Canada Extends Foreign Home Buyer Ban - Kanebridge News
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Canada Extends Foreign Home Buyer Ban

The law that forbids non-residents from acquiring homes in most areas has affected the luxury end of urban markets, experts say

By MICHAEL KAMINER
Tue, Feb 6, 2024 9:05amGrey Clock 2 min

Canada’s government has extended through the end of 2026 a controversial ban on foreign home buyers that took effect last January after years of debate.

“For years, foreign money has been coming into Canada to buy up residential real estate, increasing housing affordability concerns in cities across the country, and particularly in major urban centres,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance, said in a news release yesterday. “Foreign ownership has also fuelled worries about Canadians being priced out of housing markets in cities and towns across the country.”

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act forbids non-citizens from buying residential property in most urban areas, though it includes a long list of exceptions. Property in many rural and “recreational” regions is exempt; most students, refugees, permanent residents, spouses of Canadian citizens, and some temporary workers in Canada may still buy homes.

While the government says the ban will help ease Canada’s severe housing crunch, critics in the real estate industry counter that the prohibition is misguided―and ineffective.

“The newly announced two-year extension is completely unnecessary, considering the fact there is no analysis, evidence or data from Statistics Canada, CMHC [Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation] or Finance Canada, to support the government’s intended impact on housing affordability in Canada,” said Janice Myers, CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), in a statement Monday. “If the government decides to move forward with this baseless extension, CREA urges them to consider recommendations including exempting pre-construction financing, defining and exempting recreational property, including CUSMA [Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement] exemptions, and giving provinces input to tailor to their housing market requirements,” she added.

Don Kottick, the president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, agreed.

“Canada’s housing market has been driven almost entirely by the housing needs and demands of locals, as well as by population gains due to in-migration of Canadians from other cities, and through immigration,” he told Mansion Global in an email. “The extension of the foreign buyers ban will continue to have little or no impact on housing affordability and housing prices. This policy has only confused and frustrated those from other countries with crucial skills, talent and capital that Canada has been striving to attract and retain.”

The ban has also chilled luxury home sales in key markets like Toronto, said Maureen O’Neill, manager of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Toronto. “People who want to sell houses for more than C$5 million [US$3.92 million] can no longer rely on the buyers they used to count on globally,” she said. “It’s another extra burden on selling a house.”

That burden may soon get even heavier; Toronto’s mayor last week endorsed a 10% tax on foreign home buyers in that city, Canada’s largest. The province of Ontario already imposes its own 25% “non-resident speculation tax” on foreign buyers.

Though Canadian data on non-resident buyers is limited, the CBC last year reported that in British Columbia―one of the nation’s hottest housing markets―only about 1.1% of transactions in 2021 involved a foreign buyer, a drop of 3% in 2017. At the time, Ontario’s government told the CBC it had seen “a downward trend” in foreigners buying property since it began taxing non-resident purchases in 2017.



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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck have officially put their massive Los Angeles mansion on the market for $68 million.

The lavish Beverly Hills property hit listing sites on Thursday, months after rumours began that the couple, who are reportedly estranged , were shopping the home around only a year after buying it for nearly $61 million.

The roughly 5-acre property—which is in a gated community and spans a massive 38,000 square feet—includes an indoor sports court with an adjacent gym and games room, according to the listing with Santiago Arana of the Agency. The firm declined to comment.

Lopez and Affleck paid $60.8 million for the compound in 2023.
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Built in 2000, the house has 12 bedrooms and a whopping 24 bathrooms. The resort-sized property has the amenities to match, including a V-shaped pool with views over the surrounding hills, a detached two-bedroom guardhouse and a 5,000-square-foot guest penthouse, according to the listing.

Listing images of the house show that Lopez and Affleck have spent the past year warming up what were fairly white-washed interiors when they purchased the home. There’s now a rich, green-painted dining room, hardwood floors and carpeted over cold, polished-stone flooring.

The couple, who got married in 2022 after reuniting some 20 years after they called off their engagement in the early 2000s, purchased the megamansion following a house hunt that went on for several months, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Representatives for Lopez, 54, and Affleck, 51, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.