Ontario homebuyers to provide more info on citizenship, residency

This comes after the Ontario government unveiled a new 15 percent tax on foreign property buyers on 20 April, while giving Toronto powers to tax vacant properties

Condo buildings in Ontario, Canada.

Homebuyers in Ontario, Canada will be required to provide more information about their place of residence and citizenship when acquiring property within the province from 24 April, reported CBC.


A person purchasing a piece of land in Ontario that contains one to six single-family homes or agricultural land will have to fill out the Prescribed Information for Purposes of Section 5.0.1 Form.


In explaining the new rule, the government said the information is sought “to support evidence-based policy development with respect to Ontario’s real estate market.”


This comes as policymakers complained that Canadian data on real estate transactions is lacking compared to other jurisdictions.


Notably, the issue of foreign buyers has been particularly controversial, with critics blaming them for speculation within the housing market but without hard data to support their contentions.


The group representing Toronto Realtors, for instance, said foreign buyers account for around five percent of all buyers within the city in 2016. Others, however, believe the figure was much higher.


In a bid to cool the red-hot luxury residential market, Vancouver imposed a punitive 15 percent tax on foreign buyers in the city.


Meanwhile, the province revealed that there will be a two-week grace period – from 24 April to 5 May – in which people who filled out the new form incorrectly will not be charged any penalties.


This article was edited by Denise Djong.