Canadian Housing Tax Break
Due to Canadas tax systems Principal Residence Exemption, when we sell our homes, any increased value or capital gains are not taxed.
This generous tax break matters to Canadian homeowners. Collectively, we have about $3 trillion in home equity and our homes are often our largest financial asset.
However, starting with our 2016 income tax returns, there are some changes in how homeowners qualify for the Principal Residence Exemption.
Until now, the Canada Revenue Agency has not required Canadians to report on a home sale when during tax season. If you sold your home in 2016 or later, you will need to complete a Schedule 3, Capital Gains of the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return in order to report your sale.
The good news is that, in terms of taxes, nothing has changed. The same tax benefit is available to anyone who sells their home, provided the property was the principal residence for every year you owned it even if you use part of your home for business purposes. There is no new tax involved only a requirement that we report the sale details on our tax returns.
So, if there is still no tax to pay, why the extra paperwork?
When it comes to taxes, not everyone plays by the rules. The Principal Residence Exemption is a very generous tax break and it is occasionally misused by those involved in speculative house flipping in order to evade taxes on their profits. In these cases, people were claiming the exemption for homes they owned, but may never have lived in. Reporting these sales allows the government to make sure that only eligible homeowners get the benefit that they are entitled to.
So, if you sold you home in 2016, make sure to report the sale when you file your 2016 tax return. You will still get the same tax break and you will help prevent the misuse of this important homeowner tax benefit.
Housing market continues to moderate in June
Statistics released today by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales were down between May and June 2021.
Home sales recorded over Canadian MLS Systems fell by 8.4% month-over month in June 2021, marking the third straight monthly slowdown since activity hit an all-time record back in March. While sales are now down a cumulative 25% from their peak, and below every other month in the last year, June transactions still managed to set a record for that month.
Month-over-month declines in sales activity were once again quite broad-based, with sales moderating in around 80% of all local markets, including almost all large markets across Canada.
The actual (not seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in June 2021 was up 13.6% on a year-over-year basis and marked a new record for that month.
While there is still a lot of activity in many housing markets across Canada, things have noticeably calmed down in the last few months, said Cliff Stevenson, Chair of CREA. There remains a shortage of supply in many parts of the country, but at least there isnt the same level of competition among buyers we were seeing a few months ago. As these conditions continue to evolve over the summer and fall, your best bet is to consult with your local REALTOR for information and guidance about buying or selling a home at this stage in the cycle, continued Stevenson.
Record rise of home prices in May
In May the TeranetNational Bank National Composite House Price IndexTM was up 2.8% from the previous month, the largest monthly rise since the index series began in 1999. It was led by four of the 11 constituent markets: Ottawa-Gatineau (4.9%), Halifax (4.3%), Hamilton (3.7%) and Toronto (3.4%). Rises were more moderate for Vancouver (2.3%), Winnipeg (2.2%), Montreal (2.2%), Victoria (2.1%), Calgary (1.4%), Quebec City (1.2%) and Edmonton (1.2%). It was a third consecutive month in which all 11 markets of the composite index were up from the month before.
The May rise was consistent with the increase in number of home sales over the last several months as reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association. For a ninth straight month, the number of sale pairs entering into the 11 metropolitan indexes was higher than a year earlier. The unsmoothed composite index, seasonally adjusted, was up 2.1% in May, suggesting that the uptrend of the published (smoothed) index could continue.
The May composite index was up 13.7% from a year earlier, for a 10th consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since July 2017. The 12-month rise was led by five markets Halifax (29.9%), Hamilton (25.5%), Ottawa-Gatineau (22.8%), Montreal (17.6%) and Victoria (15.3%). Toronto matched the countrywide average at 13.7%. Lagging that average were Vancouver (11.9%), Winnipeg (10.4%), Quebec City (9.8%), Calgary (4.5%) and Edmonton (3.6%).
Besides the Toronto and Hamilton indexes included in the countrywide composite, indexes exist for seven smaller urban areas of the Golden Horseshoe Barrie, Guelph, Brantford, Kitchener, St. Catharines, Oshawa and Peterborough. In May all seven were up from the previous month and from a year earlier. The 12-month gains ranged from 27.6% for Brantford to 31.4% for Barrie.