Impact of Ontario housing measures on market may be short-lived

TORONTO, April 20 Canada's Ontario province is set to announce a series of measures including a 15 percent non-resident foreign buyers tax on property purchases to rein in runaway housing prices, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) News reported on Thursday.

"People work hard to provide for their families".

A spokesman for federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau says Ottawa is concerned about diminishing affordability in the housing market, calling the matter a complex issue with lots to talk about.

"Taxing foreign home buyers is a way for the government to score cheap political points with GTA voters, and bring in more money for their own coffers, but it won't solve the problem", continued Van Geyn. Market expectations predicted an 0.2% gain, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.

Sousa said the tax would take effect on Friday. If adopted, as expected, the foreign tax would be effective retroactively to April 21.

Another housing measure would expand rent control, which now only applies only to units built before November 1991.

Rent control has been one of Toronto Mayor John Tory's main concerns, especially after recent published reports about some tenants in the city receiving notices that their rent would double.

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"The fact that people are paying upwards of two grand for their tiny downtown apartment, still doesn't give me that much hope", she said. "It was something that needed to be discussed in the region".

The forthcoming rent control legislation won't apply to tenants like Cecatto, who received rent hike notices before Thursday's announcement. "The issue is that builders will tell you that if you impose rent control that is only as high as inflation, that is not enough for them to start building".

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.

"You can't go to a barbecue in the province without people talking about real estate and how everyone has a son or daughter who can't buy a home and wants to get into the market", Hudak said.

The Ontario government has announced what it calls a comprehensive housing package aimed at cooling a red-hot real estate market.

We'll wait for the details but from the sounds of things, indications are that they're taking a sledge hammer to it.

Like many others, Altbaum is calling for either a foreign buyers tax - like the one imposed in Vancouver in August - or a change to capital gains taxes to discourage investors from flipping properties. Under the new rules, which took effect on January 1, first-time homebuyers don't pay any land transfer tax on the first $368,000 of a purchase price. In Toronto, the average price of detached properties hit $1.56 million, an increase of 32.8 per cent from March 2016.

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