Property transaction trends have been a hot topic in recent months. One of the key issues in York Region has been the influx of foreign buyers in the real estate market. Provincial data has now confirmed residents' reports on the issue, saying that nine percent of real estate transactions in the area involved foreign buyers. This number comes from data taken following a new real estate law imposing a 15 percent tax on home sales to non-residents.
The data measures home sales between April 24 and May 26. The number of foreign home buyers in York Region is high compared to Toronto, where foreign buyers were responsible for 7.2 percent of properties sold in the same period. Other parts of the Greater Toronto Area had significantly lower sales to non-resident buyers. Durham and Peel had 2.1 percent and 3.8 percent foreign buyer activity respectively. Figures for the entire Golden Horseshoe are also significantly lower than York Region, with 4.7 percent of transactions coming from non-residents.
The data confirms perceptions about foreign investment in the GTA real estate market. Of the 857 properties bought by non-residents in the Golden Horseshoe, 50 percent of 429 total properties were in Toronto. While real estate laws such as the non-resident speculation tax are designed to dissuade such investment, areas such as York Region are still seeing a great deal of activity.
Statisticians are keeping a close eye on the GTA and its surrounding areas. The year-over-year price increases in area real estate are in the double digits, and foreign buyers are a hot topic in this discussion. Real estate law, including the non-resident speculation tax, have added additional steps for buyers in the York Region market. Involving a lawyer to better understand these changes and any resulting legal obligations is a good idea for non-resident and local buyers alike.
Source: CBC News, "9% of York Region homes purchased by foreign buyers, province's data shows", July 12, 2017