28 Jul, 2016

Did the Land Transfer Tax Impact Housing Sales in Toronto?

New paper from the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance finds no evidence that Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax alone reduced housing sales in the GTA.

Toronto, July 28, 2016 – The new IMFG paper, Did the Land Transfer Tax Reduce Housing Sales in Toronto? (No. 28), released today by the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, looks at the City of Toronto’s 2008 Land Transfer Tax (LTT) and its impact on housing sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

“Housing sales declined in Toronto in 2008 where the LTT was implemented, but sales also declined in Toronto’s suburbs and in other cities, such as Vancouver and Montreal, where the LTT shouldn’t have had any influence,” says Murtaza Haider, one of the study’s authors. “It was not just the LTT, but the recession in 2008 that contributed to housing market declines across Canada and beyond.”

This paper builds on previous research by including condominiums in addition to single-family homes in the analysis, accounting for the additional influence of the recession, and comparing the decline in sales in Toronto to the relative increase in sales in the suburbs.


Murtaza Haider is Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Director of Regionomics Inc., and Adjunct Professor of Engineering at McGill University. He is the author of Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics.

Amar Anwar is Associate Professor of Economics and Management Science at the Shannon School of Business, Cape Breton University. He has expertise in quantitative data analysis, remittances, and foreign direct investment from emerging markets.

Cynthia Holmes is Associate Professor and Chair of Real Estate Management at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University where she teaches real estate courses at the undergraduate and MBA level. Her main research interests are real estate finance and housing policy.

For more information, please contact:
Selena Zhang | Manager, Programs and Research
Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, University of Toronto
selena.zhang@utoronto.ca | 416-978-2168