Two-year ban on foreign homebuyers takes effect in Canada

Tuesday - 03/01/2023 13:18 Author: Editors Desk Source: BBC News:
A two-year ban on some foreigners buying homes in Canada has come into effect.
GETTY IMAGES / Canada's largest cities - Toronto and Vancouver - rank among the most unaffordable housing markets in the world
GETTY IMAGES / Canada's largest cities - Toronto and Vancouver - rank among the most unaffordable housing markets in the world

The ban aims to help ease one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world.

As of this summer, the average home price in Canada is C$777,200 ($568,000; £473,700) - more than 11 times the median household income after taxes.

Some have been critical of the ban, saying it is unclear what impact it will have on Canada's housing market.

Non-Canadian residents make up less than 6% of homeowners in Ontario and British Columbia, where national statistics indicate home prices are the highest.

As of 1 January, the ban prohibits people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents from buying residential properties, and imposes a C$10,000 fine on those who breach it.

In late December - 11 days before the ban came into effect - the Canadian government announced some exemptions to the regulation, including for international students who have been in the country for at least five years, refugee claimants and people with temporary work permits.

In a statement, federal housing minister Ahmed Hussen said the ban is meant to discourage buyers from looking at homes as commodities instead of a place to live and grow a family.

"Through this legislation, we're taking action to ensure that housing is owned by Canadians, for the benefit of everyone who lives in this country," Mr Hussen said.

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