Ontario, Canada brings in foreign housing tax to cool market

Bill Morneau likes Ontario's new real estate rules

The province of Ontario, where the red-hot Toronto housing market is located, will unveil a suite of 10 different measures to control housing prices, according to a report from the Toronto Star. The initial signs were that Toronto would not to go down that road. Once legislation passes, the tax would be effective retroactively to April 21.

One economist, Jimmy Jean of Desjardins Capital Markets, said a tax on foreign buyers in Ontario could prompt nonresident investors to move elsewhere - such as markets in Montreal and Calgary.

The new measure applies to non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents, and corporations buying residential properties containing up to six units.

She said the tax is aimed at "people looking only for a quick profit, not a place to call home".

Tal took issue with the province's plans to expand rent control, which now applies only to units built before November 1991, to all private rental units.

Tenants may be breathing a sigh of relief, but rent control was not welcome news for everyone.

But even Ma, who said only 5 to 8 percent of the 10,000 deals his 1,100 agents did previous year involved foreign investors, thinks it is time for the government to do something about the housing bubble.

The province will also work with municipalities and other partners to identify provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development.

Another major element in the province's plan is the expansion of rent to control to cover all private rental units, closing an existing loophole that limits rent control to buildings constructed before 1991.

A standardized lease document for all tenants.

But British Columbia failed to extend the tax to surrounding real-estate districts.




- More flexibility for municipalities when it comes to using property tax tools to encourage development. "The new tax will slow down the market a bit, as it did in Vancouver".

- A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions.

The three politicians made the comments after a special meeting to discuss the housing situation. Others, however, believe the figure was much higher.

The sharp rises have led to fears first-time buyers are being priced out of the market.

The new taxes take effect on FRiday.

"We're targeting those are who aren't looking to raise a family. They'll look after themselves". The Wynne government will wisely apply the levy to properties throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the whole of which has seen skyrocketing house prices in recent years.

"While sales are down 31.5 per cent from the white-hot pace of a year ago, most signs suggest things have stabilized", he wrote. Yet the Wynne Liberals talk of municipal vacancy taxes and the belief they know how quickly elevators can be repaired.

Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong have also introduced foreign buyers taxes.

Is the Vancouver housing market coming back?

All indicators right now point to the Toronto market experiencing significant growth over the remainder of the year, says Mr Zigelstein. But the region was up 4.1 per cent on a month-over-month basis.

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