TORONTO -- Newly-released data from the Ontario government shows half of real estate transactions involving a foreign buyer in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region took place in Toronto the month after the province introduced a new tax on non-residents.
The Ontario government says there were 857 residential and agricultural real estate purchases by foreigners in the Greater Golden Horseshoe — which stretches from the Niagara Region to Peterborough, Ont. — between April 24 and May 26.
Half of those foreign-bought properties were in Toronto and 21 per cent were in York Region.
Foreign buyers were responsible for nine per cent of total transactions in York Region and seven per cent in Toronto, with lower percentages in surrounding areas.
The government said last week that nearly five per cent of home purchases in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region were made by non-residents since the foreign buyer tax was announced.
The non-resident speculation tax came into effect in April, the same month the government first began collecting information from real estate buyers concerning their citizenship, residency and their intentions for their property.
The 15-per-cent tax applies to purchases by people who aren't citizens or permanent residents, and by foreign corporations.
The tax was one part of a housing plan the government introduced in an effort to cool down the market in the Toronto area and beyond.