Canada extends ban on foreign ownership of housing amid housing affordability crisis – WION

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In response to growing concerns about housing affordability, Canada has taken a significant step by extending the ban on foreign ownership of Canadian housing for an additional two years.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the extension, emphasising the government’s commitment to addressing worries about Canadians being priced out of housing markets across the country.

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The housing affordability crisis in Canada has been attributed to increased migration and international students, leading to heightened demand for homes at a time when rising costs have hampered construction efforts.

“As part of using all possible tools to make housing more affordable for Canadians, the ban on foreign ownership of Canadian housing, which is currently set to expire on January 1, 2025, will be extended to January 1, 2027,” Reuters quoted Freeland as saying.

The move to extend the ban aligns with the Canadian government’s acknowledgment that foreign ownership has contributed to concerns about Canadians being priced out of housing markets in various cities and towns.

The housing affordability crisis has become a critical issue for the Canadian government, prompting strategic measures to alleviate the pressure on the housing market.

The recent announcement follows Canada’s decision to implement an immediate two-year cap on international student permits, coupled with a halt in issuing work permits to some students post-graduation.

These measures are part of a broader effort to manage the influx of newcomers, seen as exacerbating the existing housing crisis. Rapid population growth, largely fuelled by immigration, has strained essential services like healthcare and education while also playing a role in driving up housing costs.

The housing affordability crisis has implications beyond the real estate market, impacting various aspects of Canadian society. The strain on services and the surge in housing costs have become significant challenges for Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Recent opinion polls indicate a decline in Trudeau’s support, suggesting that he could face challenges in an election if one were held presently.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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