The Canadian government has extended a ban it imposed on foreigners who wished to buy residential property in the country, Gulf News quoted Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland as saying on Sunday.
The ban was lengthened for two additional years raising concerns about the cost of living in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
The federal government of Canada prohibited foreign nationals from buying residential real estate in 2022. The measure was set to expire on January 1, 2025, however, it has now been moved to January 1, 2027.
The measure banned foreign nationals and commercial enterprises from buying residential property in Canada, excluding some international students, refugees, and temporary workers.
“By extending the foreign buyer ban, we will ensure houses are used as homes for Canadian families to live in and do not become a speculative financial asset class,” Freeland said in the statement Sunday.
Additionally, Canada introduced some exemptions for foreigners buying vacant land or residential property for development.
Canada’s surging cost of living reversed the country’s immigration. In the first six months of 2023 some 42,000 individuals departed Canada, adding to 93,818 people who left in 2022 and 85,927 exits in 2021, official data show.
The rate of immigrants leaving Canada hit a two-decade high in 2019, according to a recent report from the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC), an immigration advocacy group.