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Group says ‘modest’ tax could raise $5B a year to help pay for affordable housing. With home prices in Canada’s most expensive market going up at a dizzying pace, a Vancouver-based think-tank is proposing a new tax on homes valued at over $1 million to help bridge the affordability gap. Although Canada’s housing market went ice cold when the pandemic began in March 2020, it soon came roaring back and spent much of 2021 on fire. Average prices across the country rose to their highest level on record at more than $720,000 in November, and despite those high prices, the year smashed the annual sales record, too, with more than 630,000 homes changing hands. The torrid pace has prompted fears of a painful comeuppance if the market goes off the rails, but so far none of the targeted solutions suggested so far — from taxes on vacant homes, flippers and foreign investors to an end to blind bidding — have managed to slow the runaway freight train where they’ve been tried. New numbers this week from Canada’s two most expensive housing markets, Toronto and Vancouver, show those market pushing further into the stratosphere. The benchmark price for all types of housing in the GTA hit $1,208,000 last month, up by 31% compared to a year earlier.

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