Wynne to slap 15 per cent tax on foreign real estate speculators

Premier Kathleen Wynne is slapping a 15 per cent “non-resident speculation” tax on foreign investors to help cool down southern Ontario’s scorching real estate market, the Star has learned.Wynne will join Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Housing Minister Chris Ballard on Thursday against a backdrop of condo towers in booming Liberty Village to launch a massive plan to improve housing affordability.A key plank in that would be the 15 per cent surcharge on offshore speculators, who are estimated to make up just 5 per cent of the current market.Modelled on British Columbia’s “foreign buyers’ tax” in Vancouver, the levy would apply to home purchasers in the so-called Greater Golden Horseshoe who are not citizens or permanent residents.It would affect sales in and around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Niagara, Kitchener-Waterloo, and encompass everywhere north to Barrie and Orillia and east to Peterborough.Article Continued BelowSpeaking in Ottawa on Wednesday, Wynne indicated there wouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all solution for real estate throughout Ontario.“One of the things that we have talked about within caucus is . . . the interaction between the housing market in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and in Ottawa or London,” the premier said.“The circumstances are different. Just as when this conversation began and we looked at what was happening in Vancouver, it was a different situation than in Toronto.”