Ontario mulls non-resident speculation tax

Posted April 22, 2017

Ms. Wynne was standing in a forest of towering new condo buildings in Toronto's Liberty Village, a rapidly growing neighbourhood, when she unveiled the tax alongside her finance and housing ministers.

There is no magic bullet to solve this issue. "That's why we're bringing forward this package". The index prices for Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto stood at C$919,300 (US$687,636) and C$772,500 (US$577,830), rising 13% and 29% year-over-year, respectively.

The Ontario tax will be effective immediately, and apply beyond Toronto to a wider region surrounding Canada's largest urban center, covering a total 12,300 square miles which an estimated nine million people call home.

Possibly the most far-reaching of these measures is a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST).

It's a bit too soon to judge the full impact of Vancouver's foreign buyer tax, said Porter, but historical precedent suggests these sorts of measures can't completely cool real estate markets on their own, Porter told Global News.

As well, rent controls limiting increases on all buildings to the rate of inflation - as long as it is 2.5 per cent or lower - will be introduced. New rules would see all private rental units fall under annual rent increase guidelines.

- Legislation that would allow Toronto and possibly other municipalities to introduce a vacant homes property tax in an effort to encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out.

The provincial Liberal government's housing plan contains 16 measures in all.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said last month that he's considering a British Columbia-style foreign buyer's tax - which he had ruled out a year ago.

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The province is also expanding rent controls and giving Toronto and other municipalities the power to impose a tax on vacant homes - something that Toronto Mayor John Tory has been asking for. That is what I view as my responsibility, not to look after the investment needs of people who chose real estate as their investment target. "We've heard about fake bidding so we want to modernize the rules", said Sousa.

"What we are trying to do today is to work collaboratively to make sure we are getting at measures that can actually deal with that potentially speculative behaviour", Morneau said.

"Landlords might be a little upset, but it's the best rental market for them in 30 years, so they're doing fine", he said with a smirk.

Making it more affordable to buy or rent a home is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Reaction at Toronto city hall was cautious but positive.

"People work hard to provide for their families", said Premier Kathleen Wynne at this morning's announcement. While the Fair Housing Plan's creation of a new Housing Supply Team aims to identify and overcome obstacles pertaining to specific projects, specifics of how this would apply to the development industry remain unclear in the Province's newly-released documents.

It matches the 15 percent tax the Pacific coast city of Vancouver has implemented.

Home Capital "has always carefully considered its disclosure obligations", the company said in a statement Wednesday night.