the MLTT is a barrier to home ownership
The economic study by Altus is being released in conjunction with new research from Ipsos Reid that revealed home ownership is a dream many Torontonians have but find difficult to fulfil due in part to the MLTT. Some of the study highlights include:
- 85% of Toronto residents agree that the MLTT makes home ownership more difficult to achieve
- 70% of 416-ers say that the MLTT would make them incur more debt in order to pay the tax
- 72% say that the MLTT would make them spend less on renovations, furniture or appliances for the home they would purchase
The full Altus report and Ipsos Reid factum are available at www.donttaxmydream.ca
About the Ontario Real Estate Association
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 58,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 40 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com
About Altus Group Economic Consulting
Altus Group Economic Consulting was formed in February 2007 when Clayton Research Associates Limited (est. in 1972) joined in Altus Group. Altus Group Economic Consulting is a group of urban and real estate economists and provides strategic advice and information to both private and public sector clients across Canada. The division specializes in real estate market analysis, land use planning issues, property investment and financing, and building products and technology analysis. Altus Group Economic Consulting has gained a reputation for astute and independent advice and analysis, based on extensive in-house expertise, a unique information base, leading edge analytical techniques and extensive contacts throughout Canada.
Methodology (Ipsos Reid Study)
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) from February 28th to March 6th, 2014. For the survey, a sample of 1,537 (including 310 Torontonians) adult Ontarians was interviewed online via Ipsos’s I-Say online panel. The precision of Ipsos online surveys is measured using a Bayesian Credibility Interval. In this case, the survey is considered accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all adult Ontarians been surveyed and within +/- 6.3 percentage points had all Torontonians been polled. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the latest Census information.