A province doesn’t need to think that foreign money in real estate is a serious problem in order to support a foreign buyers tax.
That’s just one finding in a report released by housing portal Zoocasa on Thursday, the same day that Ontario was set to unveil a series of measures to address skyrocketing housing prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), as part of the provincial budget.
A tax on non-resident speculators is but one of a number of measures that have been considered, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday.
Zoocasa found that most respondents supported a foreign buyers tax in every province — although some provinces, like Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and the Atlantic provinces, were counted together.
The strongest support was found in Quebec, where 77 per cent supported having a foreign buyers tax. By contrast, however, only 61 per cent of people there felt that foreign buyers were driving up home prices in their city.
The next-strongest support was found in British Columbia, where 75 per cent supported a foreign buyers tax. The provincial government there implemented a 15 per cent property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver in August 2016.
Roll your cursor over the map below to see how much support the idea of a foreign buyers tax has in various Canadian provinces. A deeper red denotes stronger support:
The report also showed that many respondents are a long way away from saving enough money to make a down payment on an average-priced Canadian home.
Zoocasa noted that, with average Canadian home prices currently sitting at $548,517, a minimum down payment of five per cent means prospective buyers would need to have over $27,000 on hand.
But 43 per cent of respondents to Zoocasa’s survey said they had only saved up to $5,000. Only 17 per cent of respondents had saved between $20,000 and $40,000 for a down payment.
“Rising home prices” were cited as a chief obstacle that both first-time buyers and current owners faced buying a home.
But “generally, respondents with higher incomes were more likely to cite rising real estate prices as an obstacle compared to the average.”
Sixty-two per cent of respondents who made between $100,000 and $149,999 cited rising home prices as an obstacle to buying a property, compared with 58 per cent of people who made between $75,000 and $99,999.
People who made less than $20,000 were the least concerned about rising home prices — only 36 per cent cited growing home prices as a concern.
Zoocasa derived its results from the “Zoocasa Housing Trends Survey,” which spoke with more than 1,100 Canadians between February and March 2017.