Patrick  Hulley

Patrick Hulley

Broker of Record


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Purchasing property in a foreign country presents exciting prospects. For those eyeing Ontario, Canadaas their real estate destination, recent regulatory changes that took effect in January 2023 have brought about a landscape of both opportunities and considerations. This guide delves into the intricacies of these changes, offering a thorough understanding of the real estate options available to those from abroad who are considering Ontario as their new home or investment destination.

Understanding the New Rules for Foreign Home Buyers

The Canadian government’s aim with these regulatory updates is to balance foreign investment and domestic affordability. Some key points for foreign buyers to consider and navigate:

1. Designated Core Areas: New rules emphasize designated core areas, identified by property addresses meticulously outlined in the CMHC report. This report serves as a preliminary checkpoint where foreign buyers must cross-reference these addresses to determine their precise property locations.

In order to verify a property’s location within a defined Census Market Area, an initial check can be performed using the CMHC Database for Foreign Buyer Area Exemption.

2. Prohibited and Permitted Properties: Regulations prohibit non-Canadians from buying residential properties in core areas, with exceptions based on property type and use. Legal
experts specializing in real estate can guide buyers through these nuances.

3. Exceptions and Opportunities: Despite core area restrictions, opportunities manifest for foreign investors. Exceptions apply to properties earmarked for development, rental housing, and affordable housing. By exploring these exceptions, foreign buyers can unearth strategic avenues for real estate investments that align with their goals and aspirations.

Navigating Ontario’s Real Estate Market

With a grasp of new rules, foreign buyers can explore Ontario’s market confidently:

1. Investment Properties: Casting their gaze beyond the confines of core areas, foreign investors can set their sights on properties that promise rental income and potential capital appreciation. This targeted approach allows for the cultivation of a diversified portfolio.

2. Development Opportunities: The exceptions carve a distinct path toward properties with development potential. Engaging with these properties opens a gateway to long-term gains, facilitating the transformation of vacant or underutilized land into thriving real estate ventures

3. Rental Housing: A strategic investment avenue beckons in the form of rental properties, particularly within high-demand locales. Foreign buyers can tap into a steady income stream while contributing to the local housing ecosystem.

4. Affordable Housing Initiatives: For those driven by a sense of community and a desire to make a positive impact, the realm of affordable housing initiatives beckons, By embracing exceptions tailored to affordable housing, foreign buyers can intertwine their financial aspirations with the betterment of society.

Consulting Legal and Real Estate Experts

While this guide offers insights, it is imperative to acknowledge real estate transactions involve legal complexities. Seek guidance from legal experts well-versed in Canadian real estate law. They can navigate rules and ensure compliance during the purchasing process.


Ontario’s real estate market presents opportunity, innovation, and potential for foreign buyers. To harness this potential, understanding core areas and exceptions is vital. By aligning investments with these rules, foreign buyers can explore opportunities confidently with vision. Seek legal counsel and forge partnerships with seasoned real estate professionals for informed decisions and success in Ontario’s market. Additionaly, for more information on the Non-Resident Speculation Tax in Ontario, please visit


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Article By: Patrick Hulley, Broker of Record – President
RE/MAX RISE Executives, Brokerage – Commercial Division

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