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While the reno boom appears to be on everywhere, it's especially hot in Toronto and Vancouver--two markets that also happen to have the hottest housing markets. "Tough competition for single family homes makes renovating an attractive option for current owners looking to upgrade, as well as for first-time buyers trying to get a foothold into these high-priced markets via fixer-uppers."

 

Warren says the renovation boom is likely to continue as low interest rates make it easier to improve one's home, which has proven to be a worthwhile investment in recent years. "A large share of home renovations are made by recent buyers and by sellers preparing to list," Warren said.

 

The fortune of the renovation sector appears to be intrinsically tied to the overall housing market. As long as sales and prices keep going up, owners are going to be more willing to spend on fixing up their houses.

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The Property Transfer Tax was first introduced in 1987 when the average sale price in Vancouver was $147,000. The Property Transfer Tax was 1% on the first 200K and 2% on the balance, payable by the buyer at time of completion. The logic was that the government was going to tax speculation and wealth because only 5% of the properties were selling over $200,000 in 1987. Times have changed!


Fast forward to the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year and the Government has collected $1.15 Billion dollars from the Property Transfer Tax. This revenue was up $937 Million from the 2013 - 2014 fiscal year and it is expected to grow in the 2015 - 2016 fiscal year that ends March 31, 2016.

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