Canada's prime minister vows to ban foreigners from buying homes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday that his Liberal government, if re-elected, would prevent foreigners from buying homes in Canada over the next two years and make home buying more transparent in an effort to address rapid price increases.

Trudeau, who is seeking to retain power in the September 20 federal election, has promised to build more homes and help renters become landlords with a lease-to-own scheme, a down payment savings program and greater tax breaks.

“If you work hard, if you save, then the dream of having your own place will come in handy,” Trudeau said during a campaign stop in Hamilton, Ontario, a fast-growing city outside of Toronto.

Canadian home prices jumped 15.6 percent last year, and the Canadian Real Estate Association's home price index has risen 69.7 percent since November 2015 when Trudeau first took office.

The Liberals pledge to ban new foreign ownership of Canadian homes for two years and raise the current tax on vacant foreign-owned homes.

They promised to introduce an anti-real estate purchase tax with a view to selling it later at a higher price, which would start on residential properties sold within 12 months of purchase.

Trudeau's main rival, Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole, pledged last week to build one million homes over three years and said he would prevent non-resident foreigners from buying Canadian property for at least two years.

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