Will a new foreign property buyer's tax cool Toronto's housing market?
By comparison, Greater Vancouver continued to slow down, partly due to the province's cooling measures, including a 15% foreign buyers' transfer tax that went into effect last August.
- A joint purchase by a foreign national if their spouse is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee or exempt under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.
After two consecutive years of double-digit gains, the price of an average house in Toronto jumped to C$916,500 ($925,600) last month, a 33 per cent increase on the year-earlier month; the average price of a detached home topped C$1.2 million.
"There is a need for interventions right now in order to calm what's going on", said Wynne.
Simply increasing taxes on home ownership could lower the value of Toronto real estate, while doing nothing to increase the supply of homes, bringing with it the worst of both worlds. The change will mean annual rent increases for all tenants who stay in their rental housing will be limited to Ontario's inflation-based guideline (which this year is set at 1.5%), unless the landlord gets approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Harris also wondered whether the long-term impact of rent control might serve to make the rental market tighter.
Foreigners are believed to make up a smaller proportion of buyers in Toronto's housing market, but exact figures are unknown as the government does not keep statistics on foreign buyers.
Since taking office in late 2015, the federal government has twice taken steps in an effort to cool scorching housing markets, especially Toronto and Vancouver.
"We're going to continue to pay close attention to what happens in the housing market", she said.
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The issue has become a headache for the province's Liberal government, which is trailing the Progressive Conservatives in polls ahead of an election in June next year, and lawmakers face a hard balancing act to find policies that will stabilise prices without crashing the market. "But the data is also showing that any sudden changes to the current rent control environment will chill the creation of new rental developments".
The proposed legislation includes expanding rent control, incentives for those who build rental housing and new tools that will allow Toronto city council to follow Vancouver's lead in imposing a tax on vacant homes.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that Ottawa must exercise caution before implementing any measures to address Toronto's booming market. The increase is capped at a maximum of 2.5 per cent.
Ontario's government will also work with municipalities to identify provincially owned surplus land that could be used for affordable and rental housing development.
While this is a great policy for tenants in the short term it's not a great policy for our rental market as a whole because it will likely result in fewer rental units in the years ahead - and even higher rents.
The package will also deal with how to expedite the availability of housing supply, Sousa said, as the government has heard complaints from builders that the process is too cumbersome.
"Certainly in Hamilton I don't think there are foreign investors in Hamilton, unless you count Toronto", said Richard Harris, a professor at McMaster University who studies real estate and the Hamilton housing market.
"Almost the entire province of Ontario's housing market is now on fire, while most of the rest of the country wonders what all the fuss is about", Porter wrote in a research note.
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