What is the Foreign Buyer Ban in Canada?

February 10, 2023

In January 2023, Canada implemented a foreign buyer ban for the next 2 years in an effort to curb skyrocketing housing prices and increase affordability for Canadians. The ban applies to non-resident foreigners and non-Canadian citizens, and prohibits them from purchasing property in certain areas of the country.

The ban is aimed at addressing concerns that foreign buyers are driving up housing prices in major cities like Toronto and Vancouver, making it difficult for local residents to afford to buy a home. The government hopes that by limiting the number of foreign buyers in the market, it will decrease competition and make housing more affordable for Canadians.

Here are a few highlights –

  • The law prevents non-Canadians from buying residential property in Canada for 2 years starting on January 1, 2023.
  • Residential property is defined as buildings with 3 homes or less, as well as parts of buildings like a semi-detached house or a condominium unit. The law does not prohibit the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units – so multifamily homes that are considered commercial are still allowed to be purchased.
  • Don’t try to sneak around this law -it has a $10,000 fine for any non-Canadian or anyone who knowingly assists a non-Canadian and is convicted of violating it. If a court finds that a non-Canadian has done this, they may order the sale of the house.

Are there any exemptions to this ban?

There are some exemptions to this ban – that’s why it’s so important to look at your own unique situation, and get legal advice as it applies to you. The following are exempt –

  • Those with Permanent Resident status (PR)
  • Certain temporary residents with a valid work permit
  • The spouse of a permanent resident if purchasing with your spouse
  • Certain students studying in Canada
  • Temporary residents under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

There’s also exceptions for the type of property too. The property that is included in this law is within cities with a population of at least 100,000.

Overall, there are a lot of details into this law, and it’s important that you understand your own situation as it could lead to a big fine if you violate the law. I always suggest reaching out to professionals to get the full picture.