Dramatic Increases by Alberta Government affecting Home Buyers

As you are no doubt aware, yesterday’s release of Budget 2015 contains increases to fees for real estate transfers as of July 1, 2015. In statements related to the Budget, Service Alberta identified real estate associations among the stakeholders who were consulted on increases to fees related to the transfer of real estate. To that effect, AREA CEO Ian Burns has released the following statement to clarify that AREA was not consulted on these increases and to state the association’s position:

 

"Budget 2015 includes significant hikes to fees paid by real estate consumers beginning July 1, 2015, including registering new land titles and mortgage documents.


The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), the provincial, professional association for Alberta’s 10,000 REALTORS®, was not one of the real estate association stakeholders consulted on these increases.

AREA appreciates the fiscal challenges faced by government and recognizes that, after this increase, fees related to real estate transfers remain lower in Alberta than other provinces. We have asked Service Alberta to confirm what sources they are quoting when expressing that real estate associations were among the stakeholders who identified that there was ‘room for these fees to grow’."


Increases to fees are certainly never welcomed and the table below details the impact of these increases on the fees for a $500,000 home with a $400,000 mortgage:

 

 

Fees Prior to July 1, 2015
($50 + $1 per $5,000 increment)

Fees After July 1, 2015
($75 + $6 per $5,000 increment)

Land Title Registration

$150

$675

Mortgage Registration

$130

$555

Total

$280

$1,230

Though the increase as of July 1st represents a hike of more than 400% for the real estate consumer, the cost of real estate transfers in Alberta remains lower than other provinces. This can be attributed to the continued avoidance of a Land Transfer Tax in Alberta at either the provincial or local levels.

 

Rest assured that AREA continues to monitor discussions by government and advocate on behalf of members to avoid Land Transfer Tax ever becoming a reality in our province.


AREA also believes that preferable alternatives to increasing fees exist, and will continue to have discussions with Service Alberta to that effect. Enhancements to the Land Titles Registry could incorporate all existing property records under one, centralized system (e.g. property-related permits, condominium documents, grow-op history, environmental assessments and New Home Warranties). All of these records under one roof could allow the Government to increase revenues through the provision of these documents.

 

Click here to view information on AREA’s positions on both Land Transfer Tax and enhancements to the Land Titles Registry.

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