New rules for international buyers

New rules for international buyers

To help make home ownership more attainable for residents, the Canadian and Ontario governments have made some changes to how non-residents can buy property here: 

  1. The federal government has instituted a 2-year ban on foreign buyers. 

  2. The provincial government has increased the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) by another 5%,. making it 25% 

The foreign buyers’ ban

Effective January 1, 2023, the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act (more commonly known as the foreign buyers’ ban) comes into effect. Which means no one but Canadian citizens and permanent residents can buy residential property in Canada (directly or indirectly) until 2025. Properties purchased in 2022 should close by January 1 to avoid penalties. 

There are some exceptions to the ban: international students on the path to permanent residence, people with work permits and those fleeing international crises are all exempt, as are those purchasing recreational properties.

The foreign buyers’ tax

Effective October 25, 2022, buyers who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents have property purchases taxed at 25% (up from 20%). This is the second increase this year – the NRST went from 15% to 20% back in March. 

If ownership is shared, ALL buyers must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Even if just one is not, the NRST will be applied to 100% of the value of the property. As with the foreign buyer ban, there are exceptions: those with a permanent resident application in progress and non-Canadian spouses of Canadian citizens are either exempt or eligible for rebates.

Only properties purchased on October 25 or later are subject to the higher tax. 

A few other things international buyers should know

  • Buying property here has no impact on immigration or citizenship status. To become a Canadian citizen, you have to qualify under Canadian immigration laws. 

  • You can get a mortgage in Canada. The best financing options require a down payment of 35-50%. The lender will also likely want proof of income and credit history. 

  • Rental income is subject to income tax. All non-residents who earn rental income must file an income tax return in Canada: working with an accountant well-versed in international investors is highly recommended. 

  • It’s vital to work with a licensed Canadian REALTOR: A knowledgeable agent will help you navigate the complex landscape of Canadian real estate as an international buyer.


I can help you understand rules and the local market, and connect you with lawyers, accountants and other pros who understand the complexities of foreign ownership. Reach out anytime!

About Sean Miller

Sean is the #1 Top Producing Real Estate Agent of 2021 at Inc. Brokerage, with the drive and expertise to guide you through one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you're a first-time buyer, a seasoned seller, are new to the Toronto market or are looking for a great investment, he makes the experience as stress-free as possible, quickly assessing your needs and offering a full range of options that fit with your lifestyle and budget.

Navigating the GTA market is his specialty, and stellar customer service and deep market expertise are his calling cards. He is always ready to go the distance to help clients make the right choice, at the right time and the right price.

More about Sean here

Join over 71,000 subscribers and get market news, insights & expert advice delivered straight to your inbox