Ontarians Believe Real Estate Can Be Engine For Economic Recovery

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Pic: OREA report - Rebuilding Ontario: A Framework for Recover

TORONTO: A very strong majority of Ontarians think housing is an important (60%) or somewhat important (32%) contributor to the provincial economy, according to research conducted by Nanos Research for the Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) recently released policy report, Rebuilding Ontario: A Framework for Recovery.

“The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how important the housing sector is to Ontario’s economic health,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak.

“The key instrument for economic recovery in Ontario is the sale of homes, which will result in an injection of more homes on the market and create spin-off jobs and consumer spending. The best way to do that is with policies that are focused on growth– including a Land Transfer Tax holiday, which would make Ontario homes more affordable by temporarily eliminating a punishing tax, bring more homes into the market, and help address our province’s supply shortage.“

According to statistics from Altus Consulting Group, a six-month holiday on the payment of the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) for the first $600,000 of a home’s value could result in an additional 32,000 homes being sold and 31,000 jobs.

Furthermore, 3-in-10 Ontarians surveyed by Nanos in partnership with OREA said they are likely (13%) or somewhat likely (17%) to purchase a home sooner if the province announced an LTT holiday.

And, nearly half of younger Ontarians aged 18-35 say they are likely (20%) or somewhat likely (25%) to do this.

OREA’s new report identifies 15 more short and long-term opportunities to get Ontario’s economy back on track and create good, long-lasting jobs, including:

• Permanently increasing the LTT rebate for first-time buyers to $6,000 from $4,000, which, according to Altus, would increase sales by 1.6% and free up rental units previously occupied by first-time buyers.

• Creating opportunity zones in struggling communities, which would provide preferential tax treatment for investments in provincially identified communities, creating new residential developments and businesses, given the potential for long-term endorsement of remote work.

• Introducing a home renovation tax credit similar to the one implemented by the federal government in 2009 to kickstart the economy and create jobs by helping homeowners fix up a property to put on the market, create home office space, or room for an elderly family member to age-in-place. A majority of Ontarians support (53%) or somewhat support (24%) a home renovation tax credit in particular, with close to 6-in-10 Ontarians saying they are likely (28%) or somewhat likely (31%) to use such a credit in the next year if introduced.

“Despite the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontarians continue to tell us that buying a home is a good investment; Ontarians want to be homeowners, and the health of our economy depends on their ability to be homeowners,” said Hudak. “Real estate saved our economy during the last downturn and it can once again be the locomotive that gets us back on track, stimulates the economy and gets Ontarians back to work,”

OREA’s August edition of the monthly Pulse Check on Consumer Attitudes survey was also released, showing that the pandemic continues to influence renter and buyer intentions, including where they may move next.

A majority of Ontarians active in the real estate market still say that buying a home today is a very good (25%) or good (39%) investment.

Just over one in two Ontarians actively in the real estate market (51%) report they are currently actively looking to buy a home.

About the Rebuilding Ontario: A Framework for Recovery survey An online survey of Ontario residents 18+ was conducted between August 26 – September 3, 2020, through Nanos Research.

Opinions were gathered from 1,176 Ontario residents. The total number of participants was weighted by age and gender according to Statistics Canada census data.

The sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Ontario. An online survey of Ontario residents 18+ who are active in the real estate market was conducted between August 26 – 31, 2020 through Nanos Research.

Opinions were gathered from 1,002 Ontario residents. The total number of participants was weighted by age and gender according to Statistics Canada census data. The sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Ontario.

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