Ottawa expected to alter tax rule to curb foreign money in Canadian housing

Ottawa will announce new rules today aimed at limiting foreign money into Canadian real estate.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to announce the new rules when he speaks in Toronto on Monday. They will include a move to close a loophole in the tax laws that allows non-residents to buy homes in Canada, and then get a tax exemption when they sell the home by claiming it as a principal residence.

The new rules will ensure the same principal residence tax exemption will remain available to legitimate permanent Canadian residents.

The tax change is one of the tools expected to be revealed by Morneau in his speech from his King Street office in Toronto.

The issue of foreign money’s impact on Canadian housing has come under intense scrutiny in recent months as housing prices have been increased at double-digit annual paces in the two large markets: Toronto and Vancouver.

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau, shown at a recent House of Commons standing committee on finance in Ottawa, is in Toronto on Monday and is expected to announce new rules to on foreign ownership of Canadian homes. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

This summer, Vancouver slapped a 15 per cent surtax on foreign buyers in an attempt to cool runaway price inflation.