“Listless” in Toronto.  And let’s face it, the last thing a passionate Realtor in the city wants to be is “listless”! But it’s a common condition for many of us today, and not just in the city of Toronto, but throughout the GTA.

So what to do about it?  How do we remedy this problem of short supply and “tall” demand for housing in the city?  Should the government step in?  Should banks get aggressive?  Should there be special taxes levied against certain sectors of the buying market…like foreign buyers? or “flippers”, or owners of empty houses??  Well….maybe.  So let’s examine some of the ideas that have been put forward so far and you tell me what you think is best for the Real Estate woes we are experiencing.

*Tax foreign buyers in Toronto

*Limit foreign buyers to purchasing NEW Construction as opposed to Re-Sales

*Impose Rent Controls via a rolling exemption for new buildings.  IE: after 15 years, rent increases fall under rent control so that rental prices don’t skyrocket.

*Impose a flipping tax to discourage speculators from buying properties only to hold them (vacant) and re-sell them to the highest bidder

*Decrease development costs for Developers of new construction so they can build more, cheaper and faster.

*Improve the development process where the city red tape is concerned so that new construction can get on pace with demand for new housing

*Review the geographical boundaries/restrictions around the greenbelt to allow for more allocation of land to be developed.

*Raise interest rates to slow the market.

*Raise property taxes….

But here’s the thing….THE MARKET IS SELF GOVERNING…The average home in the GTA is getting close to $1 million.  CMHC will not insure mortgages over $1ML, so there will be no high ratio loans.  That means a minimum downpayment of $200K will be required by purchasers.  That takes TIME to save up (even if they are borrowing from the bank of Mum and Dad).  THAT will slow demand, surely!

So one size does not fit all and there is no single solution.  Perhaps some of these measures are called for, but at the end of the day, the market WILL self correct and our listless moods will be alleviated!

What do YOU think?

If you (or someone you know), are looking for a Realtor who cares MORE about focusing on you, your concerns, goals and the successful purchase or sale of YOUR unique home, than they care about their volume of transactions and awards, please let me know the best way for me to connect.  I would love to offer my highly personal service. Contrary to that old expression, not only IS this business, but it IS personal! And, please, I encourage you to ask me any questions you may have about this post. I value your input and appreciate the time you took to read it.










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- Kate Akman

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