2017-2018 Budget - The QFREB welcomes the budget measures affecting the housing sector, but would have liked a modernization of the "welcome tax"

L'ÎLE-DES-SOEURS, QC, March 29, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) welcomes the tax provisions announced by the Québec Minister of Finance Carlos Leitão in regard to housing, but would have preferred seeing more tangible measures to promote home ownership in the 2017–2018 budget, such as the abolition of real estate transfer taxes, commonly called the "welcome tax", for first-time homebuyers in Québec.

"Concrete measures are needed in real estate given the fact that Québec consumers are facing major mortgage tightening measures introduced by the federal government in recent years. Home ownership is more and more difficult for young families looking forward to building a family nest of their own," said Patrick Juanéda, President of the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards.

Three measures that bode well for the housing industry

  1. The QFREB welcomes the introduction of the new tax credit for residential wastewater treatment systems. This measure will financially assist homeowners up to $5,500 per taxpayer who must undertake repairs to their septic system. Although the amount awarded is small compared to the huge cost that homeowners must assume for the work, the QFREB recognizes the government's desire to lighten their financial burden.
  2. The QFREB welcomes the government's decision to maintain the RénoVert tax credit for renovations, which benefits both present homeowners and future home buyers.
  3. The announcement of the construction of 3,000 new social housing units was also very favourably received by the QFREB and its members.

The "Welcome Tax" still a burden for first-time homebuyers

The QFREB would have liked to see the Québec government adopt measures to reduce the tax burden for first-time homebuyers, as did his Ontario counterpart last fall. A transfer tax exemption for Québec first-time homebuyers, mostly young families, would also have helped to bridge the historical gap in Québec's homeownership rate compared to other Canadian provinces (61 per cent compared to over 70 per cent for the rest of Canada).

Furthermore, the transfer tax brackets have not been adjusted since 1992, while the price of residential properties has nearly tripled during the same period. The QFREB proposes that the taxation brackets used for calculating transfer taxes be modernized to reflect the current structure of the real estate market and will continue its efforts with the government so that its recommendations be included in the Act respecting duties on transfers of immovables.

About the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards

The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) is a non-profit organization representing the province's 12 real estate boards and their nearly 13,000 member real estate brokers. Its mission is to support Québec's real estate boards in order to defend, protect and promote the interests of real estate brokers through the provision of services in the areas of professional practices, public affairs and market analysis. The QFREB is guided by a collaboration-oriented approach as well as resource sharing.


SOURCE Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards

For further information: Jacynthe Alain, Assistant Manager--Communications and Public Relations, Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards, 514-647-8249, jacynthe.alain@fciq.ca


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