Saturday, August 7, 2010

HST confusion to blame for home sales drop?

Residents of Ontario and B.C. are unsure about how the harmonized sales tax (HST) affects real estate transactions, a new study finds, and the confusion is being blamed for a slide in home sales.

Home sales in Toronto fell 34 per cent in July, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

TREB reported that there were 6,564 sales last month, down from 9,967 in the same month in 2009. Home sales were at the lowest level since 2002.

"The level of July sales remained below the expected long-term trend. The market has become more balanced following record monthly sales through most of the winter and early spring," said board president Bill Johnston, in a release.

Confusion around how HST applies to homes sales could be to blame. A new survey of realtors released Thursday by Royal LePage finds that 43.9 per cent feel the tax is playing a part in cooling the housing market.

Source: CNC News
Last Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2010 | 2:37 PM ET

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