Thursday 23 March 2023

Foreign Buyers Ban

Several laws came into effect at the beginning of the year which directly affect real estate. One in particular that is getting a lot of discussion is the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians (Foreign Buyers Ban).

As the name implies, this ban does not apply to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. It applies to all non-Canadians wanting to purchase residential property in Canada, and the ban is in place for a period of two years starting January 1, 2023. This is a federal law covering all of Canada.

It is still taking time for the real estate industry to become familiar with the rules of this ban, including lawyers, managing brokers and realtors. As there are financial repercussions for those caught assisting someone in contravention of the ban, making sure it is understood and handled correctly is important.  Now that it has been in place for about three months, there is a better understanding of what the ban does.

In broad strokes, the ban is to prevent a foreign buyer from purchasing a residence in an urban area. The urban areas under the ban are defined by way of the Canada Census. What we have learned at BCO is that most of our properties, regardless of whether or not they have a residence on them, fall outside of those restricted areas.

What this means is that most of our properties are not impacted by the ban (there are restrictions for properties in Campbell River and the Comox Valley).

We know the headlines made this seem like foreign buyers would not be able to purchase at all in Canada for the next two years, but that isn’t the full story. There are still lots of opportunities for non-Canadians to purchase in Canada, if they are willing to look beyond the urban areas.

If you have any questions about how this ban applies to one of our listings, or an area you are interested in buying in, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

For more information on this new act, check out these links:

To read the Act itself, visit Justice Laws Website

To read more information, visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website


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