Trudeau vows to help housing affordability with national tax on foreign buyers

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VICTORIA — Justin Trudeau says a re-elected Liberal government would impose a national one per cent tax on properties owned by non-Canadians and non-residents in an effort to curb foreign speculation in real estate.

At a campaign stop in Victoria, B.C., the Liberal leader says the tax would help deter foreigners who wish to speculate in the housing market, which has been a key contributor to a surge in home prices in some markets in recent years.

The Liberals say the changes would help ease affordability concerns that affect first-time home buyers.

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Trudeau is also promising to expand a program first announced in last spring’s federal budget to help first-time home buyers lower their monthly payments through a shared-equity mortgage with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

He says a Liberal government would increase the maximum-qualifying price of a home for applicants to this program in the high-priced housing markets of Victoria, Vancouver and the Toronto region.

The enhanced program would come into force as of November and proposes to increase the value of a qualifying home in those areas to nearly $800,000, up from approximately $500,000.

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