Where Do We (Start) Stand?
Thursday Jan 04th, 2018
"Much of the sales volatility in 2017 was brought about by government policy decisions. Research from TREB, the provincial government and Statistics Canada showed that foreign home buying was not a major driver of sales in the GTA. However, the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which included a foreign buyer tax, had a marked psychological impact on the marketplace. Looking forward, government policy could continue to influence consumer behavior in 2018, as changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines come into effect," said Mr. Syrianos, -President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
The Ontario Fair Housing Plan. Does the name not imply that prior to this new bill, housing in Ontario wasn't fair?
The highlights of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan are:
- Addressing Housing Demand - all that changed is a Non-Residential Speculation Tax 15%, which really only concerns Toronto and was not the reason why the market was over-heated. Have a look at this article published by the Toronto Star in February 2017
- Increasing Housing Supply - all I could read was about 2000 new units are to be built? How is that going to make any kind of a realistic impact?
- Protecting Renters. I am all for protecting Renters as well as Landlords. This new bill will not help renters because potential landlords will now look to other places to invest in, they will just say it isn't worth the hassle to buy property and rent it out. This will lead to an even tighter rental market.
- Protecting Real Estate Consumers, believe it or not to me this is the only part of the bill that makes any sense. I have 'double ended sales' in the past, but I sure would not want to now. Things have changed. Picture yourself suing your insurance company and you are being represented by a lawyer who is hired by the same insurance company you are suing. What do you think your chances of winning would be? Well, being a representative for the Seller and the Buyer is virtually the same thing. If there is a dispute in the transaction how can the same Brokerage be fair and impartial to both parties at the same time?
- Working with Municipalities - does that mean that the Provincial Government was not working with the Municipalities in the past?
- Ensuing Fairness and Safety - Again, how is this anything new?
All this work that was done and is being done and money that was spent and is being spent by our Provincial Government as it turns out was and is a waste.
The real estate market is just fine, thank you very much.