Government Changes Projected Impact On Market
"New provincial measures to cool the rollicking Toronto region housing market could finally prompt harried home buyers to take a breath and figure out how the new rules affect their personal circumstances long-term.
It is difficult to predict how the 15-per cent foreign buyers’ tax announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne will impact the market, says the Re/Max 2017 Spring Market Trends Report published Tuesday.
While a similar tax turned down the heat in Vancouver, Toronto is a bigger city and foreign investment isn't considered to be as big a factor here, although data is scarce.
Re/Max says it's safe to assume, however, that the new Ontario measures that apply to the Greater Golden Horseshoe will impact the middle class as well as the luxury end of the market.
"It's a shock to the market," said Pamela Alexander, CEO of Re/Max Integra Ontario-Atlantic Canada.
"This is probably going to have its period of a few months of adjustment and then the market will return to its new normal," said Alexander, who praised most of the measures in the Liberal government's 16-point plan.
She expressed reservations, however, about the expansion of rent controls to units occupied after 1991.
Some investors who have been buying condos over the last 15 years may see this as a trigger to exit the market, said Alexander.
"People may say, 'I've had a great run, I've capitalized on the upward swing, but I don't know how much further that upward swing is going to go and I don't know if I can manage this with a profit with the new caps in place,'" said Alexander.
"Whenever there's any kind of shock to the market — whether they raise interest rates or put new mortgage rules in — there's always this pause," she said.
Purchasers are increasingly frustrated with the lack of homes on the market and the high costs, said Alexander.
"They're realizing after being let down they are just at this point of time they're not going to be able to find what they're looking in the area they most desire and they're just going to have to expand the sphere of where they're looking," she said.
That trend is driving prices as far away as Windsor and Kingston, says the report.
New taxes aimed at curbing speculation by foreign buyers helped push Greater Vancouver prices down 11 per cent in the first quarter since the same period last year.
An online Leger panel of 1,570 Canadians showed that 68 per cent of Ontario residents consider the location of their home to be more important than the style or size of the residence.
Price followed by access to green space and parks, and proximity to work were the primary home-buying considerations, according to the poll respondents.
Among millennials (aged 18 to 34), proximity to work edged out access to green space as the second most important factor in purchasing.
Forty-six per cent of Canadians and Ontarians said they felt like they could buy the kind of home that suits their families' needs.
The Leger survey, conducted between March 27 and 30 is considered accurate within 2.5 per cent 19 times out of 20."
Article brought to us By The Toronto Star - Tess Kalinowski (Real Estate Reporter)