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The latest home sales data show a drop in the number of purchases by non-Canadians in an Ontario region that includes Toronto and is subject to a foreign buyer tax.

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

Read: Toronto average home price falls for 4th consecutive month

The government previously released data from April 24 to May 26, which showed that about 4.7% of properties were bought by people who aren’t citizens or permanent residents.

The latest set of numbers covers May 27 to Aug. 18 and it shows the percentage of foreign transactions in the region dropped to about 3.2%.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa says that the measures in the government’s housing plan — which include the tax — are working.

York Region saw the highest percentage of foreign buyers in that three-month time period, with those transactions representing 6.9% of the sales, and in Toronto that number was 5.6%.

Read: GTA home prices cool again in July

The new figures also looked outside the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, and in the first month of the tax foreign transactions represented 1.5% of sales, while in the following three months it was nearly the same, at 1.6%.

The foreign buyer tax was one part of a 16-part housing plan the government introduced as the housing market in the Toronto area and beyond saw year-over-year price increases of over 30%.

The tax applies to purchases made on or after April 21, though there are exemptions for refugees, foreign nationals under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, or if the property is jointly purchased with a spouse who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee or exempt under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program.

Rebates will be available to people who subsequently get citizenship or permanent resident status, as well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and international students.

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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