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Bill Morneau

Bill Morneau

Minister of Finance

March 22nd, 2016

Households rely on housing market data to make informed decisions in buying and selling their homes, while governments depend on data to design effective housing policies. Currently it is not possible to fully understand the role of foreign homebuyers in Canada's housing market since a comprehensive and reliable data set on the number of homes sold to foreign homebuyers does not exist.

Budget 2016 proposes to address this data gap by allocating $500,000 to Statistics Canada in 2016–17 to develop methods for gathering data on purchases of Canadian housing by foreign homebuyers. This initiative could involve collaboration with the provinces, such as British Columbia, which recently announced its intention to have homebuyers disclose whether they are citizens or permanent residents of Canada or another country.

Stable and secure housing markets protect the greatest investment of many middle class Canadian families. On December 11, 2015, the Government announced coordinated actions to strengthen the resiliency of Canada's housing finance system, increase market discipline in residential lending, and promote long-term stability and balanced economic growth. The Government will continue to closely monitor vulnerabilities related to housing and consumer debt and is prepared to implement further measures, should they be needed.
Wink
Wink

To me it looks like they definitely played a part. Two markets have now introduced foreign buyers taxes and were immediately impacted. Foreign buyers are moving east to Montreal now where residents are seeing price gains unlike before. That's not to say they were the only part, domestic speculators defintely got dollar signs in their eyes and wanted to take advantage of foreign buyers as well, but now that they are no longer participating, I imagine we'll see domestic speculators looking to make an exit as soon as possible, creating a bit of a domino effect.

crashonomics
crashonomics

I really believe the foreign home-buyers represent a small portion overall but that the perception of cash-rich immigrants helped create a frenzy by local buyers. Maybe when we're picking up the pieces of the housing market the government study might finally give us the result too late..

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