Proposed Real Estate Transfer Fee Policies Explained

What does each mean for Boston?

Boston is facing a housing crisis. In the Greater Boston area, homeowner and rental vacancies remain low, rents and home prices continue to increase, and the cost of construction remains high. In an effort to spur the development of affordable housing, lawmakers in Boston and other municipalities have proposed implementing a real estate transfer fee. A real estate transfer fee is a tax on the portion of a real property sale above a certain price threshold. There are currently two transfer fee proposals that could impact Boston: a home rule petition passed by the City of Boston in 2022 and a local-option provision in Governor Maura Healey’s proposed Affordable Homes Act. Both proposals apply to sales of all real property, impacting not just home sales but also sales of commercial and other property. The revenue generated would be used for affordable housing purposes, including acquisition, construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of units. As state lawmakers consider both pieces of legislation, this Research Update explains the key differences and similarities between the two proposals and how each would impact Boston.

 Read the full Research Update here>>>



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