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December 12, 2018 | The Fake News

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

Let’s say you buy a $1 million house. Okay, in Vancouver that would be fairly nice garden shed, or perhaps one of those porta potties with a heated seat. Regardless, there mucho tax to pay – in BC and across the country.

Without question governments have benefited bigly from the real estate boom of the past decade. Politicians have added to the cost of properties, thereby jacking household debt. But they can’t help it. They’re addicts. New-house builders pay staggering fees amounting to about 40% of the overall cost of the digs. Then there are registration levies, HST on realtor commissions and – the big one – land transfer taxes.

That seven-figure house comes with $18,000 in transfer tax to the BC government. That compares with $15,000 in Nova Scotia and $16,000 in Montreal. Buyers in battered Calgary do best – just a few hundred bucks in tax. But in Toronto, it’s the slaughter of the innocents with a transfer tax bill of $32,950. Yikes.

Toronto/GTA is the only place in the country when land transfer taxes are doubled, as both the province and the city thrust their blood-sucking proboscises deep into the arteries of hapless buyers. Last year this revenue grab nabbed the municipality alone more than $800 million – money for doing nothing, providing no service and yielding no benefit. But now Toronto can’t do without it. So we have a crisis.

In 2018 the tax collected by city hall will be a stunning $100 million less than in 2017 – a 12% drop which clearly demonstrates what’s happened to the local housing market. Prices have stayed sticky, but sales have tumbled. And no wonder. So the choice in 6ix is stark: cut services or raise property taxes by at least 4% to compensate. But how fair is it taxing people more to own property they were taxed obscenely to buy?

These are some of the things realtors don’t talk much about when they sell you a place. Outside of Alberta, closing costs can add 2% to 4% to the price of a home. But that’s just the start. Property taxes have only one direction in which to travel, as do condo fees and insurance premiums. The only hope is that Canadian real estate will correct – but the real estate cartel is doing all it can to prevent that.

This week the two behemoths of bombast, Re/Max and Royal Lepage, both brought out ‘reports’ forecasting price gains everywhere in 2019. Make no mistake, these are promotional tools designed to influence public opinion, create FOMO and thereby artificially influence the market. It they were selling stocks instead of condos, the CEOs of these outfits would be sharing shackles with Meng. Shame on the regulators.

 In any case, you might find the list below of interest. This is an internal report from Royal Lepage’s head flack, Sarah Louise Gardiner, sent to all company agents. It alerts them to the take-up by local and national media of the latest house-pumping propaganda. As you can see, our journalists have failed, accepting without criticism, comment or research a corporate handout steeped in conflict-of-interest. They slap on a headline, and run it.

Without reporters, or the odd pathetic blog, there’s nothing standing between you and fiction. What a terrifying thought.

Sarah Louise Gardiner
Director of Communications & Investor Relations
“Consumers, organizations and the media turn to Royal LePage as a trusted source for expert commentary. So far today we have achieved great media coverage, including:”

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December 12th, 2018

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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