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FACTBOX-Ontario sets tax on foreign buyers to cool Toronto housing market
April 20, 2017 / 3:13 PM / 8 months ago

FACTBOX-Ontario sets tax on foreign buyers to cool Toronto housing market

TORONTO, April 20 (Reuters) - Ontario’s provincial government on Thursday introduced 16 measures designed to cool the red-hot property market in Toronto and the surrounding region. The rapid acceleration in home prices has prompted some economists to voice fears the real estate market in Canada’s largest city is in a bubble.

Here is a summary of the 16 measures, pending approval:

* A new 15 percent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on the price of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area purchased by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations. The new tax would be effective as of April 21, 2017.

* Expand rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, with rent increases capped at 2.5 percent.

* Strengthen the Residential Tenancies Act, including a standard lease with multilingual information, tightening provisions for “landlord’s own use” evictions, and ensuring adequate tenant compensation if evicted.

* Use surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop new and affordable housing.

* Allow Toronto and other municipalities to introduce a vacant homes property tax.

* Ensure property tax for new multi-residential apartment buildings is charged at a similar rate as other residential properties.

* A C$125-million, five-year program to encourage construction of new rental housing.

* Providing municipalities with the flexibility to use property tax tools to help unlock development opportunities.

* Creating a new housing supply team to identify barriers to specific housing development projects and work with developers and municipalities to find solutions.

* Tackle practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market.

* Reviewing the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions.

* Establishing a housing advisory group which will meet quarterly.

* Educating consumers on their rights, particularly on the issue of one real estate professional representing more than one party in a real estate transaction.

* Partnering with the Canada Revenue Agency to ensure the correct federal and provincial taxes, including income and sales taxes, are paid on purchases and sales of real estate in Ontario.

* Making elevators in Ontario buildings more reliable.

* Working with municipalities to better reflect the needs of a growing Greater Golden Horseshoe area. (Reporting by Solarina Ho and Matt Scuffham; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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