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Foreign Buyer Ban Changes

Mar 28, 2023, 14:17 PM by Mortgage Professionals Canada
Following our persistent advocacy efforts to reflect the concerns and feedback from our members on the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians, also known as the foreign buyer ban, we are pleased to share that the federal Minister of Housing has introduced four amendments.

These four amendments are available here. There were issues and concerns with the wording of the regulations brought forward in December. This caused problems for homebuyers and mortgage professionals that we urged decision-makers to rectify.

Additionally, the government revised its FAQs as a response to our push for greater clarity on the ban, available here.

We advocated on behalf of the industry for these changes. It is thanks to your support on this file that we were able to secure these substantial amendments.  We will continue to push for a competitive operating environment on behalf of our industry and to advocate on behalf of consumers. The changes to the regulations are outlined below.

Work Permit Holders

A key criticism we raised regarding the foreign buyer ban was that it contradicts federal immigration goals, limiting the ability of work permit holders from purchasing residential property. Now work permit holders are allowed to purchase residential property, as long as they have 183 days or more of validity remaining on their work permit.

Vacant Land Zoned for Residential or Mixed Use

Under the previous regulations, vacant land that was zoned for residential or mixed use could not be purchased by non-Canadians. This restriction has now been lifted.

Exception for development purchases

Non-Canadians will now be able to purchase residential property for the purpose of development. This exception was only previously applicable to publicly-traded corporations.

Increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%

Since the ban came into effect, there was concern amongst developers that this threshold was too restrictive and would have damaging consequences to the development of new housing, to meet the government’s supply goals. With this amendment, the maximum threshold for purchasing residential property by a privately held corporation or entity controlled by a non-Canadian has increased from 3% to 10%.

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