Do these fellas know what to do about insane house prices?

William Sandeson in 2015

Canadian officials across all three levels of government vowed to be vigilant in monitoring the Toronto region's rapidly accelerating housing market, including possibly taking formal steps aimed at curbing speculative activity. The package will also include the government's plan for expanding rent control, which now covers only rental units built before 1991.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said governments need to figure out what they can do about housing affordability without overcorrecting the system. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said last week the price gains are "divorced" from the usual measures of demand, such as income growth and demographics, and deemed them unsustainable.

The latest sales data was released ahead of a meeting between Mayor John Tory and the federal and Ontario finance ministers to discuss soaring home prices in the Greater Toronto Area, which have leapt by more than 30 per cent in the a year ago. Little of substance emerged from their summit, beyond a commitment not to introduce any measures that would actually increase housing demand and drive prices further upward. However, Mr. Sousa said afterward he still intends to unveil a package of various reforms in the provincial budget next week. He said the April 27 budget will address "recent dramatic increases in rents and home prices".

"Probably one of the most important things we can do is stay in touch with each other on something that is as volatile and complicated as this issue", Tory said in an interview Monday.

The average price of a detached house in the Greater Toronto Area hit $1.21 million last month, climbing 33.4 per cent from a year ago, according to the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board.




That month, the average price of a Toronto home, including high-rise condos, was $729,922.

Last year, the Clark government in B.C. put in place new rules that require real estate agents to draft offers that require the seller's consent to a contract transfer, and any resulting profit to be returned to the seller.

A foreign buyers tax will slow but not stop money coming from Chinese investors, said real estate broker Tony Ma, whose HomeLife Landmark Realty Inc is one of the largest brokerages in Toronto serving buyers of Chinese descent.

Tory said he has had meetings with numerous housing experts and they all seem to have contradictory views about what to do.

It also means Ottawa will not raise the limits on the existing program that allows first-time buyers to deduct up to $25,000 from their registered retirement savings plans to help fund a down payment on a house.

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