*UPDATE: Specific measures from the Ministry of Finance

Following suit with British Columbia, the province of Ontario has announced what many anticipated – a so-called foreign speculator tax. While many industry experts (including myself), are not convinced this will help with affordability problems that many are facing – but rather a band-aid solution.

Ontario’s Liberal government will slap a 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners and will expand the province’s existing rent control system to cover all tenants, CBC News has learned.

The moves come after the price of the average home in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 33 per cent in a year, triggering warnings of a real estate bubble, as well as after reporting by CBC Toronto revealed landlords slapping massive rent increases on tenants.

CBC News has obtained information on several of the measures in the provincial government’s strategy to rein in housing costs. The information comes from sources with knowledge of the announcement to be made Thursday morning. In addition to the foreign buyers tax and expanded rent control, the measures also include:

  • A rebate of development cost charges to encourage building of more rental housing.

  • A standardized lease document for all tenants.

  • A ban on flipping of pre-construction units by speculators.

  • A review of the rules governing the conduct of real estate agents.

-Via CBC.ca

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