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The Toronto Real Estate Market

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
From the G&M's morning newsletter email...

Ontario aims to tackle Toronto’s hot housing market

The Ontario government is set to unveil a series of measures today that will address Toronto’s hot housing market. And the rental market will be a big piece of the package: rent controls are expected to be applied to all rental properties. Right now, only buildings built before 1991 are beholden to rent-control rules, and there have been recent reports of tenants being told to significantly up their monthly payments or get out.

Another measure that’s being considered is a 15-per-cent tax on foreign speculators. Ontario is also set to work with municipalities on a vacancy tax in a bid to boost rental options. Some of the expected changes bear similarities with what’s been done in British Columbia: Vancouver is in the process of implementing a vacant-home tax, and the B.C. government introduced a foreign-buyer tax last year


TRIBE Member
too soon? the rental market needs protections for tenants from ridiculous rent increases but the housing market seems to be chugging along still with low inventories and less buyers that they could probably squeeze out another year or two before the changes would be needed.


TRIBE Member
taxes always solve problems. i wonder what board will be made to oversee this, creating another liberal voting block beholden to the libs for their very jobs
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
We know we have a problem': Ontario lays out sweeping measures to curb high rents, home prices
Premier Wynne promises 15% foreign buyers tax and expansion of rent control

Worried that too many Ontarians are getting priced out by fast-rising rents and surging home prices, Premier Kathleen Wynne unveiled sweeping measures Thursday aimed at cooling red-hot markets she admits have become "a problem."

Wynne said it's hoped the 16 measures — most of which will be contained in legislation that must first pass before they proceed — will curb housing costs that are rising "way faster than people's paycheques."

"When young people can't afford their own apartment or can't imagine ever owning their own home, we know we have a problem," she said. "And when the rising cost of housing is making more and more people insecure about their future, and about their quality of life in Ontario, we know we have to act."

Many of the measures were reported earlier today by CBC's Queen's Park reporter, Mike Crawley, before they were outlined by Wynne.

They include:

  • A 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Wynne said the tax would not apply to new immigrants who plan to live here, but are instead aimed at speculators who will "never set foot in Ontario." The proposed tax would apply to transfers of land that contain at least one and not more than six single-family residences, including semi-detached homes, townhomes and condos. It would not apply to transfers of other types of land including multi-residential rental apartment buildings, agricultural land or commercial/industrial land. A rebate would be available for those who later become citizens or permanent residents, as a well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and international students.
  • A move to expand rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded. CBC Toronto first broke the news when Housing Minister Chris Ballard said the government would move to remove the 1991 rule after residents complained of massive rent spikes. The issue was highlighted in a CBC Toronto series of stories called "No Fixed Address." The rent controls must come through approved legislation, but will take effect today, April 20. Annual rent increase for an existing tenant can be no higher than the rate of inflation. Rent increases will be capped at 2.5 per cent, even if the rate of inflation is higher.
  • A rebate of development cost charges to encourage building of more rental housing.
  • A standardized lease document for all tenants.
  • A plan to look at practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market, such as "paper flipping" — a practice that includes entering into a contractual agreement to buy a residential unit and assigning it to another person prior to closing.
  • New powers for Toronto and other municipalities to introduce a tax on vacant homes to encourage owners to sell or rent unoccupied units.
  • A move to identify provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development. in Toronto the areas identified include the West Don Lands and 27 Grosvenor St. and 26 Grenville St.
  • A $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.
  • A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions. A government backgrounder on the measures announced today specifically mentions the practice of double-ending, when one agent represents more than one party in a transaction.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has been calling for a tax on vacant homes, and Wynne says Ontario will give Toronto and other interested municipalities the power to impose such a tax to encourage owners to sell or rent such spaces.

The moves come as Ontario residents — particularly those in larger cities — find themselves struggling to keep up with rents and home prices that have far outpaced wage increases.

'People need to afford the homes in the cities that they work.'- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
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. The news is no better in the Toronto rental market where some tenants are facing massive and sudden rent increases. Earlier this month, CBC Toronto reported about a tenant in a two-bedroom condo in Liberty Village — the same neighbourhood where Wynne made Thursday's announcement — jump from $1,660 to $3,320.

Wynne was asked how effective the measures will be when demand for homes continues to outstrip supply and bidding wars on downtown homes are commonplace.

"We are not interested in controlling the market," said Wynne. "That is not the aim. But we do believe that there is a need for interventions right now to calm what is going on, to put protections in place."

Wynne said she would not rule out other measures if she sees the need.

"Right now we believe these are the measures needed to help people find a place to live that they can afford," she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in Toronto Thursday as part of a Bloomberg series held at the Art Gallery of Ontario, was asked if there was a housing bubble in the city.

"We're looking at a time of pressures on housing that need to be alleviated," he told Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait. He said the federal government is investing more than $11 billion to build more affordable housing and rental units, and that his government would "work with cities to create stability."

"People need to afford the homes in the cities that they work," he added.


TRIBE Member
John Robson: Kathleen Wynne, the noted economist, knows how much your house should be worth

Fresh from their triumphs on energy, health and other files, the Ontario Liberals plan to extinguish an “overheated” Toronto housing market

People now routinely ascribe to government the qualities once attributed to God, namely omniscience, omnipotence and infinite compassion, despite the virtually universal view that politicians and bureaucrats are ignorant and self-serving. So let us soften our scorn for the credulity of past ages long enough to consider that the major thrust of government policy over the past decade has been to “stimulate” the economy by keeping interest rates artificially low, after deficit spending failed, was repudiated, was adopted again and failed again.

this will never fail
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TRIBE Member
watch as the amazing liberals make rental units disappear in a flash

how much of a backlog is there for affordable housing units that are unfit for habitation right now in the city? why is no one mentioning that?

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Does anyone have the revenue forecast for the taxes about to be captured?

Why doesn't the rent control measure get tied to inflation?

Let's start a development company, Cool People of Tribe Property Developers (CPTPD) Inc...

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Rentals: All apartments will now be bound by rent-control measures. Before, only buildings built before November, 1991, had to follow that rule, which led to some landlords increasing monthly rents by hundreds of dollars. Now, rent hikes will be capped at 2.5 per cent a year.

Empty homes: Ontario is pledging to work with Toronto and other municipalities to implement a vacant-home tax. Vancouver just started the process of introducing a tax on empty homes; a recent study there found 6.5 per cent of the city’s housing stock is vacant.
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Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Related - I think the municipality is looking to phase out the the property tax break businesses get when there's nobody renting a storefront.
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TRIBE Member
YEs - i don't think you have a good conception of what people you define yourself against and love to hate are thinking.

Because in all the ways you conceive of them you are mostly ego-stroking your own personal identity, set apart from these horrible examples of horrible thinking infecting the liberal mind.

So I wouldn't consult bbj to get any kind of feeling for what liberals are REALLY thinking, but I might consult your posts to find out what self-styled conservatives might like to enjoy thinking about when it comes to the perfidy of "liberals".

Asking you about what liberals think is like asking Jerry Falwell what homosexuals are thinking.

Bernnie Federko

TRIBE Member
Report blames Ontario's 2006 growth plan for soaring house prices

In 2006, the Ontario government launched a plan aimed at encouraging more high-rise development as a way to curb urban sprawl. But the province underestimated the demand for low-rise family homes, according to a new report out of Ryerson University. That, in turn, has contributed to the recent spike in Toronto’s detached home prices. “It’s one thing to pursue an environmental objective on something, but don’t deny you’re having an impact on house prices, and that’s what they did,” said Frank Clayton, a senior research fellow at Ryerson.


TRIBE Member
I'm not going to think about a bubble bursting until I start seeing significant issues in the condo market which usually is the first to be affected. I've been hearing the same routine for 15 years now. eventually some of those people will be proven right but I'm just exhausted of all the fear mongering. I do however have concerns that the Libs will enact some policies that will harm the market, accelerating us towards a correction. My preference is for this to organically happen, although it won't given the gov't intervention.

The foreign tax hasn't really done much to the market in BC aside from pausing purchases for a few months, apparently things are still chugging along albeit not at the same pace as prior to the new tax. The only reason we need this type of tax is the migration of those BC dollars to Ontario once the tax rule took effect. taxing less than 10% of the market isn't going to fix the market


TRIBE Member
Metro Vancouver Stats since the introduction of the foreign buyers tax:

March 2017:
Detached sales down 46% yoy, price down 5% since tax introduced
Attached sales down 25% yoy, price up 1.3% since tax introduced
Apartment sales down 18% yoy, price up 5% since tax introduced

Sales & listings - Mar Comparison
Mar 2015 - 4060 sales - 5968 listings
Mar 2016 - 5173 sales - 6278 listings
Mar 2017 - 3579 sales - 4762 listings

Sales & listings - Feb Comparison
Feb 2015 - 3061 sales - 5425 listings
Feb 2016 - 4172 sales - 5812 listings
Feb 2017 - 2425 sales - 3666 listings

Seems fairly significant, that a tax on less than 10% of the market would have such an effect on sales and listings.

Source for stats: Monthly Statistical Reports | Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver
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