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The wild home prices of every Toronto area region. (And, wow, Georgina)

Briefing highlights

  • Home prices surge across Toronto area
  • Ontario unveils plans to fight bubble
  • GM says Venezuela illegally seizes plant
  • WestJet looks to launch no-frills airline
Annual home price increase in Georgina, Ont.

To get a real sense of what the Toronto housing bubble is all about, stroll down Georgina’s Riverglen Drive or Richmond Park Drive, where homes for sale are being listed at about $900,000 or more.

The Town of Georgina boasts the fastest growth in prices of any region in the Greater Toronto Area, as home buyers push further north up Highway 400, many facing a daily commute of 80 kilometres each way to work in the city.

Fewer than 400 properties have sold so far this year in Georgina, which sits at the edge of the GTA on the shore of Lake Simcoe.

But their benchmark price has surged to $544,400.

That’s certainly nowhere near the most expensive in the region but the 42.4-per-cent annual increase in March is the fastest among the communities in and around Canada’s biggest city, according to the latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

And it’s a telling sign of the Toronto bubble, which the Ontario government moved on this morning with a 16-point plan to hose the city down.

“These are the lengths people have to go to to find their affordability,” Coldwell Banker sales rep Michael Plomaritis, who recently sold a property on Georgina’s Shangri-La Lane, said of the push north.

It’s not just the GTA, of course. Prices are surging across Southern Ontario, where affordability in some regions is the worst in a generation.

Here’s a look at the price growth in Toronto and neighbouring communities:

Soaring prices “definitely makes things harder,” Mr. Plomaritis said, adding he’s frequently asked by people if, as an agent, he’s loving the surge.

“We actually hate it,” said the sales rep, who works in and around Toronto, including Georgina. “Normalcy’s great for us.”

Mr. Plomaritis is no stranger to bidding wars amid a price surge that has been “really hard on our clients.”

Today’s Ontario plan comes on top of earlier federal tax and mortgage measures that have clearly “done little to ease overheating risks in key parts of the country,” said Royal Bank of Canada senior economist Robert Hogue.

“In fact, because the Toronto and other Southern Ontario markets - Canada’s most populated area - have become even hotter and more detached from market fundamentals, that risk has risen quite noticeably in recent months,” he said in a report.

Here’s what Toronto looks like:

Ontario unveils action plan

As The Globe and Mail’s Justin Giovannetti reports, the Ontario government is bringing in 16 measures to cool the housing market in greater Toronto by making it more expensive for foreigners to buy homes while expanding rent controls to all units in the province.

At the core of the government’s long-touted series of measures is a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers who don’t live in Canada, called a Non-Resident Speculation Tax.

“People work hard to provide for their families,” Premier Kathleen Wynne’s office said in a statement. “They should be able to rent or enter the real estate market without making great sacrifices or taking on a huge amount of risk. This plan balances those needs to stabilize the market and prevent a sharp correction that would be harmful to everyone.”

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