Canada extends ban on foreigners buying residential housing

Feb 6, 2024 | Political News

On Sunday, the Canadian federal government announced that it had decided to extend the ban on foreign ownership of housing until 2027. 

The ban, which was introduced in 2023 and set to expire in 2025, prevents foreign commercial enterprises and people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents from purchasing residential property in the country.

“For years,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote in a press release, “foreign money has been coming into Canada to buy up residential real estate, increasing housing affordability concerns in cities across the country, and particularly in major urban centres.”

She lamented the fact that foreign ownership has “fueled worries about Canadians being priced out of housing markets in cities and towns across the country.”

The ban, Freeland explained, will be extended to January 1, 2027 as the federal government moves to “build more homes, faster, and put homeownership back within reach for more Canadians.”

She added that, “By extending the foreign buyer ban, we will ensure houses are used as homes for Canadian families to live in and do not become a speculative financial asset class.”

Under the act, which only applies in metropolitan areas of at least 100,000 people, a residential property is defined as a building with up to three livable units.

As Forbes reports, there are a number of exceptions to the ban. If, for example, a non-Canadian receives property as the result of separation, divorce, or death, they will still be allowed to own it.

Also excepted are non-residents married to citizens, diplomats living in Canada, refugees and those with temporary resident status, and workers who have filed taxes in three of the past four years.

International students are also allowed to own property up to $500,000, but only if they have spent most of the past five years in Canada.