The federal government has rolled back some of its nascent ban on foreign property purchase amid calls for Canada to boost housing supply.
Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Monday previous bans designed to make property more affordable – by excluding foreign buyers – would be repealed after just two months in an attempt to drive housing development in Canada.
“These amendments strike the right balance in ensuring that housing is used to house those living in Canada, rather than a speculative investment by foreign investors,” said Hussen in a statement.
Non-Canadians can now, once again, buy residential property for the purposes of development or purchase vacant mixed use and residential property.
Non-Canadians are still banned from purchasing residential properties without a plan to develop the property.
The news comes as several voices say Canada needs to increase its housing supply – both to deal with affordability issues, and to cope with high immigration projections.
Last year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said more than 22 million housing units are needed by 2030 to help most Canadians reach a price point they can afford.
A top banking executive said pressure on housing is expected to continue in the coming years, as Canada increases its immigration targets.
In February, CIBC CEO Victor Dodig said Canada needed to take action to address housing supply to prevent a crisis shortage when record-level immigrants enter the country and add demand for housing.
The repeals on Monday affected a Trudeau government promise from 2021, that the government would introduce a two-year ban against foreign buyers, which were thought to be hiking housing prices by adding overseas demand to the housing market.