Ontario considering non-resident speculation tax to help housing market

On Tuesday, a Royal LePage housing survey indicated that the average price of a single-family home in the GTA has reached $759,241, up 20 per cent over past year, while condo prices are up 11 per cent to $408,908.

Speaking today in Ottawa, Kathleen Wynne said it is meant to give people breathing space in the frenzied housing market in the Golden Horseshoe region without unintended consequences in other markets.

A spokeswoman for Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday a tax on non-resident speculators is one of the measures being considered.

We will be sharing relevant data more regularly between governments to enhance understanding of the Ontario housing market and to help inform analysis of current and future measures created to provide market stability.

Sousa, who met with federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday to discuss housing issues, is to expand rent controls to include apartment units built after 1991.

"There are those who go into new developments, buy up a slew of properties, and then flip them, while avoiding paying their fair share of taxes", he said.

In public comments last week, Sousa said speculators are reselling contracts for pre-construction homes multiple times before closing, using assignment clauses.

CREA said there were 4.1 months of inventory at the end of March 2017, down from 4.2 months in February and the lowest level in nearly a decade.

"We've heard the frustrations by many who get caught in bidding wars and lose out and it's infuriating for many people.so all of those things are being addressed and they're coming out soon", the finance minister said.

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.

The federal finance minister is set to meet Tuesday with his Ontario counterpart and the mayor of Toronto to discuss the hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.

The three agreed at their meeting that in the short term, none of the levels of government will bring in new measures for homebuyers that would further boost demand, suggesting it's unlikely first-time homebuyers will see any incentives in the near future.

Late previous year, Ontario announced it would double the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 in an effort to help them enter the housing market.

But the three men will share information and ideas created to help them make the best decisions aimed at addressing a very complex issue, he said.

"A strong housing market reflects Ontario's strong economy".

Residency, citizenship and permanent resident status of the individual buying the property.

The province says there will be a two-week grace period between April 24 and May 5, where there will not be any penalties if people fill out the new form incorrectly.

  • Zachary Reyes