By Stefan Hyross

Decreased consumer confidence in the real estate market has created a decline in home sales worldwide, however the Greater Toronto Area has made a recovery from the economic downturn. The Toronto Real Estate Board reported a 19% increase in the purchase of resale houses from November 2007 to November 2008, and a 3% increase in the purchase of new houses from May 2008 to May 2009, showing confirmation of rising consumer confidence in the investment of funds in Toronto residential real estate. With indications of economic recovery on the horizon, many people are looking at investing in both houses and condos in the Greater Toronto Area.

When adding up the expense of buying a new home, closing fees are additional factors which need to be taken into account. These comprise of appraisal of the real estate, home inspection, mortgage fees, agent commissions, and documentation fees. A large consideration among many in Toronto’s real estate industry, however, is tax, specifically the July 2010 introduction of the HST, or Harmonized Sales Tax.

The HST is being established as a combination of the 5% GST and the 8% PST, and is supposed to be added to new and resale property closing costs, in addition to the purchase price of a new home. This will remove the current exemption from the PST for new property purchases. The Ministry of Revenue has released new documentation regarding the HST, specifically addressing an intended rebate of 75% of the provincial portion of the new unified sales tax, up to a maximum of $24,000. This rebate would be received either at the time of sale, or, as is presently the case with the GST, through submitting a form to the Canada Revenue Agency.


Once a budget has been decided and a target purchase price calculated, the buyer must decide on the type of real estate desired. Both the advantages and disadvantages of single family houses and condos should be analyzed in order to come to the right conclusion for the buyer.

First, the buyer should consider value for money. Generally, a home will have greater equity in the future, and a greater resale value. Rent is often greater for houses than condos. Condominiums generally charge fees that go to an association. Because of this, the return on investment can be bigger on houses.

Location is another issue, determined by the desires of the buyer. A buyer seeking property in downtown Toronto may find it difficult to find a home that matches his or her needs, whereas condos are more plentiful.

A final point to consider is the commitment of time on property repairs. In a home, the maintenance and improvements are the sole responsibility of the owner. In a condo, the corporation takes care of most, if not all, of the building repairs.

The Toronto residential real estate market has a lot to offer new investors, and effective preparation and the in-depth market research can help buyers bypass the problems that are often be associated with a real estate transaction.

About the Author: Stefan Hyross is a writer for Lea Barclay, a specialist in the

Toronto Residential real estate market

. Visit the site for market information and view the latest listings in homes and condos.


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