Ontario Real Estate Association calls on government to address confusion
TORONTO, Oct. 26, 2011 /CNW/ - An Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)
survey reveals that confusion about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and
buying a resale home has not decreased in the last year despite efforts
by the provincial government and real estate industry to educate the
The survey conducted by Ipsos Reid shows that 58 per cent of Ontarians
mistakenly believe the HST is applied to the purchase price of a resale
home versus 56 per cent who believed the same in an identical
OREA/Ipsos survey conducted last fall.
"It is discouraging to see the confusion about home buying and the HST
has not reduced in the past year," says Barbara Sukkau, president of
OREA. "Our members are working very hard to inform their clients about
home buying and the HST, but we are asking the government to do more to
educate the public," says Sukkau
Since the introduction of the HST, the Ontario government has created a
website to inform consumers about the changes to tax system and has
worked with OREA on a video with the former Minister of Revenue, prior to the ministry becoming
part of the Ministry of Finance, to explain the facts about home buying
and HST. On its own, OREA has produced its own video about HST confusion and has worked with its members to inform the public about this topic.
"Obviously the government's efforts, and our own, have not been enough
to dispel this myth. The HST does not apply to the purchase price of a
resale home. It only applies to transaction fees associated with the
purchase of a resale home, such as Realtor fees and legal fees," says
According to the new survey, people living in northern Ontario (66 per
cent) and the GTA (60 per cent) were the most likely to believe that
HST applied to the purchase price of resale homes, while those living
in central Ontario (50 per cent) were the least likely. The full
results can be found at http://bit.ly/HSTsurvey.
With the average Ontario home selling at just under $350,000 in August
2011 (Canadian Real Estate Association), potential home buyers may
wrongly assume a resale home costs an additional $45,500 more than it
does. "If buyers overestimate the cost of a resale home, they may be
reluctant to even contact a Realtor to see what's available in their
area and miss a great opportunity," says Sukkau. "Studies have shown
that homeownership provides not only financial benefits as an
investment, but social benefits as well. Homeowners take pride in their
property and bring stability to a neighbourhood, so it's vital to our
communities that Ontarians accurately understand the costs associated
with buying a home."
OREA also conducted a survey of its members to see if confusion about
the HST has had a negative impact on home sales in the last year.
Almost half (48 per cent) of the Realtors surveyed said that consumers
seemed to be somewhat confused about whether HST was applied to the
purchase price of a resale home. Also when asked, 79 per cent of
Realtors said that they believe the HST has had a very or somewhat
negative impact on the housing market.
"For now, if someone is thinking of a new home and has questions about
whether or not the HST is applied to the purchase price, they should
speak to a Realtor in their community for advice," says Sukkau. More
information about the cost of buying a home can be found at howrealtorshelp.ca.
Ipsos Reid poll conducted the survey among 813 Ontarians from Ipsos'
Canadian online panel, between September 15 and 19, 2011, on behalf of
the Ontario Real Estate Association. The estimated margin of error is
+/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
OREA's online research panel sent email invitations on July 29, 2011 to
2,717 panel members. Two reminders were issued and the field closed
August 12, 2011. A total of 1,199 panel members responded (44 per
About the Ontario Real Estate Association
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 50,000 brokers and
salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards throughout the
province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications,
educational programs, advocacy, and other services. OREA.com
SOURCE Ontario Real Estate Association
For further information:
To book an interview with Barbara Sukkau, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association please contact:
Thornley Fallis Communications
Office: (416) 515-7517, ext. 350
Mobile: (416) 473-9565