By: Belinda Lelli



Real estate association speaks out against potential Toronto foreign buyer tax.

"Home affordability needs to be addressed before millennials are completely priced out of the market. That is why Ontario Realtors have called for the creation of an Affordable Home Ownership Task Force. We need real estate experts to come together to hammer out a plan for making home ownership more attainable for first-time buyers and young families,” Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak said in a statement late Thursday.

 “The main culprit behind rapidly rising house prices is the GTA’s unbalanced market – housing supply cannot meet demand – not foreign buyers,” Hudak continued. “A foreign buyer tax would only penalize the international MBA student who will one day start her own business in our province, or the surgeon aspiring to work at Sick Kids. Before we pin a tax on foreigners, we need to address the elephant in the room and that’s the lack of housing supply.”

Chatter about a potential foreign homebuyer tax in Toronto has picked up following the perceived efficacy of the one instituted in Vancouver last year.

Ontario’s Finance Minister admitted Thursday the province is considering it as a means to cool Toronto’s red hot housing market.

“A year ago I was thinking, ‘Let market forces prevail,’” Finance Minister Charles Sousa said. “But now I’m concerned about … the ability of people to enter the marketplace. [There are] bidding wars everywhere you go, it appears, and I’m sensitive to that.”

The average GTA home price jumped 27.7% and the average detached home in Toronto now costs more than $1.5 million.

Sousa said the province is considering a number of measures and that a potential foreign buyer tax is just one of them.