Canada’s cooling experiment
Canada’s housing sector has been whipsawed by policy changes over the past year as governments have tried to cool overheated markets in Vancouver and Toronto and stave off a consumer debt crisis.
In the year since the B.C. government introduced a foreign-buyers tax in the Vancouver housing market, federal and provincial governments have announced a variety of policy changes and proposals that have cumulatively turned residential real estate into one of the most actively regulated sectors in the economy.
The changes have included a combination of vacant homes taxes, breaks for first-time home buyers, tighter mortgage qualification rules and restrictions on foreigners buying homes.
Together the reforms have created a major national experiment in cooling off an industry sector in the face of overwhelming consumer demand. Here are highlights of some of the most significant reforms announced in the past 12 months, along with the market impacts.