TREB Questions Impact of Potential Vacancy Tax In Toronto

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, September 26, 2017 — The Toronto Real Estate Board is urging caution on the issue of a possible vacant home tax in the City of Toronto. A measured approach to the issue can help to avoid any unintended consequences on the housing market and property owners.

The City says a vacancy tax can encourage property owners to free up empty units, thereby increasing rental supply. However, TREB is concerned there is not enough empirical data or evidence to support this approach.

“At this time, it is not clear that the issues targeted by a vacancy tax are fully understood, nor is it clear how effective such a policy would be, or if it would have unintended outcomes that run counter to the stated City benefit of increasing rental supply,” says TREB President Tim Syrianos.

TREB is also flagging the issue of private property rights. “The application of a vacancy tax on a property owner who is abiding by property standard by-laws, zoning rules, and all other municipal requirements must be carefully considered,” adds Mr. Syrianos.

The administrative challenges of running this program, including the approach for identifying vacant homes (e.g. a mandatory system, a self-declaration by owners, and/or a complaints-based model) could pose challenges. In addition, a vacancy tax could possibly result in a net loss to the City’s budget. The start-up costs of a similar program in Vancouver totalled $5 million and is yielding only $700,000 in net annual revenue.

More evidence to support the suitability of a vacancy tax approach to increasing housing supply is needed. As well, better and more sensible policy measures should also be considered. One of the most effective ways to encourage homeowners to move in a bid to free up entry level and “middle” housing stock is to lower the high taxation burden on housing, not add another tax penalty. TREB has participated in discussions with policymakers and has taken the initiative to conduct research that is contributing valuable data, and we will continue to do so.

In light of recent policy measures aimed at the housing sector at both the provincial and national levels, it may be time for a pause to assess the impacts of these already announced policy decisions.

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GTA REALTORS® Release August Resale Housing Market Figures

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TORONTO, September 6, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,357 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2017.  This result was down by 34.8 per cent compared to August 2016.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System, at 11,523, was down by 6.7 per cent year-over-year and was at the lowest level for August since 2010.

“Recent reports suggest that economic conditions remain strong in the GTA.  Positive economic news coupled with the slower pace of price growth we are now experiencing could prompt an improvement in the demand for ownership housing, over and above the regular seasonal bump, as we move through the fall,” continued Mr. Syrianos.

The average selling price for all home types combined was $732,292 – up by three per cent compared to August 2016.  This growth was driven by the semi-detached, townhouse and condominium apartment market segments that continued to experience high single-digit or double digit year-over-year average price increases.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark, which accounts for typical home types throughout TREB’s market area, was up by 14.3 per cent year-over-year in August.  The fact that MLS® HPI growth outstripped average price growth, points to fewer high-end home sales this year compared to last.

“The relationship between sales and listings in the marketplace today suggests a balanced market.  If current conditions are sustained over the coming months, we would expect to see year-over-year price growth normalize slightly above the rate of inflation.  However, if some buyers move from the sidelines back into the marketplace, as TREB consumer research suggests may happen, an acceleration in price growth could result if listings remain at current levels,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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Governments of Canada and Ontario announce funding for affordable rental housing in Val Rita

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

VAL RITA, ON, September 7, 2017 — The governments of Canada and Ontario are proud to partner to fund affordable rental housing for Indigenous residents in the northeastern Ontario Township of Val Rita-Harty. The development on De L’Église Avenue in Val Rita, spearheaded by Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS), will provide 10 new units of affordable rental housing.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Honourable Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, made the announcement.

The new rental housing was celebrated at an event today at the Val Rita Recreational Park on Deschenaux Street as part of a tree planting celebration recognizing Indigenous peoples in Val Rita-Harty.

The development received $1.7 million in combined federal and provincial funding through the Investment in Affordable Housing agreement.

Quick facts:

  • The development features two-bedroom units available for rent to people who self-identify as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit.
  • OAHS is a corporation with a mandate to provide safe and affordable housing to urban and rural First Nation, Inuit and Métis people living off-reserve in Ontario.
  • OAHS provides rent-geared-to-income homes throughout Ontario.


“This investment will continue to help Canadians access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs, while also creating jobs for the local economy. Our government remains committed to working with our partners to develop and implement solutions to housing both in Ontario and across Canada.”
— Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

“We are proud to be working with our federal and Indigenous partners to address the unique needs of First Nation, Inuit and Metis seeking off-reserve housing. We believe everyone in the province deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, and this investment is key to fulfilling that vision.”
— Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

Associated links:

  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been helping Canadians meet their housing needs for more than 70 years. As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry. Prudent risk management, strong corporate governance and transparency are cornerstones of CMHC’s operations. For more information, please call 1-800-668-2642.
  • Investing in affordable housing programs is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives. Since 2003, the province has committed more than $5 billion in funding for affordable housing, which has helped support more than 22,000 new affordable rental housing units, more than 335,000 repairs and improvements to social and affordable housing units and rental and down payment assistance to more than 93,000 households in need. These investments complement the commitments made through Ontario’s recent Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy update, and support the province’s goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2025. For more information on affordable housing in Ontario, visit

Stay connected:

Media contacts:

Émilie Gauduchon
Press Secretary
Office of Minister Duclos

Wilbur McLean
Public Affairs
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Myriam Denis
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of Minister Milczyn

Conrad Spezowka
Ministry of Housing

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