Commentary: Toronto attracts ‘good-faith’ foreigners, not mercenary opportunists

Commentary: Toronto attracts ‘good-faith’ foreigners, not mercenary opportunists

Commentary: Toronto attracts ‘good-faith’ foreigners, not mercenary opportunists The Vancouver housing market might have proven attractive to enterprising foreign nationals who are looking to park their money in real estate, but Toronto’s case has proven to be the exact opposite, according to the former president of the city’s real estate board.
 
In a fresh interview with CBC News, Sotheby’s agent Richard Silver said that a clear majority of overseas buyers in Toronto are attracted to the city’s better educational and business prospects, and not to the opportunity to make easy money in flipping homes.
 
“A lot of [their motivation] focuses on the education. So having great education in the city of Toronto, both in the post-secondary and secondary, I think is very, very important, because that's what they're looking for,” Silver said.
 
“We see a lot of husbands continuing to work in mainland China, they send their wives and their children to Toronto so their kids can go to university here. And after university, there’s an automatic three-year work permit that goes with being a foreign student in Canada. So that is an option that you wouldn’t get in other countries.”
 
Silver added that Toronto’s strong fundamentals have turned it into an ideal destination for fiscally conscious individuals who are averse to resorting to unscrupulous methods.
 
“I always say, Toronto is the place where you come and make your money, Vancouver’s where you go and spend your money,” he explained. “Toronto's a place very focused on business. And I think for certain groups, that’s going to be very prominent for them. They want to be where the business is.”
 
Currently, the Toronto Real Estate Board is fighting against the possibility of the provincial government implementing a foreign buyers’ tax, in a market where only around 5 per cent of the board’s agents transacted on behalf of overseas buyers in 2016.
 
TREB head John DiMichele deemed such a tax “misguided”, noting that it would lead to “less rental supply, because the number of investors looking to purchase and rent out a property could decline.”


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1 Comments
  • Omer Quenneville 2017-02-08 2:15:55 PM
    I have been licenced in Hong Kong for almost 10 years and I must say my experience has been very different. Over seas buyers are definitely looking for quick turnaround on investment. Just look at the resales on a newly registered condo and you will see quickly that these units are not being occupied by students. I have to say a tax on foreign investors is long over due provided that the tax is used as a relief to be offered to the trade up buyers so they can afford to trade up. Currently the cost to trade up from a $350,000 condo to a modest $750,000 home is no less than $60,000.00 (that’s the starting cost) due primarily to the double land transfer tax. This is what is causing the shortage in the market and causing prices to increase. IF this could be off set with a tax on foreign investors I would be all for it.
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