Most Canadians support foreign-buyer tax

He also said the Canada Revenue Agency will put resources toward ensuring tax compliance, but shut down a previous request from his Ontario counterpart to change the taxation of capital gains on the sale of homes that are not classified as a primary residence.

If passed, the 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax would be applied to homebuyers who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents when they purchase residential real estate in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Ontario officials estimated foreigners represent 8% of all real-estate transactions in the Toronto area, based on data made available to them.

"We've got 80,000 people a year moving into the city".

Morneau said the meeting itself will help calm the speculative nature of the GTA's housing market.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne's administration will also take steps to boost supply: the Ontario Fair Housing Plan includes 12 measures, such as a targeted C$125 million ($93 million) five-year program to encourage building of new rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.

"As you know, there are a number of speculation activities within our market, by domestic and non-resident Canadians, so we're looking at what we should be able to do for the benefit of Ontario and our economy, " he said.

"What we're aiming to do is to bring in some initiatives that will help people in that whole continuum of housing right from rental through to purchasing a home without having unintended consequences, " she said in Ottawa.

"Everyone is anxious: what if this is the measure that crashes the market?" said John Andrew, director of Queen's University Real Estate Roundtable. "All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future".

Toronto's surging real estate market has triggered debate over whether non-Canadian speculators are bidding up homes and fuelling unsustainable record price gains, or if a lack of housing supply and inadequate urban planning is more to blame.

The tax would not target immigrants and a rebate would be available to people who subsequently get citizenship or permanent resident status, as well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and worldwide students. The increase is capped at a maximum of 2.5 per cent.

Use surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop new and affordable housing.

This measure would provide some incentive to owners of vacant properties to either sell or rent out their space.

- Align property tax for new multi-residential apartment buildings with other residential properties.

- More flexibility for municipalities when it comes to using property tax tools to encourage development.

"Developers are telling us they have individuals coming, jumping in the queue and buying multiple units with no intention of living in them", said Charles Sousa, Ontario's minister of finance.

The federal and Ontario finance ministers and the mayor of Toronto met in the city to discuss how to tackle the housing market in the region, where the average price of detached houses rose to $1.21 million last month, up 33.4 per cent from a year ago.

"There's a recognition that the levers that the federal government has cover the entire country and the housing market in Vancouver or Toronto is somewhat different than that in Halifax or Saskatoon or even Montreal", Trudeau said.

"I think the public is concerned about speculation and speculators crowding out families that want to own a home", he added in an interview.



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