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Toronto mayor expects action on speculation after housing meeting

The Canadian Press | posted Tuesday, Apr 18th, 2017

The federal finance minister is set to meet Tuesday with his Ontario counterpart and the mayor of Toronto to discuss the hot housing market in the Greater Toronto Area.

The gathering in Toronto comes as the Ontario government readies to unveil a much-anticipated package of housing affordability measures.

“If people are looking for a solution that says prices are going to drop by 20 per cent, that’s not likely to happen,” Mayor John Tory told Breakfast Television before the meeting.

“I’m not sure people want that to happen. That could trigger what Premier Kathleen Wynne called ‘unintended consequences.’”

The provincial government has been facing growing pressure to take action on soaring real estate prices in Canada’s most populous city and its surrounding areas.

The average price of a detached house in the region hit $1.21 million last month, up 33.4 per cent from a year ago.

Tory said he plans to discuss the city’s lagging rental supply, a vacant property tax and the lack of real estate data at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We sure think there’s a need for more information. Right now, we have no records on whether people from outside the country are buying property in Toronto,” Tory said on Breakfast Television.

Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said governments need to figure out what they can do about housing affordability without overcorrecting the system.

A spokesman for federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday that Ottawa is concerned about diminishing affordability in the housing market, calling the matter a complex issue with lots to talk about.

Last week, the head of the Bank of Canada warned of growing speculation in the Toronto housing market and said a correction there could reverberate in other parts of the country.

Related stories:

Tory lays out 3 priorities heading into housing meeting
Toronto homeowners cash out of hot real estate market, move to Ottawa
Ontario Liberals to target ‘property scalpers’ in upcoming housing measures



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