Legislation regarding the ban on property purchases for foreign buyers was introduced into law last June. It was designed to mitigate the rising home prices in desirable areas and discourage foreign investors from buying prime real estate in major metropolises, as has happened within the last five years. The legislation is in effect for two years.
The recent news headlines trumpeted that foreign buyers are banned from buying homes in the Canadian housing market. While this is true in some areas, upon slight scrutiny, there are still many opportunities for foreign buyers.
Included in the ban are residential properties which include detached homes, as well as semi-detached homes, rowhouse units, residential condominium units and other similar properties. The legislation specifies that only homes which are located in a census metropolitan area or a census agglomeration will be affected. This means that only cities/metropolises with a total population of at least 100,000 and a minimum of 50,000 living in its core will be affected. A census agglomeration is described as having a core population of at least 10,000 people. The regulations apply additionally to vacant land zoned for residential or mixed use.
Homes in towns or municipalities with a core population of less than 10,000 are not included in this foreign buyers’ ban. Recreational properties such as cottages and lake houses are also available for foreign purchase or investment. In addition, this law does not ban the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units.
There are several exemptions to who the ban applies to. Those in Canada with temporary work permits are permitted to buy residential properties as well as refugee claimants and international students meeting certain criteria. In addition, non-Canadian spouses of a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, refugee or person registered under the Indian Act are exempt as well from the ban.
This ban does not apply to those who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, nor does it apply to non-Canadians looking to rent residential property in Canada.
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