Wynne’s Affordability Efforts

web-nw-na-wynnehousing-0925On November 22nd, OREA (the Ontario Real Estate Association) and TREB (the Toronto Real Estate Board) met with Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss housing affordability and other real estate issues. “We discussed a range of solutions to help with home affordability,” said Ray Ferris, president of OREA. “We recommended the need for bringing more supply of homes to the market. The demand for homes is outpacing supply, and that’s making affordable home ownership difficult for thousands of young families.”

In an effort to help first-time home buyers, the week before, the Ontario government announced its plans to increase the Land Transfer Tax rebate. As of January 1, 2017, the rebate for first-time home buyers will increase from $2,000 to $4,000. “The LTT rebate increase is an important first step towards more affordable home ownership,” said Tim Hudak, OREA CEO-Designate. “We were pleased to see Ontario resist scapegoating foreign home buyers for affordability challenges in the market. We commend the Premier for taking a data driven approach to housing policy decisions.”

Wynne had said on October 24th that the province will not follow British Columbia’s move to introduce a tax on foreign homebuyers. “We’re not going to go down the road that British Columbia has gone down,” Wynne said at a press conference. “I’m not interested in doing something that would have an unintended consequence in Ontario – something that was designed for a totally different market.”

All this being said, a $4,000 rebate seems like an almost laughable amount when faced with a Toronto purchase. The increase in foreign, and Canadian investor buyers also seem to be offsetting these changes aimed at improving home affordability. That’s why it’s important to work with a realtor who can help you come up with smart strategies to find the perfect purchase. Give me a call, I can help.