This section provides a high-level overview of government charges levied by municipal governments and attempts to quantify the costs these charges and fees generate for developers, home builders, and ultimately, home buyers. Although growth must pay for growth, ever increasing charges are adding to the price of the house for homebuyers and is often supporting investments beyond what would be needed to address the impact of any new development. Two hypothetical scenarios were studied, looking at a typical low-rise development and at a typical high-rise development.
Municipal Charges Disproportionately Imposed on High-Density Developments, Putting Objectives for Increased Infill and Intensification At Risk
- The government charges modelling for two hypothetical developments (low-rise and high-rise) found that the charges imposed by municipalities on new housing development are generally the highest in the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver.
- Since the 2020 Study, the low-rise scenario has seen the average municipal charge increase by 20% from $49,400 per unit to $61,600 per unit. The average municipal charge on high-rise development has increased by 34%, increasing from $31,900 per unit to $41,400 per unit.
- In many municipalities, but in all Ontario and BC municipalities studied, municipal charges imposed, when expressed on a per square foot basis, are significantly higher for high-rise development than low-rise development. Only in Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and St. John’s are per square foot charges on high-rise equal to or less than the charges imposed on low-rise. On average, charges for high-rise were $52 per square foot, compared to $29 for low-rise.
- The disproportionate costs per square foot in municipal charges towards high-rise puts at risk municipal objectives for increased infill and intensification. This could hinder utilization of public infrastructure investments in urbanized areas, such as major transit station areas, or transit corridors.