New figures show foreign buyer home purchases are declining in a region of Ontario covered by a non-resident tax.

The provincial government says that people who aren’t citizens or permanent residents, as well as foreign corporations, accounted for 1.9% of the transactions in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region—which includes Toronto—from Aug. 19 to Nov. 17.

That’s down from 3.2% in the previous three-month period—a period that also saw a decline from the 4.7% recorded in the first month the non-resident speculation tax was in effect.

In Toronto the latest figures show 3.8% of transactions were made by foreign buyers, which is lower than the 5.6% in the previous three months—a drop of 1.8%.

The 15% tax was imposed in April on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area—stretching from the Niagara Region to Peterborough—who aren’t citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations.

The province has so far collected about $133 million from the tax, though that includes transactions that could be subject to rebates, such as people who subsequently get citizenship or permanent resident status, as well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and international students.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Statistics Canada released data Tuesday showing that foreign buyers make up a minuscule portion of the overall housing market in the country, but what they own is more expensive and newer compared to what’s owned by the average Canadian homeowner.

For example, in the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), the non-resident ownership rate is 3.4% for all residential properties; in the Vancouver CMA, 4.8%.

Single-detached houses owned by non-residents in the Toronto CMA were on average 12.3% or $103,500 more expensive than houses owned by residents. In the Vancouver CMA, the average value of a single-detached house owned by non-residents was approximately $2.3 million compared with $1.6 million for resident owned.

Non-resident owned condos in the Toronto CMA were on average 8.7% more expensive than resident-owned. In the Vancouver CMA, that figure is 30.4%.

Also read:

Non-resident condo ownership remains low: CMHC

How to plan for cottage succession

What 97% of homebuyers regret

Condo sales push Montreal real estate to November record

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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