Many people are aware that Kathleen Wynne announced some ‘changes’ for the housing market today. I put quotes around ‘changes’ as I feel, as someone who is in the industry, these are not substantial enough to do much for our market.
Her main points:
- Foreign Buyer’s Tax (with exemptions to refugees, international students & foreign nationals working in Ontario)
- Some rent control
- And empowering the City of Toronto and other municipalities the option to add a property tax to homes that are sitting vacant.
Overall, these seem like band-aid solutions that don’t actually address the core of the issues. The foreign buyer’s tax should be higher. Given what I have seen in the market place lately 15% is peanuts compared to what I have seen some foreign buyers paying.
Rent Control of sorts is just an all around smart move to keep spaces occupied and not create situations where 6 people are living in a 2 bedroom condo just to pay rent.
And while I am highly supportive of a ‘vacant house’ property tax, my concern would be how long it would actually take to implement it and then start assessing how many homes are vacant. And again, if someone is willing to let a property sit vacant I question how much of an objection they would have to paying a tax. It would have to be fairly substantial for there to be any pain. And is the government willing to go that fair?
What wasn’t fully addressed and, in my opinion as an agent, needs to be addressed immediately is agent conduct especially with multiple offers. This is a whole other blog post.
Overall what I see happening after today’s announcement is a few people shying away from real estate to wait and see what happens. For those that do really want to buy I see this an opportunity as it could mean a few less people out in the market – better odds for purchasing that new home.
Here are a few scenarios?
- Maybe you are only competing against a few other buyers (instead of 10 or 12)
- Maybe you are only one competing
- Maybe there is a bit of flexibility on price – maybe the list price might even be the selling price!
Whatever the ‘cocktail’ of opportunity as far as I can see it’s all positive.
I know buying is a highly emotional process. And we do genuinely want to make it easier for you. If you ever want to learn more – I’m here to help.