Foreign Ownership

The rules around foreigners buying real estate in Canada aren’t actually related to citizenship – even citizens of Canada who don’t reside here for more than half the year are considered non-residents (and thus subject to all the same rules).

Canada welcomes home buyers from all countries, and there are no restrictions on the amount or kind of real estate you can buy.

Important! As of October 25, 2022, any individual who is not a Canadian citizen (resident or not), or permanent resident of Canada (including corporations and trusts) is subject to a Non-Resident Speculation Tax of 25% of the purchase price (paid at closing) for properties purchased anywhere in Ontario. You can read the details of the Non-Resident Speculation Tax here.

Also important: The Government of Canada announced a measure to prohibit non-Canadians from purchasing residential property in Canada for a period of 2 years in Budget 2022, and the Parliament of Canada passed the legislation – the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act on June 23, 2022. This law is set to come into effect on January 1, 2023. There are notable exemptions for permanent residents and temporary residents, including temporary workers and international students.
However, in typical fashion at writing (November 2022) we do not have details on the legislation or how it is to be implemented! Once we do we will update this page but we will have to wait until such time as the federal government releases draft regulations. Read the CMHC news release for some basic FAQs.

Owning a property in Canada does not give you any immigration privileges and if you want to live here, you’ll still need to qualify under Canada’s Immigration Laws.


While Canadian lenders do finance the home purchases of non-residents, they usually require significantly larger down payments. Most of our non-resident clients are required to have a 35% cash downpayment.  Lenders will require you to verify your income and creditworthiness and prove that you can pay the mortgage. Also, mortgage interest rates may be higher than what Canadian residents would pay (though in our experience, they are still very attractive rates).


As with any investment, it’s important to contact your accountant to understand fully how the purchase or sale of a property in Canada will affect you from a tax perspective. The following is meant to be a guideline only:

Non-Canadian citizens and non-permanent residents of Canada buying a property in the Toronto region must pay a 25% tax on closing. Click here to read more about the Non-Resident Speculation Tax.

When buying a property in Toronto, foreign buyers pay the same land transfer taxes as Canadian residents. First time home buyers who plan to use the purchase as their primary residence may be eligible for land transfer tax rebates.

There are also tax implications for non-residents when selling a property. There are forms, processes and penalties for not complying with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)’s rules. Full details of the tax implications for non-residents selling property can be found on the CRA website though you should contact your accountant to understand the tax implications of selling a property in Toronto as a non-resident.


It’s sometimes difficult (and more expensive) for non-residents to obtain insurance for an investment property. Given that proof of home insurance is required to obtain a mortgage, this is an important factor to consider. If you’re looking to buy a Toronto investment property, make sure to get insurance quotes and information before making an offer.

Making an Offer

In this day and age, signing the legal documents to make an offer on a house or condo can be done digitally, and with Skype and Facetime, it’s easy to get the same price advice and information from your REALTOR that you’d get if you were physically in Toronto. Many lenders require a foreign buyer to sign the mortgage paperwork in person (though this can be avoided with an executed Power of Attorney).

Choosing a REALTOR

While all the usual tips to choosing a top REALTOR still apply, if you’re a non-resident looking to buy property in Canada, it’s important to work with someone who knows the intricacies of foreign ownership. Look for a real estate agent who has experience selling properties to non-Canadians and can refer you to property managers, lawyers and appropriate lenders for your circumstances. If you’re looking to buy a Toronto property while overseas (vs. during a trip to Toronto) look for a REALTOR who is experienced in previewing properties for absentee clients and who is familiar with the tools and technology (especially video) to ensure a smooth process.

We work with a lot of overseas clients and have perfected a process to video and communicate with our buyers about potential properties to eliminate the need to be physically in Toronto to choose a property to buy. We have a dedicated team of lenders, lawyers and insurance brokers who help our non-resident Buyers in Toronto.

The Home Buying Process

You can read about the home buying process in Toronto here.

Note: the BREL team helps Buyers and Sellers in the Greater Toronto area and cannot provide guidance or assist in purchases made outside of Toronto.

Want more information? Check out our Frequently Asked Questionssend us an email or give us a call to discuss buying a property in Toronto.


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