Ontario, Canada brings in foreign housing tax to cool market

Ontario, Canada brings in foreign housing tax to cool market

Ontario, Canada brings in foreign housing tax to cool market

Experts say measures introduced by the Ontario government to cool the red-hot housing market are likely to leave a lot of the buyers on the sidelines as they await to see the impact of the changes. Once the legislation passes, the foreign tax would be effective retroactively to April 21.

Foreign nationals who don't live in Toronto and its surrounding communities will pay an additional 15 percent tax on homes under legislation proposed by the Ontario government.

"We're targeting those are who aren't looking to raise a family".

The government doesn't keep statistics on the number of foreign buyers. As of Monday, however, homebuyers are required to give information about their residency and citizenship status and how they intend to use the property.

A similar tax introduced by British Columbia last July led to a sharp decline in sales activity and a fall in prices.

"People are betting that our future is going to be bright", Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told a news conference. But a recent report from realtor Royal LePage suggests the Vancouver market may be starting to bounce back.

Toronto prices rose 33 percent in March from a year earlier and the average price of a detached home topped C$1.2 million ($903,000) last month. "Things have gotten insane", she said. "When young people can not afford their own apartment or can not imagine owning their own home, we know we have a problem. and we know we have to act".

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.

Average rents went up 11 per cent, while the vacancy rate fell to a 12-year low of 1.3 per cent.

Federal finance minister Bill Morneau welcomed Ontario's housing package, saying the measures aren't aimed at increasing demand, but instead look at ways to deal with speculation in the market.

According to Murphy, the 16 measures do little to help renters or ease the supply-side pressure of the housing market.

Rules for real estate agents will also be reviewed, including practices such as double ending, where the agent represents both the buyer and the seller.

A better measure would have been to cap rents at inflation plus one or two per cent, said Tal. Progressive Conservative Housing Critic Ernie Hardeman said the measures are moving "in the right direction".

It will hit all residential transactions in the Greater Golden Horseshoe - including the Greater Toronto Area, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, Barrie, Orillia, and Peterborough. Rent control will be imposed on buildings constructed after 1991, which limits annual increases.

There will be a new five-year $125-million program to encourage the construction of new r‎ental apartments by rebating builders a chunk of development charges.

Wein said his company builds condos and houses throughout the Toronto region and generally requires that buyers get permission from Great Gulf to reassign their contracts for new homes.

Home prices in the Toronto region rose 6.2 percent in March, the biggest one-month gain on record, according to a benchmark price index by the Canadian Real Estate Association, and jumped nearly 30 percent in the past 12 months.

- Set timelines for elevator repairs to be established in consultation with the sector and the Technical Standards & Safety Authority.

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