Government of Ontario
Kathleen Wynne dropped a long-in-the-works bombshell on the GTA housing market in April, when she announced a 16-point Fair Housing Plan to stabilize prices and assist consumers in finding affordable housing. A Non-resident Speculation Tax and increased rent controls were the highlights, but a tax on vacant homes, a crackdown on assignment clauses and an end to double-ending by agents will also have an impact on multiple layers of the real estate industry.
Wynne’s plan has hardly been the recipient of universal praise. It does little to bolster supply in the GTA, and its rent control measures may actually lead to fewer purpose-built apartments as multiple developers have already announced the cancellation of projects in the area. In addition, the foreign speculation tax does nothing to curtail the exploits of home-grown speculators, who have been snapping up properties beyond the Golden Horseshoe in an attempt to preserve positive cash flow.
Whether Wynne’s Fair Housing Plan will go down as a piece of progressive legislation or a desperate campaign ploy remains to be seen.