Lisa Patel
Lisa Patel

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has set out a list of specific policy options for all levels of government for economic recovery initiatives. Its key message is to use caution in implementing demand-side real estate market stimulus.



“Current real estate indicators are showing a substantial recovery in the GTA real estate market. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great deal of pent-up demand in the market,” says Lisa Patel, TRREB president. “This pent-up demand arguably increased further over the past three months. We are still in the early days of recovery, but barring any setbacks, we should continue to see stronger market conditions in the second half of 2020 as households look to satisfy their ownership housing needs.”

Patel says housing affordability in the GTA should continue to be a priority for policy makers “and the best way to address this is by ensuring adequate and appropriate housing supply, rather than demand-side initiatives.”

TRREB’s recommendations are outlined in a detailed policy brief that was submitted to local, provincial and federal governments. With regard to housing supply, TRREB’s key recommendation is for all governments to expedite the creation of “missing middle” housing, including expediting the City of Toronto’s consideration of expanding “yellow belt” housing opportunities.

The “yellow belt” refers to the 35 per cent of City of Toronto land where 70 per cent is currently zoned for detached homes. A recent city report was released in response to a City Council direction to report on options to increase “missing middle” housing options.

TRREB’s Economic Recovery Initiatives brief also outlines recent market statistics, which show a significant rebound in the GTA real estate market since the start of the pandemic. It also outlines results of recent research conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, which shows that home buying intentions remain stable and that the supply of homes listed for sale could continue to be outpaced by demand.

“Governments should approach with caution when considering any additional demand-side stimulus to the GTA real estate market. Current conditions suggest that there is adequate demand in the market; however, if there is a setback such as a sustained second wave of the pandemic or a prolonged recession, governments could consider additional measures, which we have noted in our submission,” says John DiMichele, TRREB CEO.

TRREB has outlined a number of initiatives that could be considered if economic conditions worsen, including:

  • Municipal and Provincial Land Transfer Tax holidays/deferrals, rate adjustments and expanded rebates for first-time buyers;
  • Property tax deferrals;
  • Postponement of consideration of potential vacancy taxes;
  • Adjustments to the mortgage stress test;
  • Allow 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages; and
  • Adjustments and expansion of the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan.

“TRREB has been working closely with all levels of government to provide up-to-date data on the state of the real estate market. We will continue to do so to help decision-makers respond to the current state of affairs in an informed way,” says DiMichele.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I thought we were supposed to be living in a free-market economy, not a government-controlled faux-demand economy.

    Oh wait; that was seventy years ago as we emerged form World War II, but the command-demand economy started soon thereafter.

    I would say that we are currently living in a false economy driven by wants (paid for with money we ain’t yet earned) and not needs (paid for with money we actually have in our pockets/bank accounts). The old days…gone forever?

    First-time buyers need starter homes of modest proportions—like our grand parents had, if they were lucky enough to even buy a house—and not the monster homes most everyone currently thinks they need to be happy…or at least keep up with the other knee-deep-in-debt gamblers.

    Oh wait; I get it: Municipalities dictate that humungous houses shall be built on postage-stamp lots worth millions in order to establish outrageous tax levies based upon sky-high MPAC valuations. Everyone’s in on the inflation game. Services cost what they cost for initial construction to service a subdivision, huge houses or not. Local towns, cities etc. might as well create a great property-tax income base for their bureaucracies while they’re at it.

    Hmmm…How come bureaucracies—and their insatiable need for off-the-chart salaries—always get bigger, and never smaller? Answer: Public Sector Unions. Ever seen how many people/trucks/guards/supervisors etc. it takes Ontario Hydro to install a pole, or a line, or a transformer? Ever seen how many of them are always wearing their Hydro Gloves? (Those are the guys standing around watching the action with their hands in their pockets). Do you know what those guys would make if working for a private company? About half, and they would still be well paid.

    I know all about unions; I was a member of one for ten years. It’s all about getting more money for less work. That’s how union bosses keep their jobs. It’s a never-ending mantra within the union membership. You all are paying for it. Bureaucracies feed off of the public teat. “Efficiency” is not a word government bureaucrats understand. “Taxation”, on the other hand?…let ‘er rip.

    Why do bubbles always get really, really big..and really pretty….just before they burst?

    Our economic genius’s in Ottawa are trying to pump just the right amount of hot air into the bubbles to keep them aloft without exploding them. This bureaucratic government behaviour produces the mirror reflection of a Command Economy…without the state owning the means of production. But the genious’s are trying their best to control those whom ‘do’ own the means of production. Crafty paper-shuffling Marxist-text-book-loving buggers. don’t ‘cha think?

    Our can’t-get-rid-of-them Marxist university professors must be very happy campers these days. Fifty years of indoctrination are finally paying off for their cause. Our government bureaucracies are chock full of their spawn. Our voters are becoming more and more like them as the old guard dies out. Critical thinking is becoming a thing of the past. The Herd Mentality Syndrome is steadily being exploited by the indoctrination machine known as our public education system…thanks to the left-leaning (Marxist cultist) teachers/professors populating its ranks from basements to ivory towers. They don’t teach our kids ‘how’ to think; they teach them ‘what’ to think…or else “No A’s for you, you dumb ass”. Fall in line; get with the program…become a high-paid government bureaucrat. Control everyone and everything. That’s the name of the game today, boys and girls.

    I hope a bureaucrat responds.

    If you want to find out how it all turns out, read my ebook, recently released on the online Amazon/Kindle ebook site, entitled: “Riley Youngblood and the Passport to Santalamanchia”, by: B. F. Martindale.

    We are becoming Santalamanchia.

    I don’t want to be famous; I just wanna make a few dollars. I’m a Capitalist Pig don’t’cha know. Have been ever since I quit my high-paying union job during 1974 and went into the private sector non-union environment. I got sick of being harassed for working too hard and worrying about the owner’s concerns…you know…the guy who provided the jobs in the first place. Interestingly, I went into real estate…and made more money faster than I had made as a unionized tradesman. In 1984 I quit work altogether and went full-time to a Marxist university, and despite arguing with the Marxist professors a lot of the time, earned a three-year B.A. (Bugger All) in Political Science.

    You should also read Orwell’s “1984” by the way, because that’s where we’re heading.

    To wit: I repeat…We are becoming Santalamanchia.

    Am I a shameless Capitalist proponent of my first fictional novel produced for public consumption? Yup!

    Read it; I’m betting that you might just like it. The few dollars it costs will be well worth your time away from the madding crowd.

  2. Nice! Lets make all the house price to 3 million dollar mark. Bank of Canada and Liberal have Canadians back
    More debt is good for Canadian

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