Canadians not pleased with changes to foreign homebuyer ban rules

Mar 29 2023, 11:13 pm

The federal government recently made some changes to the rules around the foreign homebuyer ban and Canadians aren’t thrilled about the updates.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the amendments will “enhance the flexibility of newcomers and businesses looking to add to Canada’s housing supply.”

The amendments went into effect on March 27 and the changes have ruffled some feathers. Some changes make it easier for foreigners to purchase residential property in Canada “in certain circumstances.”

The news of the amendments led to outrage on social media.

“As if housing wasn’t expensive enough already, now we have to go back to competing against offshore corporations and millionaires looking to stash their money into ‘physical assets’ again,” said one user in a Reddit thread about the changes.

Originally, on June 23, 2022, Canadian Parliament passed the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act.

The regulations under that act came into effect on January 1, 2023, and it was a move to make housing more affordable for Canadians. The foreign homebuyer ban was meant to stop foreigners from purchasing residential real estate until 2025.

Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen said the amendments help “strike the right balance.”

“To provide greater flexibility to newcomers and businesses seeking to contribute to Canada, the Government of Canada is making important amendments to the Act’s Regulations. 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.”

Anyone who holds a work permit or is authorized to work in Canada can purchase residential property.

“Work permit holders are eligible if they have 183 days or more of validity remaining on their work permit or work authorization at time of purchase, and they have not purchased more than one residential property,” the CMHC states.

Existing provisions will also be repealed so the prohibition doesn’t apply to all land zoned for residential and mixed-use developments.

“Vacant land zoned for residential and mixed-use can now be purchased by non-Canadians and used for any purpose by the purchaser, including residential development.”

One another notable change is increasing the corporation foreign control threshold from 3% to 10%.

“This aligns with the definition of ‘specified Canadian Corporation’ in the Underused Housing Tax Act.”

Foreign homebuyer ban outrage

foreign homebuyer ban

Michael Dechev/Shutterstock

The reaction to the news of the amendments proposed by the Canadian government has been heated.

A Reddit thread on the news with nearly 1,000 comments has reactions ranging from frustration for what it means for them as homebuyers to outrage towards the Canadian government.

“Well, this should help the housing crisis. This country is upside down,” wrote one user.

Another user wrote, “Holy sh*t I want to throw my phone and scream.”

They continued that they will never own a home, but even as they make more and more money every year, home prices go up faster than they can save.

Others ventured off into unproven theories.

“I guess some foreign investors paid off some liberals for this one.”

Others are suggesting it’s time to stop voting for the Liberal Party.

“How are you supposed to take these Trudeau Liberals seriously when they play flip-flop with their own policies?”

What do you think about these changes?

Amir AliAmir Ali

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