Ontario homebuyers to provide more info on citizenship, residency

Ontario, Canada Brings in Foreign Housing Tax to Cool Market

Ontario, Canada Brings in Foreign Housing Tax to Cool Market

The Canadian Press has learned that the Ontario government will place a 15-per-cent tax on non-resident foreign buyers as part of a much-anticipated package of housing measures to be announced Thursday.

The Vancouver foreign-buyer tax "had a noticeable moderating effect on prices", said Robert Hogue, economist at Royal Bank of Canada.

The province promises to introduce legislation that would enable Toronto and other cities to introduce a vacant home tax on empty homes.

Other measures to be implemented by the CMHC next month include the introduction of improved underwriting flexibilities and a revised premium schedule supporting increased affordable housing.

The tax is not about targeting immigrants, Wynne said, and a rebate would be available to people who subsequently get citizenship or permanent resident status, as well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and worldwide students. The price rises reflected confidence in Ontario's economy but when young people could not afford homes, "we know we have a problem and we know we have to act", she added.

Resales of Canadian homes rose 1.1 percent in March from February and prices were up 18.6 percent from a year earlier as strong demand in Toronto offset cooling elsewhere, a report from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed on Tuesday.

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

Tory said he has committed to streamlining and speeding up building approvals, in particular for new affordable rental housing and he is also looking at a vacant homes tax.

Excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, the average price was $389,726. Those have averaged 2% in the last 10 years, This year it is 1.5%.

Theresa May needs MPs approval for general election
A number of MPs abstained from Wednesday's vote, including those with the Scottish National Party. Nonetheless, her reluctance to go face to face with her principal opponents does her no favours.

The data was released hours before Toronto Mayor John Tory was to meet with the federal and provincial finance ministers to discuss the city's soaring home prices, which have prompted some degree of alarm among policy-makers and experts.

Renters in Ontario are breathing a sigh of relief today, hearing that their rent will be protected from exorbitant increases.

Toronto's surging real estate market has triggered debate over whether non-Canadian speculators are bidding up homes and fuelling unsustainable record price gains, or if a lack of housing supply and inadequate urban planning is more to blame.

Valerie Bruce, a renter living in Liberty Village, recently received a notice saying her rent would double from $1,600 to $3,200, so she chose to move.

"Everyone is anxious: what if this is the measure that crashes the market?" said John Andrew, director of Queen's University Real Estate Roundtable.

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

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.

"There's a recognition that the levers that the federal government has cover the entire country and the housing market in Vancouver or Toronto is somewhat different than that in Halifax or Saskatoon or even Montreal", Trudeau said.

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