Toronto Residents Should Face Their Housing Crisis
The British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s housing decision about-face came as a shock for many as she had deliberately refused to take any step in addressing the housing situation going on in Vancouver. During most of 2015 running through half of 2016 when home prices in Vancouver were very hot, Clark made no effort to intercede in the real estate market.
Instead she advised that bringing in measures to cool down home prices will affect the value of people’s property. She also went on to highlighted that foreign buyers had no influence on home prices.
Additionally, there was the fact that the province’s treasury was gaining from the high home prices which made the government to be less disturbed about the situation.
Conversely, months before the provincial elections, it emerged on the government that rising home prices affecting people will hinder their re-election, hence Clark and her cabinet made a change of plans by introducing a 15% tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver which essentially aided in bringing down the high prices in Vancouver in the fourth quarter.
However, miserably enough, the intervention of the government came at a point when the harm had already been done.
One would have supposed that the housing predicament in Vancouver might serve as a lesson for other markets but then again it seems the Greater Toronto market is not bothered at all.
Toronto is fast becoming an echo of what transpired in Vancouver, however the difference is that residents in Toronto are not at all bothered unlike Vancouver residents who were outraged. Furthermore, some real estate industries in the city are refuting the fact that Toronto is in a housing bubble, the provincial government claiming that a similar foreign tax will do more harm than good than an inflow of more foreign buyers.
But for observers in Vancouver, the state of affairs is infuriating as more and more first-time buyers are left out of the real estate market. What is even annoying is the fact that the Ontario is expressing the same claims Clark conveyed before intervening in the market.
One thing for sure is that either the housing crisis in Vancouver meant nothing to the Ontario government or they are purposefully pretending to ignore the situation.
Nonetheless there are warnings that Toronto should be observant, as foreign buyers especially from China are being lured in their numbers to the city.
Toronto residents must not sit with gathered hands watching their home values being increased. It’s a very disadvantageous situation for millennials as the province has presently become Canada’s most unaffordable market.
J C Loum