The Pros and Cons of the Foreign Home Buyers Tax



The Wynne Government recently announced an addition of 15% tax to any property buyers that are non-residents looking to purchase a property in Ontario as of April 20th, 2017.

It has been 2 months since the news have been announced, and as a realtor the number one question I receive is “have you seen a change in the market?”

The answer is yes…there has been a 5-7% decrease in the housing market and an overall 26% decrease in sales this Spring alone. This does not necessarily mean bad news for our market. I believe it’s nothing short of a government cash grab that will have little to no long term effect.

The government imposed this rule in order to give the first time home buyer a fighting chance to enter the market. I believe this is positive news for people that are looking to buy right now.

There is a better opportunity for people to “get in: but their budget remains the same – for ex. If your budget is $500,000 this will not change even though the market had slowed down. Let’s use Vancouver  for example (and it seems like Toronto is following the footsteps of Vancouver) prices have gone back up 5% after a few months of the news being announced.

My advice to people that are looking to buy:

#1. Go to your bank or mortgage agent and make sure you can lock in the interest rate as promised. A few months ago – Hometrust had serious funding issues even the great Warren Buffett was able to identify this as a great investment opportunity and made a sizable investment into the company. As a result we are starting to see Hometrust regain their deposit base, proving another vote of confidence from the general public.

#2. Focus on 2 areas that you are really interested in living. Drive by it, go into the neighbourhoods after work, spend a lot of time there and see if you can really see yourself being there.

#3. Be realistic. I know it seems like the market has dropped and we can get more for our buck but in reality we still live in a world class city and I do truly believe that the prices will go back up in a few months time. We are currently in the summer market are away on vacation & to their cottages but let’s be REAL. Once we get back to the Fall market there will be more people looking to enter the market.

My advice to people that are looking to sell:

#1. Look at all the data from the past solds and determine if you are happy with the profit that you would make as a result of the sale.

#2. Staging is everything! Think from the buyer’s perspective and pay attention to finer details of your home. What would they want to see when they walk into their potential home? Figure out your target market. Who does your neighbourhood attract?

#3. Sell your home first before you look into buying into your next home. Like the advice that I have for buyers – you want to know what you can afford before you start looking and putting that for sale sign up.

And the rest, we will take care of which is the marketing and selling of your property.

These are just some of my thoughts and some advice that can hopefully help buyers and sellers that are planning to make a move in the market.

You can always e-mail me at [email protected] with all your real estate questions.


Wins Lai

Real Estate Broker



Living Realty Inc., Brokerage

7 Hayden Street

Toronto, ON M4Y 2P2

T. 416.975.9889
F. 416.975.0220




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