It’s election season in Canada and as the federal parties vie for votes, landlords and property investors are wondering what’s next for the already volatile Ontario real estate market.
Whether the Conservatives take the lead, third parties make inroads, or the Liberals cling to power, change is on the way for property investors, sellers, and buyers.
Targeting foreign buyers
Canadians head to the polls on September 20 and when the final votes are tallied, the winning party will be under pressure to deliver on its platform promises.
When it comes to real estate, those promises are focusing on several key issues of interest to voters – foreign ownership, affordability, and federal oversight.
The two major parties both have foreign buyers in their crosshairs, pledging to disincentivize international investors in hopes that this will make the market more accessible for Canadians.
Trudeau’s Liberals plan to temporarily ban foreign ownership altogether, calling it “unproductive”. Under a Liberal government, foreign buyers would be shut out of the residential property market for two years,
Conservatives are also taking a hardline approach, again promising to ban non-resident foreign investors from buying homes in Canada for at least two years, after which the ban will be reviewed.
The third largest party on the ballot, the NDP, is taking a different tack, attempting to dissuade foreign speculators by introducing a 20% Foreign Buyers Tax on property purchases.
Ban on Blind Bidding
When the Liberals first released their housing plan there was significant push-back over one particular item.
Under the banner of their newly created Home Buyers Bill of Rights, the Liberals committed to banning blind bidding in favor of more transparent processes such as open auctions.
This position was met with strident opposition from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) who claim it will criminalize homeowners and cause chaos in the market.
In their response, OREA also pointed out that while blind bidding can be an issue in hot markets, the practice is not as widespread or impactful as commentators suggest. Replacing it with auctions won’t necessarily ensure fairer pricing, stimulate demand or protect buyers, said the industry body.
The Conservatives and the NDP have successfully avoided controversy on this issue by staying silent. Neither party has addressed blind bidding, focusing instead on helping first time homebuyers get a foot on the property ladder through financial incentives and investment in new housing.
From crisis to opportunity
All three major parties have labelled Canada’s current real estate environment a ‘housing crisis’.
Soaring prices, limited inventory, pandemic restrictions, and the shifting economic landscape may have temporarily rocked the market, but real estate continues to be a solid long-term investment.
Whether you’re making your first forays into real estate, looking at investing for the future or eager to grab some rental income, Highgate Property Investments can help. We offer a range of brokerage and property management services from tenant screening to inspections, maintenance, and renovations.
With Highgate Property Investments, your property is always in good hands, no matter what party’s in power. Contact us today to find out more.