The Canadian government has announced an extension of the ban on foreigners owning homes, with the new expiration date set for January 1, 2027.
The initial two-year ban, which was supposed to lapse on January 1, 2025, prohibited non-Canadians, including Nigerians, from owning residential properties in the country.
The Department of Finance stated that foreign commercial businesses, as well as non-Canadian individuals or permanent residents, will continue to be restricted from purchasing residential properties. This measure is a reaction to the housing crisis in Canada, which has witnessed a decline in owner-occupied homes from 69% to 66.5% between the censuses of 2016 and 2021.
The Canadian government aims to address the housing deficit by building more homes quickly and making homeownership more accessible to a larger portion of the population. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland emphasized that extending the ban on foreign buyers aims to ensure that houses serve as homes for Canadian families, rather than being treated as speculative financial assets.
To further manage its population and tackle housing challenges, Canada recently implemented a two-year limit on the intake of international students starting in 2024. The new policy also restricts work permits for postgraduate students upon graduation. The government introduced the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act in 2022 to prevent international investors from acquiring residential property in the country.
The objective is to maintain housing availability for indigenous people. Additionally, Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has disclosed potential restrictions on temporary foreign workers, including international students and other foreign workers, starting in January 2024. These reforms are part of the government’s broader efforts to manage population growth and address housing challenges in the country.