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Where to Find Canada’s Most Affordable Property Taxes in 2024

Published 2024-06-25, 11:18 a/m
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Property taxes are unavoidable for homeowners and should always be included in your budget. Even if you have paid off your mortgage, property taxes still need to be paid, making it crucial to stay informed about annual property tax changes. This is because tax rates can vary due to factors such as new local government policies, property reassessments, and exemptions like Ontario’s Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant. Property taxes support essential local services such as police and fire departments, schools, road maintenance, garbage collection, snow removal, and sewage upkeep. Homeowners may make tax payments monthly, semi-annually, or annually, depending on local regulations.

This content was originally published by Zoocasa. View original content and infographics here.

Additionally, the type of home you own can impact your property taxes. For instance, condo owners might have lower property taxes because their maintenance fees cover shared spaces and building upkeep, which are subject to different guidelines than single-family homes.

Generally, property taxes could be lower in densely populated areas since the public costs are distributed among more people. Understanding these factors can help you effectively manage your property tax expenses and overall housing budget.

We compiled a list of 24 cities across Canada and their property tax rates for 2024 and calculated the amount of property taxes a resident would pay on a home with an assessment value of $500,000, $750,000, and $1,000,000.

East Coast City Leads Canada in Property Tax Increase

In 2024, property tax rates in some cities have fluctuated significantly, with the highest increase reaching 9.64% year-over-year in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and the largest decrease being -6.18% in Montreal, Quebec. Many areas paused rate adjustments during the pandemic, leading to substantial rate increases now as they compensate for that pause.

Homeowners in these three cities have experienced a significantly higher increase in property taxes than other areas in Canada. St. John’s, Newfoundland, saw the highest property tax increase in the country, at 9.64% year-over-year, followed by Victoria at 8.70%. However, Victoria still has some of the lowest rates in the country. London increased its property tax by 7.66% compared to 2023 and has one of the highest property rates in Canada.

Montreal experienced the biggest drop at -6.18% year over year, which offers substantial relief to property owners in the region. This was followed by Regina, where property tax rates decreased by -3.71%, and Saint John, New Brunswick, with a reduction of -2.47%.

The median year-over-year property tax change for the 24 cities analyzed is 4.88%, highlighting municipalities’ diverse fiscal strategies to address their unique economic conditions and development goals.

“Understanding the relationship between housing costs and property tax rates is key to making informed decisions when buying real estate. Some cities with lower housing costs may have higher property tax rates, while homes in major cities may have lower rates. This can help you avoid unexpected financial burdens and plan your next move more effectively. It’s a crucial expense that all home buyers should keep in mind,” says Carrie Lysenko, Zoocasa CEO.

Canadian Cities With the Lowest Property Taxes

British Columbia boasts some of the lowest property taxes in Canada, based on assessed home values, despite having a higher overall cost of living. Although the province is home to many of Canada’s most competitive and expensive real estate markets, Greater Vancouver maintains the lowest property tax rate of 0.29681%, translating to $2,968 in tax payment for a home assessed at $1,000,000.

Despite a 6.75% annual increase in the property tax rate, Abbotsford’s 2024 property tax rate is the second lowest on our list at 0.39590%. This translates to $3,959 in annual taxes for a home assessed at $1,000,000 while maintaining the distinction of being the second lowest rate among all cities analyzed.

Victoria also offers relatively affordable property taxes with a rate of 0.47416%, leading to annual taxes of $4,742 for a home assessed at $1,000,000. These low property tax rates help make B.C. a little more affordable for homeowners when looking at the big picture.

Understanding Ontario’s 2024 Property Tax Rates

In 2024, property tax rates vary widely across Ontario cities. For example, Toronto has a relatively low tax rate of 0.71529%, considering the average property price of $1,156,167. In comparison, Burlington, with a similar average property price of $1,158,109, has a higher tax rate of 0.91815%. This rate difference may be due to the significant population difference between the two cities.

Ottawa, known for its relatively affordable cost of living compared to other major Ontario cities, has a higher tax rate of 1.19564%, despite its moderate property prices. For a home assessed at $1,000,000, Ottawa residents will pay $11,956 in property taxes, while residents in Toronto will pay $7,153 in property taxes on a home assessed at $1,000,000.

Cities like Sudbury, Waterloo, Kitchener, and Guelph have moderate rates exceeding 1.25%, resulting in higher property taxes. Sudbury, in particular, faces a significant impact due to its lower average property value. Annual taxes for a home assessed at $1,000,000 in Sudbury amount to $12,572, which is higher than in Toronto, Ottawa, and Burlington. However, Sudbury remains an affordable Ontario real estate market, with an average price of $501,282, meaning that few residents will have to grapple with an assessment that high.

Niagara Falls has the third-highest property tax rate in the province, with the property tax rate increasing by 4.57% year-over-year to a rate of 1.55200%.For a home assessed at $500,000, property taxes amount to $7,421.

London has the second highest property tax rates in Ontario, at 1.57313%, followed by Sault Ste. Marie’s at 1.78914%. This higher cost is especially pronounced in Sault Ste. Marie, where the country’s highest tax rate is applied despite having the lowest property prices of all cities analyzed.

Cities With the Highest Property Taxes in Canada

Saint John, New Brunswick, is one of the most expensive areas in Canada for property taxes, even after a slight decrease in the tax rate of -2.47% year-over-year. This tax rate remains significantly higher compared to many other regions in the country. For homes valued at $500,000, $750,000, and $1,000,000, homeowners pay $7,900, $11,850, and $15,800 in property taxes, respectively.

Following closely, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, has an even higher property tax rate of 1.78914%. This results in property taxes of $8,946 for a $500,000 home, $13,419 for a $750,000 home, and $17,891 for a $1,000,000 home, making it one of the country’s most expensive cities for property taxes. This means that homeowners in Vancouver will pay less than half in property taxes for a home assessed at $1,000,000 compared to what homeowners in Sault Ste. Marie will pay for a home assessed at $500,000.

Overall, the high property tax rates in Saint John and Sault Ste. Marie means that homeowners must allocate a substantial portion of their budget to cover these annual expenses.

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