(Source: National Post

Just as Toronto’s real estate market begins to recover, realtors and home builders are worried Ontario’s new harmonized sales tax could send sales plummeting again.

The number of home sales in the GTA in the first half of May was up 3% over the same period last year, after a series of year-over-year drops, the Toronto Real Estate Board said today. The average price was $399,811, about the same as last May.

“We’re out of the trenches for sure,” said Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analysis for the board.

But the harmonized sales tax looms on the housing horizon. The tax will come into effect in July, 2010, combing the 5% GST and 8% PST into one 13% tax. The HST will apply to new homes and to all home closing costs, creating thousands of dollars more in taxes.

Read Emily Senger’s full article “Toronto real estate market recovers, but HST storm cloud looms” in the National Post (May 20, 2009).

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