Can foreigners buy property in Canada?
Published by Hillfield Immigration on 23rd June, 2021
Canada has a relatively open-door policy for foreigners looking to buy property, and non-residents have the same ownership rights as residents. In April 2017, the Government of Ontario introduced the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), a 15% tax on the purchase of residential property in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of the Toronto area by people who aren’t citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
There are also some states that have specific guidelines that need to be followed, and things to be mindful of – if you are planning to stay in Canada for six months or less, you are considered a non-resident, however if you want to stay for longer than six months or a year, you should apply to be an immigrant.
It will be beneficial to consult with a certified legal professional who can assist with paperwork required by Canadian banks and realtors, especially if you are not currently residing in Canada.
Canada has an endless frontier, beautiful mountains capes, rugged coastline and modern, thriving cityscapes, no matter where you decide to live. Canada ranked as no.1 in the Quality of Life Index 2020 in a survey spanning more than 73 countries which looked at nine different aspects including economic stability, job market, family friendliness and more.
Thanks to its strong economy, low crime rates and great weather, not only is Ontario the best place to live overall, it’s voted the best place for new Canadian immigrants, the third best place to retire and the fifth best place to raise a family.
Most house sales are conducted through realtors – one for the seller and one for the buyer. If the seller isn’t using a realtor, be sure to agree who is going to pay your realtor’s fees – if you don’t, those charges could end up in an invoice to you.
If you need a mortgage, as a rule of thumb, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), your monthly housing costs (mortgage payments and utilities etc) should not exceed 30% of your gross monthly income and your entire monthly debt load (your mortgage payments plus those of all your other debts) should be no more than 40% of your gross monthly income.
It’s great to know what type of property you are looking for before speaking to a realtor. Detached, townhouse, apartment, condominium or other. Find out how much you can afford by researching mortgages and make sure you speak to a qualified consultant as you won’t be able to use a foreign bank to get your mortgage.
Once you know exactly what you can afford, you can start looking at properties. There are hundreds of thousands of homes for sale across the whole of Canada. When you’ve found a few that you like, contact your expert consultant to help you decide which is right for you.