Vancouver’s real estate tax could push Toronto’s prices up further

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Foreign nationals looking to dodge a new 15 per cent tax on properties in Vancouver could end up investing in Toronto thereby pushing up prices even further.

The tax, which takes effect Tuesday, was introduced by the British Columbia government with the intent of improving home affordability in Metro Vancouver, where house prices are among the highest in North America.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he is examining the tax “very closely” as a possible measure to address Toronto home prices.

The average cost of a home in the city in June was $746,546, up nearly 17 per cent from the same month last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. In comparison, Vancouver home prices averaged $1,026,207, a rise of more than 11 per cent.

Mayor John Tory said he hasn’t ruled out a similar tax for foreigners buying property in Toronto. But he stressed he would want to know more about its efficacy before bringing in such a levy.

The rapid rise in house prices in Toronto and Vancouver has caught the attention of the Bank of Canada, which declared two months ago that they were not sustainable. – CINEWS

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