Extra measures might be needed to manage housing issues—Morneau

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The housing risks represented by the red-hot Vancouver and Toronto markets might need additional measures to sufficiently address, the Canadian Finance Minister said last week in Hong Kong.

Speaking to reporters on September 6, Bill Morneau said that officials are considering all possible options in cooling down Canada’s “highly charged” markets without stunting activity in other regions, amid the current environment of intensified price and household debt growth.

“We are going to remain on top of the dynamics in order to consider whether we need to take actions,” Morneau stated, as quoted by Bloomberg Markets.

“That’s an area of focus to make sure we’re managing those risks in a way that protects Canadians.”

Morneau added, however, that the effectiveness of large-scale interventions, like the B.C. government’s recent decision to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign home buyers, will take a while to bear fruit.

“I don’t yet have enough information to inform me as to whether [the tax] has had any short-term impact,’’ the Finance Minister said. “We need to keep considering the risk of the market and that means we’ll need to keep talking to B.C. and Vancouver.”

Late last year, Morneau issued tighter mortgage requirements for residential properties valued greater than C$500,000 ($388,000) in a bid to stem the out-of-control price growth in Vancouver and Toronto, to little avail.

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  • LanceH on 2016-09-12 9:57:35 AM

    “I don’t yet have enough information to inform me as to whether [the tax] has had any short-term impact,’’

    Maybe he should try reading the newspapers on occasion!!

    As for GTA, the problems have been created by local gov's, with the double Land Transfer and further tightening of Greenbelt Acts and Wynn's all-out-war on ruralites in an effort to get them to move to cities. Immigration plays a modest role. So immigration notwithstanding, the feds shouldn't be trying to do anything, as they don't have the right tools. Only those that created it can fix it.

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