Real Estate By Becky Robertson 229 Views

City of Toronto may soon adopt a vacant home tax and it's what residents want

Toronto's housing market has not only failed to slow despite the global pandemic, but has seen sales and prices skyrocket in recent weeks, reinforcing our reputation as an overvalued city that certainly favours sellers.

There are a lot of factors that lead our market to be the most expensive in the country, and some of them make sense: property taxes, low lending rates, high immigration rates.

But then there are those that are a little enraging, like wealthy investors who drive up property values by purchasing homes not to live in, but simply to sit on for capital gains.

Foreign investors still own somewhere around $38 billion of the city's housing supply despite the fact that we have a non-resident speculation tax of 15 per cent.

Ghost hotels have historically also been an issue, with sought-after units across the city snapped up by those with enough funds to use them simply as an investment property to rent out short-term to travelers through sites like Airbnb. 

Though the health crisis pushed an influx of former Airbnbs into the actual rental market and Toronto implemented new, stricter regulations for short-term rentals, illegal listings are still rampant, and experts say they seriously impact affordability and availability of housing.

There is also a phenomenon of livable properties sitting uninhabited for years after owners claim they are renovating or selling the building to developers, or while they wait for someone to pay a high enough price.

These are all things that some think could be assuaged by a vacant home tax, which would help increase supply and deter people from buying properties to flip, using them simply as investments without offering them up to renters, or from letting them fall into unused disarray amid an ongoing housing crisis.


There are 0 comments on this post

Leave A Comment