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Closing costs in British Columbia

See how much you'll need to budget for closing costs when you buy a home in B.C.

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The average closing cost in British Columbia is roughly $28,380. A good rule of thumb is to calculate 2-4% of the final home sale price.

Closing cost stats in B.C.

  • Average home sale price in March 2021. $946,000 (ranges from $1,123,300 in Greater Vancouver to $328,743 in South Peace River)*
  • Average total closing cost. $28,380*
  • Expected closing cost range. $18,920 to $37,840*
  • Percentage of closing cost to home sale price. 2-4%

*Excludes the goods and services tax (GST).

Remember, these averages are based on sample data. Your closing costs may vary based on your lender, the size of your loan and whether you’re paying in cash.

What are the closing costs for a homebuyer in B.C.?

Below is a breakdown of closing costs you may encounter.

Type of costEstimated amountMandatory expense?Description
Adjustment costsVaries, but set aside around $500Mandatory if applicable
  • The buyer must reimburse the seller for any property taxes or utilities the seller paid after the buyer takes possession.
  • For example, if the seller pays property taxes for the next 12 months, and the buyer takes possession 3 months later, the buyer would then reimburse the seller for 9 months’ worth of property taxes.
Legal fees$1,000-$1,500 (varies depending on the complexity of the purchase)Mandatory
  • Lawyers handle administrative details and make sure the title is transferred properly.
  • Make sure you find out exactly what services your lawyer is performing and how the legal fees break down.
DisbursementsStarting at $100Mandatory
  • These are reimbursements paid to your lawyer for miscellaneous fees like mailing costs, bank charges, photocopies and land transfer fees to register the property in your name.
Home inspection$350-$750Not mandatory (but strongly recommended)
  • Have the property professionally inspected before you buy to ensure you’re aware of its true condition and can afford any necessary maintenance or repairs.
Home insurance$800-$1,200 (annual)Likely mandatory
  • This insurance covers any loss or damage to your home.
  • Mortgage lenders will require you to have it.
  • Your premium depends on several factors, such as the type of home, the materials it was made out of and the neighbourhood crime rate.
Mortgage default insuranceVariesMandatory if down payment is less than 20%
  • This covers the cost of the home should you default on payments.
  • Your premium is based on various factors such as the size of the down payment and the mortgage’s amortization period.
  • The premium can be paid upfront or throughout the amortization period.
Land survey and Building Location Certificate (BLC)VariesDepends
  • The survey is the inspecting and measuring of the property, while the certificate is the official document that illustrates the property’s boundaries, buildings and structures.
  • The cost varies depending on how complex the inspection is.
  • Sometimes, the seller of the home will already have a recent certificate and can provide this to you.
  • Your mortgage lender may require this.
Title insuranceAround $300Depends
  • This covers the lender against defects in the title, which could include overlooked back taxes, conflicting wills and existing liens from other mortgages or home equity lines of credit.
  • Title insurance is generally not mandatory, but your lender may require this.
  • This insurance is legally complex, so be sure to research and seek advice on exactly what it can cover.
Property appraisal$350-$500Depends
  • Your mortgage lender may require an appraisal to ensure the mortgage is reasonable given the property’s value.
Estoppel/information certificateAround $35Likely mandatory if you’re buying a strata property (i.e. condo)
  • This is a signed statement from the condo corporation that details condo contributions or outstanding payments. They may charge a fee for providing this to you.
  • Sometimes, the seller of the condo will provide this as part of the selling process.
Mortgage prepayment penaltyVaries based on the terms of your mortgageDepends
  • If you have to break an existing mortgage, you may have to pay a penalty fee that could be thousands of dollars.
Moving costsVariesNot mandatory
  • This includes the cost of any professional moving services you hire, truck rental fees, moving equipment and any related incidental costs.
Switching/setting up utilitiesVariesDepends
  • You may have to pay fees for switching and setting up your utilities. This could include separate charges for gas, electricity, water, Internet, cable, phone and security systems.
Goods and services tax (GST)5% of the purchase priceMandatory if you’re buying a newly built home
Property transfer tax (PTT)VariesMandatory
  • This is the tax you will need to pay to transfer property. The cost varies based on the value of the house. See below for more information.

What is PTT and how does it affect my closing costs?

PTT is the property transfer tax you would need to pay based on the fair market value of the property you’re purchasing. On average, buyers in British Columbia pay around $16,920 in PTT.

The tax is a sliding scale tax and works like this: you pay a 1% tax on the first $200,000 of the property value, 2% on the portion up to and including $2 million and 3% on the portion greater than $2 million. If you’re buying residential property valued at more than $3 million, you pay an additional 2% on the portion greater than $3 million.

For example, for a home valued at $946,000, the PTT calculation would be as follows:

  • 1% on the first $200,000 = $2,000
  • 2% on the balance of $746,000 ($946,000 – $200,000) = $14,920
  • $2,000 + $14,920 = $16,920 (total PTT)

The PTT for a home valued at $3,500,000 would be calculated as follows:

  • 1% on the first $200,000 = $2,000
  • 2% on the portion greater than $200,000 and up to $2 million is $36,000. You get this amount by first calculating the portion ($2,000,000 – $200,000 = $1,800,000), then calculating 2% of that portion ($1,800,000 x 2% = $36,000).
  • 3% on the portion greater than $2 million and up to 3.5 million is $45,000. You get this amount by first calculating the portion ($3,500,000 – $2,000,000 = $1,500,000), then calculating 3% of that portion ($1,500,000 x 3% = $45,000)
  • An additional 2% on the portion greater than $3.5 million is $10,000. You get this amount by first calculating the portion ($3,500,000 – $3,000,000 = $500,000), then calculating 2% of that portion ($500,000 x 2% = $10,000).
  • Add everything together ($2,000 + $36,000 + $45,000 + $10,000) and you get $93,000 as your total PTT.

Some homebuyers may be eligible for PTT exemption or partial exemption, such as first-time homebuyers and buyers of newly built homes. Visit the B.C. government site to find out whether you qualify.

Do I have to pay GST when buying a home in B.C.?

In B.C., GST is a 5% federal tax that is payable on the sale of new or substantially renovated properties, such as a presale high-rise condominium or a newly constructed house. Sometimes, GST is already included in the sale price of the home, so be sure to check with the builder.

  • A home is considered substantially renovated if at least 90% of the interior was replaced or removed.

Is there a GST rebate?

Yes. If you purchase a newly built home with a sale price of $350,000 or less, you are eligible for a 36% rebate on the 5% GST you pay, for a maximum rebate of $6,300. This rebate is reduced on properties ranging from $350,000-$450,000, and anything above $450,000 is not eligible for any GST rebate.

Compare mortgage lenders in British Columbia

1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Interest Rate (APR) Loan Term Min. credit score Provincial availability
nesto Mortgages
5 Year Fixed Rate
All of Canada
Get 1% cashback on your mortgage value (up to a total cashback of $9,250).
BMO Mortgages
5 Year Fixed Rate
All of Canada
Switch your mortgage to BMO and get up to $4,200 CashBack. Valid until June 30, 2023.
Homewise Mortgages
Not available in Quebec
Homewise's personal advisors can get you mortgage rates from over 30 banks and lenders.

What about realtor fees?

When you buy a home, it is standard practice for the seller of the home to pay your real estate agent’s commission.

How do closing costs in British Columbia compare with the rest of Canada?

The closing costs for buying a home in British Columbia are among the highest in Canada because of its higher average housing price. In terms of a property or land transfer tax, the tax rate in B.C. is similar to those charged in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

Bottom line

Closing costs are inevitable when you’re buying a home in British Columbia. The exact amount will vary, but generally speaking, try to budget at least 2-4% of the final sale price. Your biggest cost will likely be the PTT. If the house is newly built, you will have to keep in mind GST, which is 5% of the home price. Talk to your lawyer or real estate agent to learn more about your closing costs.

Want to learn more about mortgages? Head to our guide here.

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