We’re receiving a massive amount of traffic from Americans with a sudden interest in moving to Canada. It’s nice here, but given the timing it may have more to do with the US election than our fabulous weather. If you’re thinking of moving to Canada, there’s something you should know about housing. Canadian real estate is much more expensive than US real estate, and some places even have taxes that will make it more expensive for Americans.
Canadian Real Estate Is Expensive
One of the most shocking things Americans find is that Canadian real estate is really pricey. Especially when contrasted with US real estate. The average benchmark home in the Canada is CA$474,000 (US$352,076), while the average home in the US is CA$315,303 (US$234,200). That’s 50% more expensive, for your average home across the country.
If you’re comparing urban areas, that trend is even worse. A home in Toronto will set you back CA$762,975 (US$566,719). In Chicago (a city of comparable size), the average home costs CA$288,646 (US$214,400). That’s a 164%, more than double the cost. Unless you’re from New York City, you’ll almost certainly be paying more for less North of the 49th.
Yes, You’re Foreigners In Canada
Soaring home prices have made Canadians touchy about foreign buyers, and this includes Americans. We’re not discussing a wall here, just taxes foreign buyers on real estate purchases. Nationally, this won’t have a chance of being implemented before 2018. However, one province went ahead to give the country a glimpse of what it will be like – British Columbia (BC).
If you’re looking to buy a home in BC, you’ll be hit with 15% foreign buyer tax. The average benchmark home in Vancouver is CA$919,300 (US$682,834), so expect to pay a CA$137,895 (US$102,425) foreign buyer tax. Yes, just buying a home in Vancouver comes with a tax that’s more than half the price of a home in Chicago. If any other provinces implements a foreign buyer tax, it will probably in a similar range.
It’s not lost on us that most Americans researching a move to Canada aren’t actually moving to Canada. Kind of like when I watch Food Network, and there’s zero chance I will ever cook. More likely they’re just daydreaming of a place to flee. Sorry to pour a little cold water on that.
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Photo: Daniel Means.