With the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee considering a report today, with options to improve affordability for first-time home buyers by providing relief from the City’s Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT), the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is calling on the Committee to move ahead with longneeded adjustments to the MLTT First-Time Home Buyer Rebate.

“First-time home buyers have been unfairly penalized by the MLTT for years. Adjustments to the MLTT first-time buyer rebate are long overdue,” said Michael Collins, TRREB President.

The average price of a residential property in the City of Toronto at the start of 2008, when the MLTT was first implemented, was $415,000, and the MLTT first-time buyer rebate was allowed up to a maximum of a $400,000 home, meaning that first-time buyers were almost completely exempt from paying any MLTT, as was City Council’s intention. The average price of a City of Toronto residential property is currently $881,000, and the MLTT first-time buyer rebate is still only allowed to a maximum of a $400,000 property. This means that a first-time buyer purchasing an average priced property today would pay $9,620 in MLTT, on top of about $10,000 of Provincial Land Transfer Tax (PLTT), for a total of about $20,000 in land transfer taxes, which must be paid up front on closing of the real estate transaction.

“Clearly, City Council’s intention of providing relief for first-time home buyers, up to the average priced property, is no longer being met,” added Collins.

Not only are first-time buyers not being given the relief that was intended by City Council, they are being forced to pay MLTT at the highest rates, even if they purchase a below average priced home. This is because the MLTT rate structure is such that the highest rates kick in starting on homes priced at only $400,000, which is 55% below the current average price. As noted by the City staff report being considered by the Executive Committee, two-thirds of first-time home buyers purchase homes priced between $400,000 and $800,000, well below today’s average home price in Toronto.

“The City is essentially forcing people, including first-time buyers, purchasing BELOW average priced properties to pay the highest MLTT rates. This is simply not progressive or fair,” said John DiMichele, TRREB Chief Executive Officer.

The City staff report, and TRREB survey research (conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs), show that the number of firsttime buyers entering the real estate market has been declining significantly in recent years. TRREB believes that this is largely because of affordability issues.

“First-time buyers are increasingly being priced out of Toronto’s real estate market and the Municipal Land Transfer Tax has exacerbated this. It is time to make adjustments to the MLTT rebate for first-time buyers, so that they receive the relief that was always intended by City Council,” added DiMichele.

TRREB has provided its detailed written input to the City’s Executive Committee, and will be monitoring the City’s actions going forward.

Racism against any group is unacceptable. Recent incidents of anti-Black racism have caused shock and outrage worldwide. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is equally concerned about anti-Black racism and acts of racism against any group in our society.

TRREB is proud to serve a membership of over 56,000 that is a microcosm of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents. Our Members, leadership and TRREB staff reflect and serve communities made up of individuals from diverse ethnic, racial and multicultural backgrounds.

TRREB firmly believes that the GTA’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths. It requires us to collectively work together to preserve this.

Please do your part to embrace inclusion. We promise to do ours. It is up to all of us to listen to those whose lives are different from our own, and to do our part to ensure and reflect justice, compassion, and empathy.

We are professionals connecting people, property and communities. We welcome your input and thoughts on how we can improve our communities together.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,606 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in May 2020. This result was down by 53.7 per cent compared to May 2019. While the number of sales was down substantially on a year-over-year basis due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the decline was less than the 67.1 per cent year-over-year decline reported for April 2020.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that TRREB contracted Ipsos Public Affairs to provide up-to-date information on consumer sentiment related to the housing market and the specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ipsos online survey captured home buying and selling intentions along with consumer opinions on preferred government policy directions related to the housing market.

Happy National Real Estate Day! Today, we commemorate the Canadian dream of home ownership. Spread the word using posts on our social media channels. 

National Real Estate Day 2020.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board has received an additional $278,000 in Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation grants to help support shelterbased charities across the Greater Toronto Area during this unprecedented time. This supplements the $713,000 that TRREB already provided in grants to shelter-based charities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) at the end of 2019.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System. This result was down by 67 per cent compared to April 2019. Weekday sales remained within a relatively steady range during the month, averaging 130 per day.

TRREB has developed a COVID-19 property tax deferral schedule for every Greater Toronto Area municipality for your convenience and use. It also includes links to their respective websites for more details on the deferrals, and links to the various municipal COVID-19 information centres. We know how difficult it can be to track all of this information so we hope you find this resource useful.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins is reporting results for the first 17 days of April 2020, in order to provide some guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on the Greater Toronto Area housing market.

A series of charts summarizing key residential statistics for the GTA, including an affordability indicator and time series for price, new listings and sales.

Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,012 home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in March 2020 – up by 12.3 per cent compared to 7,132 sales reported in March 2019.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) today issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) guidance to its 56,000 REALTOR® Members on the provincial shutdown, as it relates to trading in real estate. The key message is to avoid in-person business, such as open houses and showings with clients, during the provincial state of emergency. This will include home sellers, buyers, tenants and business clients.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) issued a strong recommendation to its 56,000 REALTOR® Members to stop conducting in-person open houses during the Ontario COVID-19 State of Emergency. TRREB is committed to the protection of the health and safety of its Members and the general public, and has encouraged Members to continue to offer best practices due to the uncertainty we’re faced with in dealing with COVID-19.

TRREB is strongly recommending that Members stop conducting in-person open houses during the Ontario State of Emergency, and continue to offer best practices due to the uncertainty we’re faced with in dealing with COVID-19. TRREB is committed to the protection of the health and safety of its Members and the general public. In light of provincial government restrictions on public gatherings and guidance regarding social distancing, TRREB recommends that Members do not hold open houses for the time being. 

TRREB will be suppressing open houses on Stratus MLS® and our public facing websites trreb.ca, Collaborate and realtor.ca, until it is safe to restore.

For clarity, TRREB will also not enforce MLS R-345 (showings) while the current government health advisories remain in effect. Listings will not be suspended because a property is not available for showings or inspections.

We’re at a critical phase with this pandemic and we all have to do our part to be successful in confronting this challenge in order to protect the health and safety of REALTORS®, their clients and the general public. We have provided resources to assist with Best Practices which you can review here.

While we appreciate that this is the brokerage’s decision in consultation with your clients, we are recommending that this practice stop until further notice. Realtors are reminded that there are alternative online and virtual marketing opportunities for sellers that can easily be accessed by buyers. We encourage members to use alternative marketing strategies such as video and virtual tours wherever possible, and to continue to follow directives and guidance being given by the government and public health agencies.

We continue to monitor developments and will provide additional guidance as appropriate as the situation develops.

Michael Collins
TRREB President