Buying Property in British Columbia

Q&A For Non-Resident Buyers

3A®Group REMAX Nyda Realty has non-resident clients from Europe and other continents.

No matter where you originate from, immigrating to British Columbia, Canada to live the lifestyle you dream of is a journey worth taking. Having been through the process many times, our experience can help make your big move, a much less stressful experience. We understand sometimes you cannot be here in person, and we offer real time walk-through video via Skype, to take you on property tours.

3A Group also offers an Exclusive "Buyers Agency", that will assist and act on your behalf for almost every aspects of your search, negotiation and purchase. This client tailored service mitigates risks associated with an overseas purchase and allows you to stay focused on your career and family.

Q&A For Non-Resident Buyers

Who can buy real estate in British Columbia? 

The rules and regulations for non-resident & foreign buyers of property in Canada has changed as of January 1, 2023. If you are considering a residential purchase you must ensure legal compliance to avoid penalty and we advise you to seek legal counsel to ensure any residential purchase of a title is exempt from the Act before you make any type of contractual offer. 

New restrictions on the purchase of “residential property” by non-residents within designated metropolitan areas of British Columbia is now in effect for a two year period ending January 1, 2025. The moratorium does not apply to “residential property” outside of the designated census metropolitan areas outlined in the "Act":

1. Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act

  • For a period of two years starting January 1, 2023, non-Canadians are banned from purchasing homes in Canada under the definition of “residential property” indicated in the legislation and associated regulations that the federal government published on December 21, 2022.
  • Exceptions exist for international students, temporary residents, specifically exempted foreign nationals and refugee claimants, subject to varying conditions, such as tax filing and residency obligations.
  • Properties located outside of a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) or a Census Agglomeration (CA) are excluded from this prohibition.

2.  A 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax must be paid by non citizens and non-permanent residents, details here.

Will buying a property in Canada improve my chances at immigration?

Immigrating to Canada is a complex process and, unfortunately, owning property here is not one of the factors taken into consideration. Of course, it won’t hurt your chances and will be considered part of your overall net worth, but simply owning a home in Canada does not affect the selection process. If you’re wondering if you’d be eligible to immigrate to Canada, visit the Government of Canada Citizenship and Immigration website.

I’m a Canadian citizen living in a different country. Would I be considered a non-resident for the purposes of buying real estate if I’m an expat?
 Citizens of Canada who don’t reside in Canada for more than half the year are considered non-residents by banks (and thus subject to all the same rules) but not by the government for the purposes of the non-resident speculation tax. Canadian citizens are not subject to the 15% non-resident speculation tax.

I’m a non-resident and want to purchase a property in British Columbia with a resident. How will that be treated?

If you buy a property with a non-resident, you will be treated by a Canadian bank as a non-resident and thus subject to the same requirements, including a higher down payment. If you are purchasing with a spouse who is a permanent Canadian resident, you are not generally subject to the Non-Resident Speculation Tax.

Can I hire someone to purchase a property in Canada for me?

Yes,  you can hire a Buyer’s Agency like our exclusive 3A®Group Buyer’s Agency, and we will do the searching, vetting and negotiating on your behalf. You retain us to property shop with your exact list of requirements and we will find your dream home here.

Do I need to come to Canada to buy a property?

You can buy a property from anywhere in the world (it’s amazing what we can do with video and Skype), but note that you will be required to come to Canada to open a bank account (and yes, you’ll need a Canadian bank account if you are getting a Canadian mortgage). To take ownership of the property (we call that ‘closing’), you can do that with a notary public in the country you are in – your Canadian lawyer can take you through exactly what is required.

Where do I find a lawyer who can help me with the purchase as a non-resident?

We work with some excellent conveyance professionals who are familiar with the intricacies of working
with non-residents. 

How do I sign the offer & paperwork?

Electronic signatures are legal in BC, but Licensed Realtors are required by law to identify buyers and sellers. If you are not able or planning to attend the close of the sale in person to sign the legal documents, you will need to use a lawyer / agent / or legal authority in your home country to complete the sale.
If you are visiting our web site from overseas and are planning to immigrate to and purchase property in BC we are here to help.
Send us a message and we will contact you to learn about your specific needs and estate goals.

Send Us Your Inquiry

Jump to top