Canada Eases Restrictions: Key Updates to the Foreign Homebuyers Ban 2023 [Updated]

Housing Ban lifted

Canada has recently made significant amendments to its foreign homebuyers ban in an effort to address the rising housing prices and increase housing affordability for Canadians.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced several changes to the legislation, which mainly affect work permit holders and corporations partially owned by foreigners. This blog post will provide a comprehensive overview of these amendments and their implications.

In an effort to address housing affordability in Canada, the government implemented the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act in June 2022, which came into force on January 1, 2023. The legislation originally prohibited non-Canadians from purchasing residential properties, with some exceptions for international students and temporary residents.

However, recent amendments to the Act have eased restrictions for specific categories of non-Canadians, aiming to strike a balance between increasing housing accessibility for Canadians and accommodating newcomers to the country. This blog post will explore these amendments and their implications on housing affordability and the real estate market in Canada.

Foreign buyer ban Canada exemptions 2023

I. Background of the Foreign Homebuyers Ban

A. Initial Implementation and Purpose

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act aimed to limit foreign investment in property to increase housing availability for Canadians. The legislation was criticized for its impact on mixed-use properties and housing accessibility for newcomers to Canada.

B. Exemptions and Concerns Regarding the Original Legislation

Some exemptions were made for international students, temporary residents, and specific cases like death, divorce, separation, or gifts. However, the legislation faced concerns and criticisms regarding its effectiveness in addressing housing affordability and its impact on newcomers to Canada.

II. Amendments for Work Permit Holders

A. Eligibility Requirements

The recent amendments to the Act now permit work permit holders with at least 183 days of validity remaining at the time of purchase to buy a residential property in Canada. These individuals must intend to reside in the purchased property and are limited to one residential property purchase.

B. Benefits for Newcomers

These amendments allow newcomers to establish roots in Canada through homeownership, contributing to the housing supply and job creation.

III. Changes to Vacant Land Purchases

A. Lifting the Ban on Vacant Land Zoned for Residential and Mixed Use

The amendments now permit non-Canadians to purchase vacant land zoned for residential or mixed use for potential residential development.

B. Impact on Non-Canadian Land Buyers

Non-Canadian land buyers now have increased investment opportunities in vacant land and the potential for residential development.

IV. Amendments for Foreign-Controlled Companies

A. Exemptions for Publicly Traded Canadian Companies Controlled by Foreigners

The amendments allow non-Canadians and foreign-controlled publicly traded Canadian entities to purchase residential property for development purposes.

B. Increase in the Corporate Foreign Control Threshold

The foreign control threshold for privately-held corporations or entities has increased from 3% to 10%.

V. Reactions and Implications

A. Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen’s Statement

Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen stated that the amendments strike the right balance in ensuring housing for those living in Canada rather than speculative investment by foreign investors.

B. Impact on Housing Affordability for Canadians

The foreign homebuyers ban aimed to limit foreign investment in property to increase housing availability for Canadians.

C. Criticisms of the Policy’s Approach to Housing Affordability

Some experts argue that the ban may not significantly impact housing prices, as non-Canadian homeowners represent a small percentage of real estate transactions. Elton Ash, ReMax executive president for Western Canada, stated that the ban would have zero effect on house prices.


The recent amendments to the foreign homebuyers ban in Canada aim to address concerns with the original legislation, easing restrictions for non-Canadians, including newcomers, work permit holders, and foreign-controlled companies.

While the government believes these amendments strike the right balance between increasing housing accessibility for Canadians and accommodating newcomers, the policy’s effectiveness in tackling housing affordability remains debated. Some experts argue that non-Canadian homeowners represent a small percentage of real estate transactions and

that the ban may not have a significant impact on housing prices. Regardless of the effectiveness of the foreign homebuyers ban on addressing housing affordability, the amendments have made it easier for newcomers to put down roots in Canada and for businesses to invest in residential development.

It is crucial to continue monitoring the effects of these amendments on the housing market and affordability to ensure that the policy is meeting its intended objectives and contributing positively to the Canadian real estate landscape.

It is also essential to consider other policy options and measures that can effectively address housing affordability in the country. These may include increasing the supply of affordable housing, implementing rental assistance programs, and encouraging sustainable urban planning and development.

By adopting a comprehensive approach to housing affordability, Canada can better support the diverse needs of its residents and create a more inclusive housing market for all. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Brampton, Ontario, consider partnering with Team Arora, a trusted real estate agency that specializes in helping clients navigate the ever-changing Canadian housing market.


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