With an increasing number of Toronto-based observers and residents calling for the implementation of a foreign buyer’s tax similar to that of B.C., mayor John Tory reiterated that the city government needs more information on the possible impact and effectiveness of such a levy.
“[We] need to make sure that we understand the realities of our local housing market before we decide if such an action as that is necessary or for that matter appropriate in the Toronto market,” Tory stated in a CP24.com
The Toronto mayor emphasized that the presence of foreign capital in Vancouver’s single-family home market is well-documented, something that cannot be said for the capital of Ontario.
“Without that information we really can’t have an informed response as to whether measures similar to Vancouver’s are necessary so I will be asking the province to help us address this information gap so we can make more informed decisions about what is happening here and what we may do about it,” Tory noted.
August 2016 saw a 24 per cent year-over-year growth in Toronto’s sales volume, with the average price for all property types going up by 18 per cent to $710,410. Meanwhile, detached homes in the city got sold for an average of $1.2 million in the same time frame.
The B.C. foreign buyers’ tax was introduced in the wake of the out-of-control price growth in Vancouver, which various quarters have pinned on the prominence of foreign capital in Canada’s hottest housing market.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson admitted that it’s early days yet regarding the outcome of the tax.
“We are watching the data across the board and it is too early to tell. The prices are still holding but the market has obviously slowed dramatically,” Robertson said. “There is also some growing concern about the impact on commercial property and whether the investment dollar may go to where there is no 15 per cent tax, making the commercial market too hot.”