Buying a House in Canada
It’s easy to understand why people in other countries want to buy a home in Canada and move there. It offers a great quality of life, spectacular nature from sea to sea, and its friendly cities boast great economic opportunities, culture, cuisine and entertainment.
The country also has a thriving real estate market, with foreign speculation driving up home costs in the major cities of Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia.
As someone outside the country interested in buying a first home (or homes) in Canada, you might wonder if you can purchase residential property here and the kind of rules and procedures you must adhere to. This article will provide the answers to your questions.
Can Non-Residents Buy Property in Canada?
Non-residents can buy houses in the country as part of a process that is very similar to the one used for Canadian citizens. Not only are you allowed to buy a house, but you also can buy more than one, which isn’t allowed under the rules governing foreign investment in some other countries.
That said, you need to check the rules for non-resident home buyers. For example, Ontario introduced a Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) in 2017, which adds 15% to the purchase price of all homes within the Greater Horseshoe region of the province (which includes Toronto) purchased by foreign speculators. However non-residents with student or work visas don’t need to pay this levy.
The types of properties foreign investors can buy in Ontario include: Condominiums, Detached homes, Luxury homes, Townhouses, Commercial properties, Equestrian farms, Vineyards and more.
If you buy a house in Canada, you don’t automatically get any special immigration privileges. Dig deeper into our platform and reach out to qualified Canadian Advisors to learn more about your potential immigration pathways. Unless you have a student visa, work visa or are a permanent resident, you can only stay in Canada for up to six months at a time. The government is on the lookout for people who try to get around this regulation by leaving the country for a few days near the end of their six-month stay and then returning. The practice could get you banned from the country.
Foreign home buyers are eligible to apply for Canadian financing of their home purchases, possibly covering mortgage payments, closing costs, legal fees and more. However, if the purchaser doesn’t have Canadian income, they might be required to make a bigger down payment. The interest rates for non-resident home buyers are very similar to the low-interest ones available to Canadian citizens.
As far as taxes, homeowners often have to pay property taxes, transfer taxes and even income taxes. For example, if you bought the home as an investment property, you would have to pay income taxes on the rent you receive from tenants. Or if you sell the property later, you would have to pay a capital gains tax on the increased value of your property measured from the time of your purchase. Usually, this figure is 25% of the gross selling price.
The Canadian Home-Buying Process for Non-Residents
Once you’ve decided on your first-time homeownership in Canada and know where you want to move in the country, it’s time to go through the process of acquiring a home. This procedure is very similar to that of other countries, but it does have some differences.