A two-year ban preventing non-Canadian citizens and permanent residents from buying real estate in the country is now in effect.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation previously announced the regulations for the ban, which come into effect on Jan. 1.
The law was passed because of a spike in Canadian home prices since the start of the pandemic – and some politicians’ beliefs that foreign buyers were responsible by snapping up supply of homes as investments.
Non-residents found violating the ban, and anyone who knowingly helps them, can be fined up to $10,000 and may ordered to sell the property.
There are several exemptions from the ban, including:
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents
- International students who meet certain criteria, including having spent the majority of the previous five years in Canada. These students would be able to purchase property for no more than $500,000
- Workers who worked and filed tax returns in Canada for at least three out of the four years prior to purchasing property
- Diplomats, consular staff, members of international organizations working in Canada
- Foreign nationals with temporary resident status, including those fleeing conflict and refugees
- Buildings containing more than three dwelling units and recreational property (cottages, cabins, vacation homes)
“The desirability of Canadian homes is attracting profiteers, wealthy corporations, and foreign investors,” said the campaign website of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s party this past year.
“This is leading to a real problem of underused and vacant housing, rampant speculation, and skyrocketing prices. Homes are for people, not investors.”