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Canada’s Foreign Buyer Ban

On January 1, 2023, non-Canadians were banned from buying homes across Canada, through the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. This Act prohibits non-citizens and non-permanent residents from purchasing residential property in Canada for two years.

The regulations include definitions, exceptions, and enforcement elements to help REALTORS® and their clients understand and comply with the law.

The Act restricts non-Canadians from avoiding the ban by using corporations or other entities to purchase residential property. Both the non-Canadian purchaser of prohibited property and any person or entity that knowingly assists in the purchase can be fined up to $10,000 and the property may be forced to be sold.

“Residential property” includes detached houses or similar buildings of one to three dwelling units, as well as parts of buildings such as semi-detached houses, strata units or other similar premises. However, there are exemptions.

Exemptions

In the Kootenays, areas outside of the larger urban centers, such as Rossland, are understood to be exempt from the Foreign Buyers Ban. Exemption thresholds, for certain areas, are based on a lower population density as given from the last Canadian Census data. Please note that these exemptions may be amended over time, for the latest information, consult the Act itself using the link below. In general, these are the valid exemptions:

  • recreational properties,
  • residential property located outside of a large urban center,
  • vacant land where the land has been zoned for residential use or mixed use by municipal authorities within large urban centers,
  • Indigenous peoples,
  • international students on the path to permanent residency,
  • individuals with work permits residing in Canada,
  • individuals fleeing international crises and other vulnerable populations, and accredited members of foreign missions in Canada.

Click to read the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act

The original article appeared as a post in the British Columbia Real Estate Association website and is amended, updated and posted here as a information service to our clients, see:

https://www.bcrea.bc.ca/advocacy/canadas-foreign-buyer-ban-begins-in-january/

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