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HST Rush Is On

The long predicted rush to beat the HST seems to be in full effect. Developers who have nearly finished buildings are rushing to get their remaining inventory over $400K sold and closed (building registered) before June 30th. For example, Empire Communities has School House Lofts in the Annex – a boutique collection of high-end condominium residences, all priced over $629K, and they are trying to get these units sold and the building registered by June 30th. If they do not, they will either have to absorb a MASSIVE hit from the inclusion of the 8% extra HST, or they will have to raise prices on all units significantly.

On the resale side, buyers and sellers alike are trying to get their closings in before June 30th even though the impact will not be nearly as great as on the new build side. Let’s just say that all the real estate lawyers in the city will be VERY busy the last week of June and completely bored the first week of July!

Here’s what the actual impact of the HST will look like for both buyers and sellers of a typical $400K transaction

For Sellers, closing before July 1st will save you 8% on your real estate fees (assuming fees at 5%, that’s $1600). Legal fees on a typical sale will be about $1000 (HST would be $80 extra here).

For Buyers, closing before July 1st will save you 8% on your legal fees (assuming fees at $1500, that’s $120).

Other miscellaneous expenses to think about that will cost more come July 1st include home inspections and moving expenses.

Tip For Buyers: If you are buying a condo, check the status certificate to ensure that the budget includes an accounting for the HST and the impact it will have on the services the condo uses regularly. If the condo board has not planned for the increase, this is not a good sign!

Tip For Buyers and Sellers: Secure your lawyer early to handle your closing as many will be ‘booked up’ for the last week of June and may refuse you service.

Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me.

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