Exempt sales of residential housing and vacant land

Although most supplies of real property (including new housing) are subject to the GST/HST, there are a number of situations where the supply of residential property is exempt from the GST/HST.


GST/HST generally applies to the services of a real estate agent, even when the real property in question is exempt from the GST/HST.

Sales of previously occupied housing

Generally, the resale of an individual’s personal residence is exempt from the GST/HST. Where conditions are met, other exempt sales of residential housing include:

  • the resale of rental housing (such as an apartment building);
  • the resale by a builder of the housing the builder has been living in;
  • the sale of previously occupied residential housing by a builder;

Conditions apply to these supplies. For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 19.2.1, Residential Real Property – Sales.

Long-term residential rental accommodation

The rental of a residential unit (such as an apartment) is exempt if the unit is used by an individual as a place of residence or lodging. Generally, the rental must be for a period of continuous occupancy of at least one month by the same individual for the rental to be exempt.

If the rental is for less than one month, the supply may still be exempt if the consideration for the rental is $20 per day or less.

For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 19.2.2, Residential Real Property – Rentals.

Vacant land

Sales of land in Canada are generally taxable. However, the following supplies of land may be exempt where conditions are met:

  • the sale of land held by an individual for personal use;
  • the sale of farmland by an individual to a related individual where the land will be used for personal use; and
  • the sale of land that has been used as a residential trailer park.

For more information, see GST/HST Memorandum 19.5, Land and Associated Real Property.


Forms and publications

GST/HST Info Sheet GI-004, Sales by Individuals of Owner-Occupied Homes

GST/HST Info Sheet GI-005, Sale of a Residence by a Builder Who is an Individual

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Associated documents