Foreign Buyers Ban in Around Town

April 14, 2022

Your Weekly Construction Briefing

The Federal Government announced a wide array of budget proposals aimed at making housing more affordable and a two-year ban that will block most foreigners from buying residential real estate in Canada.

This year’s Federal Budget includes a ban on real estate purchases by foreigners. The City of Vancouver, pictured here, experienced a 3-5% drop in prices in popular neighbourhoods when they implemented a foreign buyer tax.

While it will be a few months before those further details will be announced, research into BC’s foreign buyers tax showed a loophole where Canadians have purchased property on behalf of foreign buyers, so regardless of the new ban, it will not block all transactions. 

The budget says that recreational properties will be exempt, although it does not define them; it also exempts people in Canada on student visas that lead to permanent residency, and people temporarily living here for work.

Given that real estate is a provincial responsibility, it’s unclear exactly how the federal government plans to proceed. When BC’s foreign buyers’ tax was introduced, prices only fell by just 3 to 5 percent in Vancouver neighborhoods that were popular with foreign buyers. Ontario recently raised its own tax to 20 percent and extended it to cover the entire province. 

Since 2020, the average Canadian house price has increased by more than 51 percent to $868,400. 

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