MEASURES TO REBALANCE PROVINCIAL HOUSING MARKET

Thursday Apr 20th, 2017

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This morning the Government of Ontario announced a slew of measures, referred to as the Fair Housing Plan, intended to address some of the challenges facing the rapidly overheating housing market. The comprehensive set of actions is meant to take a multifaceted approach by helping cool demand, address shortages of supply, and promote affordability in the provincial housing market. Sixteen initiatives can be categorized into three broad buckets: 

Demanding Cooling:

A 15% non-resident speculation tax (NRST) in the Greater Golden Horseshoe on residences between one and six units. The NRST would be levied on non-citizens, non-permanent residents of Canada, and foreign corporations, but would exclude refugees, and nominees under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.  There were a number of exclusions, in which tax rebates would be available to those who subsequently receive citizenship or resident status.  In addition, exclusions were also made available for international students and foreign nationals who can demonstrate residency for a period of time from point-of-purchase of a home.

Prevention    of    ‘paper    flipping,’    or    reselling    properties    pre-construction    

Supply boosting:

Allow municipalities to levy a property tax on vacant homes  

Provide  flexibility for  municipalities  to  impose  higher taxes on vacant land 

Lower property-taxes for new purpose-built apartment buildings  

Leverage provincial assets to help build housing stock 

Introduce a $125 million program over    five   years  to  encourage    purpose-built apartments 

 

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