Ontario real estate sees noticeable decline in foreign ownership

by Ephraim Vecina20 Sep 2017
Ever since Ontario’s implementation of a foreign home buyers’ tax and the introduction of its Fair Housing Plan, the number of non-resident owners of real estate in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has seen a noticeable decline, according to the latest numbers from the provincial government.

The proportion of Ontario homes purchased by those who are not citizens and permanent residents of Canada, or by foreign corporations, fell by 1.5 per cent from  May 27 to August 18, 2017 compared to the period covering April 24 to May 26, 2017, the province’s Ministry of Finance said.

Roughly 3.2 per cent of 66,434 transactions in the Greater Golden Horseshoe involved at least one foreign individual or corporation, down from 4.7 per cent in the previous period. Across all of Ontario, 2.6 per cent of 101,698 deals involved a foreign entity, while Toronto’s share was 5.6 per cent, down from 7.2 per cent in the pre-FHP days.

“The measures that we introduced as a part of the Fair Housing Plan are working—we are seeing increased housing supply and evidence that more people are finding affordable homes. Ontario continues to be a place that welcomes all new residents, drawn by its rising employment and strong economy,” Ontario finance minister Charles Sousa said.

Late last week, Ontario Real Estate Association CEO Tim Hudak praised the government for providing updated real estate data on foreign buyers, but he emphasized that this is merely the first step in creating an effective policy solution to the province’s housing woes.

“While demand side data is useful, we cannot lose sight of the fundamental challenge Ontario has with housing supply. There is too much red tape on housing development that drives up the cost of new homes and limits inventory in the marketplace,” Hudak said in a statement. “Infrastructure investments should be targeted at housing ready land and we should allow greater intensification along rail and transportation corridors.”

“No matter how you slice demand data, until we expand the quantity and choices in homes, home ownership will be pushed further out of reach for the next generation.”


  • by the cynic 9/20/2017 11:34:47 AM

    Title is wrong.. foreign ownership did not decline. The rate of new sales declined. I don't believe there is any indication that we saw foreign owners selling at a rate that greater than the rate of purchases. Did we??

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