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CANADA: Foreigners Banned From Buying Residential Real Estate

posted 2 years ago

Non-residents temporarily prohibited from buying Canadian residential real estate

The Parliament of Canada adopted the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act to favor domestic investors and curb inflation in the Canadian real estate market. As a result, non-Canadians will be prohibited from purchasing residential real estate in Canada for two years starting in 2023.

This Act will come into effect on January 1st, 2023.

Persons allowed to buy residential property during from January 2023 until December 2024 are

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act;
  • Purchasers of a residential property together with their Canadian spouse or common-law partner;
  • Holders of a valid temporary work permit or the refugee status in Canada;
  • Students in the process of obtaining permanent residence in Canada*;
  • Accredited members of foreign missions in Canada*.

The term “non-Canadians” refers to all persons who are not included in this list.

“Non-Canadians” also include all foreign corporations and trusts, as well as corporations not listed on a Canadian stock exchange and controlled by non-Canadians.

Residential properties include:

  • Detached houses or similar buildings comprised of at most 3 dwelling units;
  • Semi-detached houses, condominium units and other similar premises;
  • Co-owned residential properties;
  • Vacant lands zoned for residential or mixed use, and located within a Census Metropolitan Area or a Census Agglomeration*.

However, this excludes:

  • Recreational properties*;
  • Residential properties located outside of a Census Metropolitan Area or a Census Agglomeration*.

The prohibition will apply only to transactions for which the purchase agreement was signed on or after January 1st, 2023.

The person or entity violating this prohibition, directly or indirectly, is liable to a fine of up to CDN-$ 10,000 if convicted and may be forced to sell the property acquired for no more than its purchase price.

The Parliament is to adopt regulations to clarify certain parameters of the Act (marked with *) before it comes into effect, in particular with regards to the definition of “control” and “purchase”.

Contact us now if you have any questions regarding real estate transactions in Canada. Our team of Canadian lawyers and notaries are located in Germany and can meet you in our Munich office or via Zoom.


About Jacob Associates:

For more than 25 years, the Canadian barristers & solicitors and notaries at Jacob Associates advise German clients on Canadian law. The law firm’s practice focuses on commercial and corporate law, business law, real estate law, estate and probate law. Firm founder Sylvia A. Jacob is considered a pioneer in complex cross-border legal matters between Canada and Germany. With an office in Toronto Jacob Associates also advises Canadians with legal issues in Germany.


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