Week In Review: TO Eyes Vacancy Tax + Bubble Fears

Realosophy Team in Media RoundupToronto Real Estate News

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All you need to know regarding the housing market in Toronto, Canada and abroad.

This week in Toronto: City eyes a vacancy tax, provincial government says Ottawa needs to step in and is the market on the cusp of an 80s like level? 

Elsewhere: Canada's addiction to building homes, what fixing the housing situation can do for the U.S. economy and Barcelona seeks to limit visitors. 


Toronto, province eye vacancy tax on unoccupied homes and rentals (Toronto Star)

But both levels of government say more data on the number of vacant homes is needed before moving ahead, and Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city would mine its water and hydro data to determine which homes are genuinely empty.

Toronto eyes vacancy tax to rein in real estate speculation (The Globe and Mail)

Toronto Mayor John Tory says he is open to following Vancouver’s lead by imposing a tax on vacant homes to crack down on speculators, as pressure mounts on governments of all levels to rein in the runaway real estate market.

Sousa says Ottawa's help needed to cool real estate market (The Star)

“There are individuals that are going into subdivisions that are buying 10, 40, 50 homes – holding paper – and flipping it … and they’re crowding out families who are trying to buy,” the treasurer said.

Is Toronto's housing market on the cusp of a late-80s-style bubble? (CBC)

"Prices were escalating and everybody was worrying how were they going to afford it, how were their kids going to afford it," said Millar, now a senior real estate specialist with Royal LePage Signature Realty. 

Province stripping Tarion of builder-regulator role (The Star)

“Tarion’s multiple roles and responsibilities can give rise to a perception of conflict of interest, and could result in an actual conflict or conflicts of interest,” Government and Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles said Tuesday. “The new home building sector is an important driver of Ontario’s economy and, quite frankly, I believe it deserves a stand-alone regulator.”

Hot real estate market forcing landmark musicians out of Toronto (The Globe)

Residential construction in Canada has hit an all-time high above 7.5 per cent of GDP. That's a greater dependency than during the housing bubble of the late 1980s. In the U.S., that number is just below 4 per cent.


Fixing housing could bring $300 billion back to US economy, new data show (CNBC)

"Usually when we get recovery in the economy, the housing sector leads the way," Ken Rosen, chairman of Rosen Consulting, told CNBC's "Squawk Box," saying that low interest rates would typically spur on the housing market and boost ownership.

America's Housing Inventory Problem, Explained in Four Charts (Bloomberg)

The pace of income growth is lagging behind that of property values. Combined with the sting of higher asking prices, affordability constraints mean rental demand will remain robust, allowing investors to maintain a solid foothold in the market, according to Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

How To End Housing Discrimination Against Transgender People (City Lab)

Gentili identifies as a transgender woman; when she met the broker in person, the man fell silent, stared, and asked if she was Cecilia. When she answered affirmatively, he told her he’d forgotten the address of the place and excused himself, saying he’d get in touch. It never happened.


After decades of promoting itself as a top tourist destination following the success of the 1992 Olympic Games, Spain's second-biggest city — and one of Europe's most popular tourist hubs — is cracking down on visitors.

What can the UK learn from how Finland solved homelessness? (The Guardian)

Housing First means ending homelessness instead of managing it. The basic idea is to offer permanent housing and needs-based support for homeless people instead of temporary accommodation in hostels or in emergency shelters. Permanent housing means an independent rental flat with own rental contract.

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