New Measures Introduced in Ontario to Cool Blazing Real Estate Market

Premier Kathleen Wynne today announced measures for controlling the real estate market in an effort to protect local buyers from getting priced out by escalating rents and swelling home prices

16 measures — most of which must be passed legislatively before being implemented were announced.

They include:

  • A 15% tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Peterborough to Kitchener. (doesn’t apply to new immigrants moving here, but are investors who will reside outside of Ont.)
  • Expand rent control to all private rental units including those currently excluded (built after 1991).  Legislation must be approved first but will be effective today. Annual rent increase for an existing tenant can be no higher than the rate of inflation or capped at 2.5%, whichever is higher.
  • Rebated for development costs to encourage building of more rental housing.
  • Standardized lease document for all tenants in the province.
  • Research into assigning agreements to purchase before closing or “paper flipping”.
  • Allowing Toronto and other municipalities to impose a tax on vacant properties.
  • Identify provincially owned lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development.
  • A $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of purpose-built rental apartment buildings through rebates.
  • A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions. A government backgrounder on the measures announced today specifically mentions the practice of double-ending, when one agent represents more than one party in a transaction.
  • A review of multiple representation rules for real estate agents (when one agent represents more than one party in a transaction.)

“We are not interested in controlling the market.  That is not the aim. But we do believe that there is a need for interventions right now to calm what is going on, to put protections in place.  Right now we believe these are the measures needed to help people find a place to live that they can afford.”  – Kathleen Wynne

Wynne said she would not rule out other measures if needed.

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