Move over, Toronto: By one measure, Ottawa’s housing market is now a bigger draw with foreign buyers.
During a three-month span that ended in mid-February, foreign transactions accounted for 2.5 per cent of all residential transactions in Ottawa, compared with 2.1 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area, RBC Economics says in a new research note, citing government data.
Foreign transactions have noticeably dropped in the Toronto area following a slate of reforms from the Ontario government aimed at curbing runaway housing prices. Ontario’s 16-point plan, which included a non-resident speculation tax, was implemented in the spring of 2017 and applies to the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.
In that area, the tax “dampened foreign buyers’ participation,” RBC notes.
That said, foreign transactions in Ottawa haven’t exactly surged since the reforms went into effect. “It’s likely that some foreign buyers have been attracted by Ottawa’s relative stability and good prospects,” senior economist Robert Hogue writes, but added: “If there was any movement from the GGH to Ottawa, it was minimal.”