Would Canada’s Foreign Homeownership Ban Make Housing Cheaper? – Solving the Housing Crisis

Why Canada Is Banning Foreigners

For the last year, Canada’s recent prohibition on foreign house ownership has stirred a heated discussion. The decision was taken in reaction to growing property costs and Canadians’ increasing inability to buy their own homes.

While some have hailed the move, others have expressed alarm about its economic implications. In this post, we will look at the consequences of Canada’s foreign house ownership restriction.

Background and Overview

Canada Banning Foreigners From Buying Homes

In April 2022, the Canadian government announced a restriction on foreign property ownership. Non-residents, including foreigners, companies, and trusts, are now barred from purchasing residential property in Canada under the new rule.

The government took this decision to address the country’s persistent housing affordability issue, which has been particularly acute in large areas such as Toronto and Vancouver.

The restriction has various exceptions, including those for refugees, temporary foreign workers, and international students who have resided in Canada for at least a year.

Foreign firms can still buy commercial real estate for business objectives. In addition, the government levied a tax of up to 1% on foreign investors who purchased houses for reasons other than main residences.

The Housing Market’s Consequences


The major purpose of the foreign house ownership restriction is to make Canadian housing more affordable. The government believes that restricting foreign investment in the housing industry will diminish demand and lower house costs. Several experts, however, are unconvinced that the restriction will have the desired impact.

For one thing, the restriction may take some time to have an effect on the housing market. Real estate transactions generally take months or even years to complete, so the impacts of the restriction may not be noticed for some time. Additionally, the restriction may cause a slowdown in the housing market, which might have a detrimental impact on the economy.

Other analysts also feel that the restriction will have little influence on home prices because foreign buyers make up such a small fraction of the market.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, foreign purchasers accounted for only 2.3% of house purchases in Canada in 2020. As a result, even if the restriction is successful in decreasing foreign investment, it may not be sufficient to reduce home costs significantly.

But still, as the Canadian government strives to alleviate the country’s housing affordability crisis by prohibiting foreign property ownership, many prospective homebuyers may turn to personal loans to finance their real estate purchases. Understanding the personal loan definition is a critical first step in this process.

Possible Economic Repercussions

Canada’s Economy

The restriction on foreign property ownership might have a number of economic effects. For one thing, it might cause a slowdown in the housing market, which could have a knock-on effect on the rest of the economy.

The real estate business contributes significantly to the Canadian economy, and any collapse in the housing market might severely impact employment and consumer expenditure.

The embargo may also have an impact on overall foreign investment in Canada. Several analysts are concerned that the restriction may discourage foreign investors from engaging in other areas of the economy, such as manufacturing or technology.

If international investors feel unwanted in Canada, they may move their money elsewhere, thereby harming the country’s economic progress.

On the other hand, other analysts feel that the prohibition will benefit the economy in the long run. The government could free up more money for consumer spending and investment in other sectors of the economy by making housing more accessible for Canadians. Additionally, the restriction may inspire more Canadians to invest in the property market, stimulating economic growth.

From January to February 2024, home sales registered by Canadian MLS Systems increased by 2.3%. The real (non-seasonally adjusted) number of transactions in February 2024 was 40% lower than the record-breaking month of February 2022. The February 2024 sales number was close to that witnessed in 2018 and 2019. Yet, this is a statistic that indicates an increase in house sales.

The Effect on Canadians and Permanent Residents

While the prohibition on foreign house ownership was implemented to alleviate the housing affordability problem, some Canadian citizens and permanent residents are concerned that it would have unexpected repercussions for them. They are concerned that the prohibition would make it more difficult for them to buy properties since foreign investors will no longer be in the market to compete.

The Canadian government, on the other hand, has taken steps to address these concerns. It has expanded financing for affordable housing developments, for example, and given tax breaks for first-time homebuyers. The administration has also stated its intention to increase the country’s supply of affordable homes.

The Effect on the Rental Market

canada money

One possible result of the foreign house ownership restriction is an increase in rental prices. If foreign investors stop purchasing real estate in Canada, they may resort to the rental market instead. This may raise demand for rental units, leading to increased rental costs.

Nonetheless, the prohibition contains provisions to mitigate this possible problem. The Canadian government, for example, has imposed a tax on abandoned homes held by non-residents. This levy is intended to encourage non-resident property owners to rent out their homes rather than leave them unoccupied.

The Effect on Foreign Investors

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Foreign investors interested in participating in the Canadian real estate market are concerned about the prohibition on foreign house ownership. Others have suggested that the prohibition is discriminatory and that it would tarnish Canada’s reputation as an open and welcoming country.

Yet, the Canadian government has indicated that the restriction is only a temporary solution to a specific situation. According to the government, foreign investors are still allowed to invest in Canada, just not in the residential real estate sector.


The restriction on foreign property ownership in Canada is a contentious legislation that has provoked heated discussion. While the government expects that the restriction would increase the affordability of homes for Canadians, several experts need to be convinced that it will have the desired impact.

The restriction might have both positive and negative economic repercussions, and its long-term influence on the property market and the economy remains to be seen. Only time will tell if the ban was a sensible choice or a blunder.

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