As housing prices continue to skyrocket, Toronto may yet see a foreign buyers’ tax in the vein of Metro Vancouver’s after all.
Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa had originally rejected the idea but admits he’s now having second thoughts.
In a pattern no doubt familiar to Vancouverites, the average price of homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area last month shot up by 27.7 per cent in the last year, with the average price of homes now topping $1.5-million.
“There are a number of options that are being talked about. [A] foreign tax is just one,” says Sousa.
That’s a big shift from a year ago, when Sousa says he was prepared to let market forces prevail.
“Now I’m concerned people’s, young people’s ability to enter the marketplace. People in bidding wars everywhere it appears, and I’m sensitive to that. I’m sensitive to the degree of fast appreciation in the short term. And what will that do over the long term.”
Like B.C., Ontario has been experimenting with different measures to try and boost housing affordability, including doubling the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000, while boosting it on homes worth more than $2-million.
With files from The Canadian Press