Finance Minister to release 2016 Ontario Fall Economic Statement
By: Hunter Crowther
The provincial Liberal government says only minor adjustments to the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market are to be expected in today’s fall economic statement.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa will introduce Ontario’s 2016 Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review in Queen’s Park on Monday.
Both he and Premier Kathleen Wynne said there would be modifications to the housing market for the province’s capital and surrounding urban regions, but the Liberals would not follow British Columbia’s lead, who introduced a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers.
Wynne said in a press conference last month that British Columbia’s decision was based on their own independent market, and Ontario was “not interested in doing something that would have an unintended consequence.”
At a Canadian Club luncheon at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel earlier this month, Sousa outlined the difficulties first-time GTA home buyers face, and how new legislation would “be more consumer-focused.”
“Growth in residential real estate values has been good for our economy,” Sousa told the Canadian Club audience. “The price point, however, has also made it harder for someone starting out to own a home.”
The average selling price for all home types combined spiked to over $760,000 – up to 21.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis in October 2016, according to Toronto Real Estate Board data.
Last month, the federal government introduced new regulations to stunt foreign investors from over-inflating the housing market. Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau cited both Toronto and Vancouver as examples of how updated regulation is needed to safeguard Canadians from signing ill-fated mortgages.
Wynne has said the provincial government would monitor how the new federal regulations will impact the housing market.