Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

No housing measures that could boost demand: Morneau

The average price of detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area rose to $1.21 million last month, up 33.4 per cent from a year ago, but Wynne says the issue extends throughout the Golden Horseshoe area.

Ontario will also establish a program to identify provincially owned surplus lands for affordable and rental housing, with an eye to using a few specific sites such as the West Don Lands in Toronto for pilot projects.

For weeks, the accelerating pace of real estate prices in Canada's largest city have alarmed and perplexed policy-makers.

Other government actions included in Ontario's Fair Housing Plan include plans to make it possible for Toronto to apply a vacant-home tax and even setting a timeline for elevator repairs, which can be a headache for high-rise dwellers.

A rebate would be available for those who later become citizens or permanent residents, as a well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and worldwide students. "Frankly, it's a free market and market forces will prevail ultimately as we proceed forward", Sousa said.

The Toronto Star reported earlier, without saying where it got the information, that Sousa will announce some 10 measures ranging from rent controls to a new tax on speculators. "That will mean incentives they will have to provide at the same time as they announce whatever it is they are going to do about rent control to encourage people to build this housing". This will contribute to our strengthened enforcement efforts.

The plan also includes establishing timelines for elevator fix so that they aren't broken so often in condos and apartments.

"There's fairly widespread agreement that there's an element of speculation that's found its way in to this marketplace", said Tory, though he added that expert opinions differ on what is causing it and what should be done to address it. "If we spread and distribute economic development across the province it can relieve the pressure on the housing market in the long term".

"We're concerned that the price increases, in particular in the GTA, are putting the dream of owning a home out of reach of middle-class families", he said.

Late previous year, Ontario announced it would double the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 in an effort to help them enter the housing market.

Speaking before the provincial announcements, leading agency, Royal LePage tells OPP.Today that whatever happens, all indications are that home prices will continue to rise this year. Yet, it remains unclear whether that will take the form of a vacancy tax.

"Yet, the question is, will Toronto grow at the same pace we're now experiencing?" Rents for apartments built before 1991 in the region are already regulated. "At their current, severely low levels, the region's inventory has the potential to greatly exaggerate any movement made in the market".

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