Canada's New-House Prices Jump 0.4% in Feb


The meeting marks the first time that Tory, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and provincial Finance Minister Charles Sousa will meet in-person to discuss the issue.

The comments from Soper were released Tuesday before a meeting between federal finance minister Bill Morneau, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, and Toronto Mayor John Tory who has talked about his city implementing a vacant home tax like the one brought into Vancouver this year.

"You don't want to cause undue upset in a marketplace, notwithstanding the deep concern people have about the affordability of housing".

The average price of a detached house in the Greater Toronto Area hit $1.21 million last month, climbing 33.4 per cent from a year ago, according to the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

"We've all been meeting with experts and it's more important that we should be sitting with people who understand, to the extent that anyone does, the housing market and what's driving prices up in this way that's created a lot of fear", Tory said.

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Critics say it's not fair to foreign buyers, distracts from the real problem of supply and it's too early to tell if it's working on the west coast. Prices rose 1% month over month in Toronto itself.

But the three men will share information and ideas created to help them make the best decisions aimed at addressing a very complex issue, he said.

TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Officials from Canada and its most populous province will meet on Tuesday to try to cool Toronto's hot housing market, under pressure from voters angry that speculators or foreigners are fueling a bubble in Canada's largest city. A number of measures have been floated as potential solutions, including taxing speculators and foreign buyers.

"Everyone is anxious: what if this is the measure that crashes the market?" said John Andrew, director of Queen's University Real Estate Roundtable. Proponents say it's already having an impact on cooling that city's market.

Concerns that government is going to slap more rules on the housing market, particularly aimed at Toronto's residential sector, appears to be growing among the real estate industry.

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Morneau's office made the invitations to Sousa and Tory public, but if any new concrete measures arrive in the coming weeks, it will likely be up to Ontario and Toronto to do the heavy lifting.

Porter has previously suggested BC's foreign-buyer tax for Metro Vancouver has buoyed Victoria's market due to its lack of a similar levy.

Ottawa has also launched consultations on a policy that could see banks shoulder more of the risk for mortgage defaults.

-With files from Andy Blatchford.

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