Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives won the election with 73 majority votes on June 7, 2018. With Doug Ford as Ontario’s new premier, there could be key changes in Toronto’s housing market.
Recently, the PC leader addressed abolishing the 15 per cent non-resident buyer tax on real estate, officially called the Non-Resident Speculation Tax, which was introduced by the Liberal government as a part of a 16-point Fair Housing Plan in 2017. Repealing this policy could start re-inflating a housing market that has been on the decline in recent months.
“I just don’t like the government getting involved,” Ford told the Globe and Mail. “I believe in the market dictating. The market, no matter whether it’s the stock market or anything, it will always take care of itself—supply and demand.”
Ford also believes governments should not intervene in the provision of single-family housing. He is a firm believer that the private-sector developers will help to boost the provincial economy.
The premier proposed rezoning part of the Greenbelt, a protected area of green space, around the GTA to allow developers to build single-family homes using some of the large supply of undeveloped land to address Toronto’s severe housing affordability issue. This was a unique proposal because, without competitive development on the urban fringe, Toronto’s housing affordability is likely to continue as an impossible challenge for many middle-income households.
Ford later backed down on this proposal, stating, “I looked at it as making sure we have more affordable housing. The people have spoken. I’m going to listen to them, they don’t want me to touch the Greenbelt, we won’t touch the Greenbelt.”
The PC win is uplifting news for real estate investors, as the party is talking about more free markets and letting the market dictate itself as opposed to government intervention with additional restrictions.