A pedestrian walks between homes for sale in the Leslieville neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Saturday, March 4, 2017. (Mark Sommerfeld/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
TORONTO – The Canadian Press has learned 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 unveiled today, aimed at cooling a red-hot market.
Premier Kathleen Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa have signalled that the measures will take aim at speculators, expedite more supply, tackle rental affordability and look at realtor practices.
The average price of detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area rose to $1.21 million last month, up 33.4 per cent from a year ago, but Wynne says the issue extends throughout the Golden Horseshoe area.
Sousa says investing in real estate is not a bad thing, but he wants speculators to pay their fair share.
He says the measures will also look at how to expedite housing supply, and he has appeared receptive to Toronto Mayor John Tory’s talk of a vacant homes tax.
Sousa has also raised the issue of bidding wars, and has suggested realtor practices will be dealt with in the housing package.
Ontario Housing Minister Chris Ballard has also said the provincial government has been developing “substantive rent control reform” amid calls to end a rule that sees annual rent increase caps only apply to residential buildings or units constructed before November 1991.