toronto real estate

Government might do something to cool down Toronto housing market

Will anything stop Toronto's red hot real estate market this year? The Royal Bank of Canada thinks so. In its January Canadian Housing Health Check (PDF), the bank warns that "the likelihood of policy intervention to address housing risks in Toronto is increasing."

The report doesn't specify which level of government is most likely to interfere, though a recent precedent has already been set in Vancouver when the provincial government implemented a 15 per cent tax on foreign home buyers, which noticeably slowed the country's other runaway market.

The Ontario government hasn't done much to indicate that it will put in place a similar tax, though there are other ways that it, or the federal government, could intervene.

"Affordability-related vulnerabilities continue to be major concerns in Vancouver and Toronto," reads the RBC report.

"Such vulnerabilities are now being tempered (somewhat) in Vancouver, however, by rapidly moderating price increases. On the other hand, Toronto is showing increasing signs of overheating."

RBC has also forecasted that the rate by which housing prices increase in Toronto will slow slightly compared to last year. At the close of 2016, the bank predicted five to ten per cent increases for 2017.

Should the numbers actually be much higher than this as the year progresses, it's increasingly likely that governmental measures will be taken to slow things down.

Lead photo by

Michael Muraz


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