Foreign Buyer Ban Legislation Amended

In an attempt to make housing more affordable for Canadians, you may have heard about the ban on foreign homebuyers passed by Parliament and taking effect in January of this year. Real estate experts had mixed reactions to the regulations and the impact they would have on the housing market. Now, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced amendments to the legislation, allowing non-Canadians to purchase residential properties in limited circumstances.

Canada’s Ministry of Housing is responsible for the amendments and “these amendments will allow newcomers to put down roots in Canada through home ownership and businesses to create jobs and build homes by adding to the housing supply in Canadian cities” said Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen in the release.

In response to concerns that that the exceptions were too restrictive, the new rules allow anyone in Canada with a work permit to purchase residential property while working, under certain, broader, conditions. Another exemption was made to allow non-Canadians to buy residential property for the purpose of housing development. This also applies to publicly traded companies formed in Canada and controlled by foreigners, again, under certain conditions.

The Canadian Home Builders Association welcomed the amendments as “much needed” while other experts expect the ban to create new buying opportunities and hopefully reduce the anxiety around housing affordability.

It will be interesting to see what effect the amendments will have on the market and I, myself, welcome the changes having already lost one potential international buyer to the prior regulations. You can read the full CMHC release here and join me on Facebook and Google to keep up with all the latest in real estate news.