REAL ESTATE GROUPS URGE ONTARIO NOT TO IMPOSE TAX ON FOREIGN BUYERS

Sep 23, 2016

By Christine Ross

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Two Ontario real estate groups are warning against following in the footsteps of Vancouver by imposing a tax on foreign homebuyers. The Toronto Real Estate Board and the Ontario Real Estate Association argue that a tax would do little to address affordable housing in Toronto’s housing market. They also claim that such a tax could have negative implications for the economy. In letters penned to the provincial and municipal governments last month, the two real estate associations say a tax could instead cause house prices to soar in regions in and surrounding Toronto. In Metro Vancouver, home sales dropped 26 per cent following the Aug. 2 introduction of the 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said there were 2,489 homes sold in Metro Vancouver in August, down from 3,362 a year ago. Some critics have voiced concerns that the Vancouver tax could cause investment to shift to Toronto, further stoking the flames of the city’s already red-hot housing market.

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