Ontario, Canada brings in foreign housing tax to cool market

Toronto real estate for sale sign

TORONTO, April 20 Ontario's provincial government on Thursday introduced a 15 percent tax on property purchases by foreign buyers as part of 16 measures created to cool Toronto's red-hot housing market.

The decision, promised by Sousa last November, making it mandatory for all buyers in Ontario to reveal their citizenship and place of residence, would take effect on Monday, CBCNews reports said.

Ontario also plans to allow municipalities, led by Toronto, to slap their own tax on vacant properties.

While foreign speculation does not appear to be as rampant here as in Vancouver, the tax is bound to let at least a little air out of the balloon, as the government works on other measures.

This multi-faceted plan consisting of new policies to address Ontario's rising housing costs to provide affordable housing to people of Ontario would also help create jobs for people and help them in their everyday lives.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says home sales last month hit a record high.The association says home sales over its Multiple Listings Service system increased by 1.1 per cent in March to top the previous monthly record set in April 2016.

The province will also expand rent control to all private rental units, including those built after 1991.

Following two consecutive years of double-digit gains, Toronto's average house prices in March 2017 were up over 33 per cent over a year earlier. Those have averaged 2% in the last 10 years, This year it is 1.5%.

He also said that he discussed vacancy rates that are constraining supply at a meeting this week with the federal finance minister and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who has been talking about a vacant homes tax.

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Among them is a $125-million, five-year program that encourages the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.

The danger of governments imposing even more taxes on real estate (without increasing supply) is that they will be playing Russian roulette with the major asset of most homeowners - the market value of their home and the amount of equity they have in it. She says that while she's rented for years in the city, she's been unable to find a new apartment with a rent she can afford.

Wynne stressed that the changes are being made to calm the frenetic market and establish fairness for those trying buy a home.

With public concern and political pressure over the ongoing housing and affordability crisis now boiling over, a much-anticipated response from Ontario's Liberal government was announced this morning.

Canada's most populous province said Thursday that it needed to act urgently to stabilize a frothy real-estate market that prominent economists have warned has entered bubble territory.

This comes as policymakers complained that Canadian data on real estate transactions is lacking compared to other jurisdictions.

- An effort to understand and tackle practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market.

"We know that a strong rental market in Ontario is one that balances affordability for tenants with the right conditions for continued investment in rental properties by landlords".

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