HST Rebate Threshold increased to $850,000 – Good News for the Consumer!

Has the BC government finally realized that the HST has not helped the housing market in this current economic downturn? It appears so, and it is now trying to breathe some new life into the market by finally doing the right thing. Not only did they commit to a date of HST elimination, April 2013, but they decided to increase the HST rebate threshold from $525,000 to $850,000. This will definitely have a positive impact on the market. Why did they wait so long is anyone’s guess, and not something that I have the time to debate.

As much as I would like to say that the Victoria real estate market is booming, we are definitely mired in a downturn, like most regions outside of the lower mainland. Our prices have now dropped 5 months in a row, and the number of monthly sales continues to decrease as well. The bright side for sellers is that the listing inventory is finally starting to drop somewhat.

As of Monday, February 20, there have been 311 sales in Greater Victoria. In February of 2011, there were 488 for the month, which was down significantly from the 621 in February of 2010. Active listings are sitting at 3676, down about 100 from a year ago. The market is still leaning towards a buyer’s market, which is why sellers need to do everything possible to try and keep a buyer interested in their property, otherwise, the buyer will move on to the next.

The HST rebate threshold increase to $850,000 will definitely have a positive impact on the market. The savings will be significant to the consumer, as the rebate is now equivalent to the old GST rebate system. I am confident that this will have a positive impact on the real estate market in Victoria and BC as a whole.



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