Mayor Burton applauds action from Province to cool housing market

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton is applauding the provincial government for taking swift, decisive action to curb the unsustainable increases in housing costs across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Earlier this morning, the provincial government announced 16 measures intended to cool the soaring price of housing in the GGH. This includes a new 15 per cent tax on offshore speculators, and a new rule empowering municipalities to implement a tax on vacant homes.

“What has been very clear from the start is that rampant offshore speculation has skewed Oakville’s housing market with excess demand,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “Homes should be places to live first and places to invest second, and I’m pleased to see that fundamental idea being reinforced with this action.”

According to figures released by the Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board, the median residential sale price of homes in Oakville increased 47.77 per cent between March 2016 and 2017.

Unchecked offshore speculation has also resulted in a drastic increase in empty homes in Oakville.

In March 2017, Mayor Burton called on staff at the Region to study the issue of vacant homes across Halton. According to the 2016 Canadian census, roughly 5,000 homes in Halton are currently listed as “unoccupied” private dwellings, with nearly half of all unoccupied homes concentrated in Oakville.

“Every time you leave a home empty, you lose a little bit of light and life from that neighbourhood,” said Burton. “This is an issue of particular concern for Oakville residents, and I am especially pleased to see the Province granting municipalities the power to do something about it.”