The Durham Region Association of REALTORS® (DRAR) welcomes the federal government
initiatives to stimulate economic growth outlined in the 2009 budget, especially those that will
encourage home ownership in Canada. The Association applauds the government for recognizing the
economic importance of the housing industry in some of the budget measures.
One of the most important announcements made in the budget was the increase to the Home Buyers
Plan. First time home buyers can withdraw $25,000 (an increase of $5,000), tax-free, from their RRSP
to put towards the down payment on a home. The Federal Budget also recognized that the costs
associated with the purchase of a home are hard on first-time buyers; therefore they announced a
First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit that will help off-set closing costs such as: legal fees and land transfer tax. The credit will
be 15 per cent on up to $5,000 of the costs associated with the closing costs of a new home purchase.
The announced Home Renovation Tax Credit will assist both current home owners and buyers considering properties that may
benefit from renovations. The tax credit provides a 15 per cent credit that can be claimed on the portion of eligible home
renovations exceeding $1,000, but not more than $10,000, which means that home owners could be eligible for a tax credit of
up to $1,350. This credit would apply to eligible renovations, after January 27, 2009 and before February 1, 2010, on one or
more of an individuals personal use properties.
As well, the industry welcomes the Green Infrastructure Fund $1 billion over five years which will support projects designed
to produce cleaner air, land and water and; the additional funding for ecoEnergy Program, an investment that will produce an
immediate increase in economic activity as well as benefit the environment.
While Members of DRAR are glad to see the federal government take action to help home buyers and owners, it is important
for all levels of government to do their part. This is also true for Durham, and more specifically the City of Oshawa where
property taxes in the area discourage home ownership. Like the federal government, the City of Oshawas City Council should
recognize the importance of the housing industry to the economy, and the best way to do it would be to roll back the property
taxes. When home owners or buyers utilize these incentives it is not only an investment in their property; it will also stimulate
REALTOR® interaction with all levels of government is critical to the work they do, their involvement impacts politicians
decisions on home buyers, home owners, and the real estate industry. With this in mind, REALTORS® and their professional
Associations such as the Canadian Real Estate Association, Ontario Real Estate Association, and the Durham Region
Association of REALTORS® constantly monitor government proposals and actions, and are ready to communicate their
concerns through an active Political Affairs Member network.