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Canada bans most foreigners from buying homes

A BAN on foreigners buying residential property in Canada took effect on Sunday aiming to make more homes available to locals facing a housing crunch. Several exceptions in the act allow individuals such as refugees and permanent residents who are not citizens to buy homes.

The temporary twoyear measure was proposed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the 2021 election campaign when soaring prices put home ownership beyond the reach of many Canadians.

Following their 2021 election victory, the Liberals quietly introduced the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act. Major markets such as Vancouver and Toronto have also introduced taxes on nonresidents and empty homes. Despite a recent heyday the country’s real estate market has cooled for sellers as mortgage rates followed the Bank of Canada’s aggressive monetary policy in a bid to rein in inflation.

Many experts have also said the ban on foreign buyers — who accounted for less than 5 percent of home ownership in Canada, according to the national statistical agency — would not have the desired effect of making homes more affordable.

Rather they point to a need for more housing construction to meet demand. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. — the national housing agency — said in a June report that close to 19 million housing units will be needed by 2030. That means 5.8 million new homes must be built, or 3.5 million more than are currently anticipated to be built to meet that demand, it said. THE MANILA TIMES