Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

Home Ownership Matters to people, to communities and to Ontario

It has been almost five years since OREA launched its very successful “Home Ownership Matters” campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to promote greater support for affordable home ownership to candidates, political parties and key decision makers.

Thanks to OREA’s public relations and adverting efforts, our message was picked up by major news outlets and more importantly, by key decision makers. Thanks to the “Home Ownership Matters” campaign, all major Ontario political parties included home ownership and housing friendly policies in their election platforms.

The message of affordable housing continues to resonate today and OREA continues to communicate this important message to government.

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Throwback Thursday: Home Ownership Matters

Modernize the Ontario Land Transfer Rebate

For many first-time buyers in Ontario, saving for a down payment is among the biggest obstacles to home ownership. The provincial land transfer tax (LTT) and other closing costs reduce the size of a buyer’s down payment, making it more difficult to enter the market.

Currently, first-time buyers are eligible for a maximum LTT rebate of up to $2,000. However, as home prices have increased, the rebate’s effectiveness has eroded over time.

In 1996, when the LTT rebate was introduced, Ontario’s first-time buyers paid $0 on the average priced home. The rationale behind the LTT rebate was to exempt first-time buyers in order to help them enter the market. Today, first-time buyers are paying nearly $4,000 in LTTs on an average priced home, after applying the rebate.

To improve the affordability of home ownership, the government should modernize the LTT rebate for first-time buyers. OREA is currently researching this important issue and will be making recommendations to the government in the very near future.

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Modernize the Ontario Land Transfer Rebate

Ontario Launches Airbnb Pilot Project

The province is collaborating with Airbnb to raise awareness about homeowners’ and consumers’ rights when booking or offering accommodations through Airbnb. Airbnb is an online platform that allows people to list or book private accommodations.

The pilot project will create a webpage, with Ontario specific content, that will give users more information about reporting rental income, consumer protection rights under contracts, accessibility requirements and regulatory and safety obligations.

This pilot project is part of a larger consumer protection initiative by the government to harness the benefits of the sharing economy while protecting Ontarians. The government has also established a Sharing Economy Advisory Board to help Ontario seize opportunities in the rapidly expanding sharing economy.

Currently, there are more than 11,000 Airbnb hosts in Ontario. The average host makes approximately $280 a month on this online platform. Last year, more than 375,000 visitors used Airbnb to book accommodations in Ontario.

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Ontario Launches Airbnb Pilot Project

Provincial Budget to be introduced next week

 

The legislature resumed earlier this week and MPPs are back in Toronto. It’s an exciting time of year at Queen’s Park especially as the Minister of Finance announced the government would be introducing its budget next Thursday.

During the pre-budget consultation process OREA made the following recommendations to the Minister of Finance and the Standing Committee Finance and Economic Affairs:

Maintain the government’s commitment to exclude the municipal land transfer tax as a municipal revenue tool.
Modernize the land transfer rebate program for first-time home buyers.
Include a home energy audit in the definition of a voluntary, standard home inspection.
Permit real estate salespeople to incorporate their businesses by making the necessary legislative changes to the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002.
Encourage brownfield redevelopment by creating a new tax category for brownfield properties that are under remediation.
Exempt the self-employed from the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan.

At an address to the Economic Club of Canada, the Minister indicated that Ontario is on track and committed to eliminating its $7.5 billion deficit by 2017-18.

The Minister also announced the government plans to delay the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan to allow businesses more time to prepare. This new timeline also gives Ontario more time to negotiate the modernization of the Canadian Pension Plan with Ottawa.

Stay tuned for more on the budget and what it means for Ontario REALTORS®.

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Provincial Budget to be introduced next week

Byelection in Whitby-Oshawa called for February 11

Vote

Voters in Whitby-Oshawa will go to the polls on February 11, 2016 after the writ was issues this past Wednesday. Previously, the riding was held by MPP Christine Elliott.

The parties are fighting hard for this traditional Tory riding with Lorne Coe running for the PCs, Elizabeth Roy for the Liberals, and Niki Lundquist for the NDP.

Advanced polls will open on January 30, 2016 and close on February 5, 2016. For more voting information please visit the Elections Ontario website.

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Byelection in Whitby-Oshawa called for February 11

Ontario will not extend the Municipal Land Transfer Tax outside Toronto

Earlier this week, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that the government will not be extending the Municipal Land Transfer Tax power to Ontario municipalities outside of Toronto, where the power already exists.

“This is a huge win for Ontario’s home owners and those who dream of one day owning a home. It reaffirms that the municipal land transfer tax is a bad revenue tool, not just outside Toronto but in it as well,” said Patricia Verge, President of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “On behalf of OREA, I want to thank Minister McMeekin for his leadership on this issue and for standing up for Ontarians who said, by the thousands, that this is not a fair or equitable tax.”

During Question Period, McMeekin declared: “I was pleased to communicate our government’s position today, that other than in Toronto, where the power already exists, our government will not be extending Municipal Land Transfer Tax powers to other Ontario municipalities.”

Verge continued: “I would like to also acknowledge MPPs on all sides of the legislature who spoke both publicly and privately against the tax. Your work has helped protect affordable home ownership for future generations.”

“Finally, I’d like to thank the public who rallied with us to put a stop to the spread of this tax and to OREA’s 60,000 members for their feedback, dedication and commitment over the past weeks.”

OREA led a five-week campaign called ‘Don’t Tax My Dream’ (donttaxmydream.ca) that saw Realtors and 32,000 members of the public voice their opposition to the spread of the municipal land transfer tax province-wide.

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Ontario will not extend the Municipal Land Transfer Tax outside Toronto

MPP Tables Motion Against the Municipal Land Transfer Tax

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MPP Tables Motion Against the Municipal Land Transfer Tax

What the federal election means for small business and the housing market

Next Monday, Canadians will elect their new federal government.

Here is a brief overview of what the federal parties are saving about small business and the real estate market. For more information on the federal election please visit CREA’s REALTOR® Action Network.

Conservative Party of Canada

If elected, the Conservatives would:

Reduce red tape by launching national red-tape consultations on small business issues. The Conservatives aim to reduce the red tape burden by 20%. One of these red tape reductions would include simplifying the calculation of home office expenses to save Canadians time and money when filing their taxes.
Implement a tax lock law that would prohibit increases to the federal income tax rates and sales tax rates, and new, discretionary payroll taxes.
Lower the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent over four years and cutt payroll taxes on small businesses by 21 percent.
Collect data on foreign buyer activity in Canada and if necessary take action to curb foreign speculation in Canada’s real estate market.
Increase the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000.

New Democratic Party of Canada

reduce the small business tax rate from 11 percent to 9 percent.

Liberal Party of Canada

Cut the middle class income bracket by 7% and introduce a new tax bracket of 33% for incomes over $200,000.
Repeal income splitting and other tax breaks and benefits for wealthy Canadians.
Collect data on housing to determine whether speculation is driving up the cost of housing and identify policy tools that could keep homeownership within reach for more Canadians. The Liberals would also restore the mandatory long-form census to ensure data-driven decision making.
Allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to access the Home Buyer’s Plan and use money from their RRSP to buy a house without tax penalty.

To ensure you’re registered to vote or confirm your electoral district please visit Elections Canada.

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What the federal election means for small business and the housing market

Ontario Legislature Resumed this Week

The Pink Palace is bustling with excitement this week as the legislature resumed on Monday.

While it has been business as usual for the Liberals and the NDP, the Progressive Conservatives debuted their new leader, Patrick Brown.

Other changes to the PC benches include the resignation of highly respected MPP Christine Elliott who announced she’d be leaving provincial politics this past summer. A by-election to fill her seat has yet to be announced.

OREA looks forward to another busy year working with Ontario’s legislators and meeting with them soon at our annual Political Affairs Conference.

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Ontario Legislature Resumed this Week

Election 2015

Canadians are halfway through one of the longest federal election campaigns in recent memory. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are scheduled to vote October 19th, 2015.

In the lead up to election day, the Canadian Real Estate Association has put together a great toolkit for REALTORS® across the country to engage with local candidates and get involved.  To learn more, make sure to login to CREA’s REALTOR® Action Network and gain access to a wide array of member only advocacy tools.

For more information on registering to vote, riding information, advanced polls and other voting related inquiries please visit the Election’s Canada website.

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Election 2015