Last week, Tembo released a blog outlining some of the basics of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan; a 16-point government initiative by the province of Ontario to cool the housing market in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. In this blog, Tembo will explain other components of the plan and what the government of Ontario has been doing in the last few years to manage the real estate market.
The Fair Housing Plan will work with real estate agents and consumers to review rules agents follow to ensure real estate transactions are fair. The government mentioned the desire to strengthen real estate standards and to end the practice of double ending and to educate the public about the practice. Double ending occurs when a real estate agent represents both the seller and the buyer in a transaction.
Another aspect of the plan is to create a Housing Advisory Group which will meet quarterly to provide the government with advice on the real estate market and to provide feedback on the effects of the plan’s other points. This group would be diverse and would include economists, academics, and developers among other specialists.
The province will also work with the federal government to improve reporting requirements so that appropriate provincial and federal taxes are paid on the purchase and sale of real estate. Finally, the government will create an updated Growth Plan for the growing housing needs of the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The updated Growth Plan will focus on increasing densification of existing suburban and urban areas and to ensure enough land is freed up for development without reducing protected green spaces.
Actions already taken
The government has already exempted first-time homebuyers from paying land transfer tax on the first $368,000.00 of the cost of their first home. Increasing land transfer taxes on high value ($2 million properties). Increasing zoning space for affordable housing, selling off surplus government land, and increasing the collection of real estate data are other measures the government has taken up recently.
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