Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Foreign Buyer Activity in Ontario Market about Five per Cent, Government Says

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Foreign Buyer Activity in Ontario Market about Five per Cent, Government Says

Article excerpt

Ontario releases foreign buyer data

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TORONTO - Newly released figures show nearly five per cent of home purchases in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe region were made by non-residents since the Liberal government announced a foreign buyer tax.

The 15 per cent tax is imposed on buyers in that area -- stretching from the Niagara Region to Peterborough -- who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations.

Despite the focus on foreign speculators, the government admitted it didn't have good data on their role in the market, so it also required homebuyers as of April 24 to give information about their residency and citizenship status.

The government says today that data collected from April 24 to May 26 show 18,282 residential and agricultural properties were bought or acquired in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.

Of those transactions, it says about 4.7 per cent of the properties were bought or acquired by people who aren't citizens or permanent residents, and by foreign corporations.

The foreign buyer tax was one part of a 16-part housing plan the government introduced as the housing market in the Toronto area and beyond saw year-over-year price increases of over 30 per cent.

The Toronto Real Estate Board previously found that 4.9 per cent of transactions in the Greater Toronto Area involved foreign buyers, which it said was a minimal amount and not detrimental to the housing market.

In May, home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 20.3 per cent. …

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