Gov't will avoid measures that could boost demand for GTA housing: Morneau

Cornelia Mascio
Aprile 25, 2017

With its 16-point plan, the government is "hoping they have it right, but they don't really know", says Moscovitch.

Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said the measures could help make homes more affordable for residents. In the GTA, sale prices have skyrocketed by 33% in one year.

"Essentially in Canada, we've got low property tax rates especially in our expensive cities, but high income and sales taxes", says Davidoff, who says that makes for expensive homes and low take-home pay.

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.

"In some ways, we have to realise that this is a good problem to have", Wynne said.

"History has shown us that rent control leads to slums".

"I just wish they'd moved months earlier on the rental rules to avoid a lot of people getting hurt", he said. "In the coming weeks, it is possible that six months of pent-up demand will be unleashed on the market, sending prices sharply upward again; this when the pre-intervention 2016 trend was a natural market slowdown based on eroding affordability". Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said last week that there was no justification for such gains and warned of a price correction.

- With files from The Canadian Press.

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.

Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberals are widely expected to reveal housing policy measures when Sousa issues his budget on April 27.

Renters will lose big 3-5 years from now as fewer and fewer people decide to buy and hold condos as rental properties given the restrictions on how much they can increase rents each year. She'd also like to see the province do more on emergency shelters and transitional housing to help people at risk of homelessness.

"Nobody wants to crash the market".

The decision by the province of Ontario's government will impose a 15 per cent "Non-Resident Speculation Tax" on non-Canadians and non-permanent residents buying residential properties in the metropolitan area of nearly 7 million people.

Ontario is also expanding rent control, which now applies only to units built before November 1991.

Among the other measures announced Thursday is the introduction of a new standard lease for tenants in Ontario, ending a practise where many landlords ask for detailed personal information from prospective tenants.

- A program to leverage the value of surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop a mix of market-price housing and affordable housing. The new tax would be effective as of April 21, 2017.

Tory has proposed levying a tax on vacant homes - another idea borrowed from Vancouver. Then, in January, B.C. Premier Christie Clark announced the tax would be lifted for those who have a work permit, in order to encourage more people to come to the province to work.

The government will also work to better understand and tackle practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market, such as "paper flipping" - a practice that includes entering into a contractual agreement to buy a residential unit and assigning it to another person prior to closing.

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