It's a little bit harder now to buy that first home you've been saving so hard for
Effective July 9, 2012, the federal government announced four measures tightening restrictions on CHMC mortgage insurance. These rules affect government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent:
- The maximum amortization period has been reduced to 25 years from 30 years.
- The maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing has been lowered to 80% from 85% of the value of their homes.
- The maximum gross debt service ratio has been fixed at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent.
- Government-backed insured mortgages will no longer be available for homes with a purchase price of more than $1-million.
Department of Finance Backgrounder
MLS replaces old district zones with neighbourhood names
Last year the Toronto Real Estate Board launched a new district structure to replace the existing TREB zones. This is intended to improve the search capabilities within the MLS®, and move from a district mapping system based on a “zone” identified by code numbers to one identified by commonly known names and more easily understood geographic areas.
In place of the old areas (Central, West, East and North) and districts (e.g. C01, C02, C08…), the new three tiers of address criteria will include Area, City and a Community (Neighbourhood).
The Toronto neighbourhood boundaries mirror those in the City of Toronto's neighbourhood maps, which you can see here: http://www.toronto.ca/demographics/profiles_map_and_index.htm.
Here's what TREB's new central downtown/midtown Toronto map looks like:
Confused about what taxes apply on your home purchase?
Ontario's new HST does not apply on the purchase price of resale homes
Ontario has merged the GST & PST into a new 13% HST (harmonized sales tax)
The HST does apply to newly constructed homes and to professional services associated with real estate transactions (eg. moving costs, legal fees, home inspection fees, and Realtors' commissions) — but the purchase price of a resale home is exempt from the tax.
The HST does apply to new homes, but Ontario provides a rebate of 75% of the provincial portion of the new HST on the first $400,000 on new homes, to a maximum of $24,000.
Buyers must remember to budget for other addtionals costs, such as the city's and province's Land Transfer Taxes, and property taxes.
What's Taxable Under the HST and What Is Not?