Foreign speculators looking to buy a home in Canada might encounter a few hiccups in the next few years. The country is in the middle of a snap election, and housing is the hot topic — especially foreign ownership. Just this morning, the ruling Liberal Party announced they would ban non-resident buyers. This is the same strategy the official opposition plans on implementing if elected. In other words, both parties likely to lead will be banning non-resident ownership. At least for a while.
Canada’s Conservative Party Plans To Ban Non-Resident Buyers
The Conservative Party of Canada (Conservatives) was the first to target foreign buyers. The party will ban non-residents from buying a home… at all. Not just a tax, but for two years the party plans to restrict foreign buyers. Not a lot of details on how this would work, or how it would be prevented. Though it is the first time an outright ban in the country has been proposed.
Canada’s Liberal Party Just Announced They Too Will Ban Foreign Buyers
The Liberal Party of Canada (Liberals) joined the bandwagon on foreign buying restrictions. The party, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, promised a ban on foreign buying for a “trial.” The trial happens to be just as long as the Conservatives have proposed. It could have been implemented any time in the past 6 years they have been governing, but wasn’t. I’m sure they’re not copying anyone’s homework.
The Liberals also said they would go one step further when targeting non-residents. They plan on expanding the vacant home tax on non-resident buyers. This has yet to go into effect, but they already think it’s not enough. Weird, but okay.
The NDP Won’t Ban Foreign Buyers, But Will Tax Them
The much smaller NDP party hasn’t promised to ban foreign buyers, but they will tax the heck out of them. Non-resident home buyers would be hit with a 20% non-resident purchase tax. Currently, Ontario and BC both have similar taxes for highly populated, major regions. Both provinces currently only collect 15% in those regions, so it would be an additional cost.
The Liberals or Conservatives will most likely be the leaders post-election. Both parties have a huge lead over the others, and both want a trial ban of foreign buyers. This makes it an all-but-done deal.
As for the NDP, their chances of winning the government are pretty slim at this point. They are very effective at punching above their weight though. If they do manage to capture a significant number of seats, the goal of higher non-resident taxes aligns with the Liberals. Any way you cut it, foreign buyers are about to see the welcome mat roll up.
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