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A Guide to Buying Property in Canada as a Non-resident

More than 340,000 non-residents own property in Canada. With the right knowledge and advice, non-residents have several paths to buying property in Canada. Many people are looking to purchase property in the safe, diverse, and economically stable country.

However, before you begin looking for property, it's important to be well-informed about the details involved in the process. This is especially true when it comes to non-residents.

Keep reading our guide to help you understand how non-residents can purchase property in Canada.

Important Information for Non-Residents Looking to Purchase Property in Canada

When it comes to purchasing property, non-residents of Canada are subject to slightly different requirements than residents of Canada. The rules also vary by province, so it's important to get good real estate legal advice before proceeding with a purchase.

Down Payments

Non-residents must provide a minimum of a 35% down payment on the property's purchase price. U.S. citizens are required to pay a minimum of 20%.

Mortgage Qualifications

As a non-resident, you will have some specific requirements to qualify for a mortgage in Canada. You will need:

  • The minimum 35% down payment and proof of funds

  • A letter of reference from your bank

  • A letter of employment that verifies income amounts in US or Canadian dollars

  • Three months of bank statements

  • A credit check, done by an accredited Canadian Company

If you meet these requirements you will have access to the same mortgage interest rate as residents of Canada. Some banks may also require you to take out mortgage insurance.

New Act for Non-Residents Buying Property in Canada

A new Act—the Prohibition of the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act—came into effect on January 1, 2023, that prohibits some non-residents from buying specific types of property. The Act will be in effect for two years, ending on December 31, 2024.

What Does This Change Mean for Non-Residents?

Generally speaking, the Act prohibits certain non-Canadians from directly or indirectly purchasing any residential property for the specified two-year period. While this means that the scope for non-residents purchasing property may be small, there is still plenty of ways to access the Canadian real estate market.

There are exemptions to the Act for international students, foreign workers, and work-permit holders. The right real estate lawyer can help you determine if you have the right status for an exemption.

What Types of Properties Are Not Included in the Act?

There are some exceptions to the types of properties that non-residents can still purchase. These include:

  • Any homes outside of the census metropolitan areas, in cities with populations of less than 100,000 residents

  • Commercial properties that have no residential uses

  • Properties with four or more units

  • Vacant land

Non-Resident Property Purchases

With our guide to buying property in Canada as a non-resident, you are ready to start the process. While the process is straightforward, you still benefit from knowing the Canadian immigration, legal, and financial requirements to own property in Canada.

At Picov and Kleinberg, we offer a range of legal services for real estate, personal, and business matters. You can depend on us to look out for your best interests. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.


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