How Will the Ontario Election Affect Housing Affordability?

This Thursday June 7th, Ontarians will head to the polls for the 42nd Ontario general election. The election determines the next 124 members of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario. Polls as of today show the PC party and the NDP close together, however the media consensus is the Conservative party will win the election.

Many living in Ontario have cited Housing and Housing Affordability has one of the most important issues of the election. In fact, a recent TREB sponsored poll states that 69% percent of respondents said housing affordability will influence how they vote in tomorrow’s provincial election.

Affordability Issues in Ontario

The results of this election are particularly important for anyone in Ontario who currently has a mortgage and anyone looking to buy in the near future. Housing has been one of the key issues in this year's election. "At a time when nearly half the people aged 25 to 34 are living with their parents, 91 per cent of millennials still believe that owning a home is a smart financial investment. But nearly 70 per cent of those in that age bracket said they agree or somewhat agree that buying a home in their neighbourhood is unaffordable, according to OREA research published Monday." - From The Toronto Star 

The issue doesn't just affect millennial aged voters but other age groups as well. The poll cited above found close to 60% of residents in the Greater Toronto Area think policies created by the new provincial government need to address both increasing the housing supply and reducing housing demand.

Land Transfer Tax

Another issue affecting this election is Land Transfer Tax. According to the above cited poll from Toronto Real Estate Board, residents in the GTA want the incoming government to reduce the land transfer tax and implement new policies that will increase the supply of homes in the area. Another Ipsos poll found "69 per cent of respondents agree that parties’ platforms on housing affordability will influence their voting decisions, and 56 per cent believe the government should focus equally on increasing the supply of housing and reducing demand for housing." - From The Globe and Mail

What Are Provincial Parties Proposing Regarding Housing Availability

Housing Availability (From Insauga - What The Ontario Parties Are Offering)

Conservatives: the Tories are promising to review the province’s real estate portfolio to increase housing supply or municipally led affordable housing, citing how the Liberals’ restrictive growth plan has led to small towns like Innisfil building condos while detached subdivisions are being erected next to major transit stations in Toronto. The Tories promise to get the planning done right by working with municipalities to make OMB appeals less likely, which will most likely be the case anyway once the OMB reforms kick in.

Liberals: The government earlier this year implemented a number of policy changes designed to curb soaring rents and house prices, such as a 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-residents in the GTA, rent controls for all private rental units (not just those first occupied prior to 1991), and incentives such as a $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.

NDP: The NDP are promising to help homeowners by clamping down on land speculation and property flipping, reform condominium legislation to protect people’s investment from shoddy workmanship and truly bad deals, and actively work with the federal government to build a National Housing Strategy that puts people first and take steps to address the supply of housing.

The party is also encouraging the development of ‘missing middle’ housing, meaning higher density communities that fit between detached single family homes and high-rises. As for rent controls, the NDP proposed the same thing the Liberals did on that front. Also included were calls for more investments in co-op housing.

What Does This Mean For Me Specifically?

It's important to determine what your most important issues are before voting tomorrow. When looking to buy a home, it's crucial to know how these policies will affect your bottom line. The great thing about working with a mortgage broker is that we can provide you with the most up to date information on what policies are being implemented and how they affect your individual situation. Feel free to call me with any questions. I'm happy to provide this information to help you understand what the new provincial government means for housing and real estate, and what we can plan to ensure you get the home of your dreams!