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Banning Foreign Home Buyers

By Martin Crim, Esq.

At common law, foreigners couldn’t own real estate but most countries have loosened that restriction. New Zealand has a ban on foreign home buyers and Canada just adopted a two-year ban on most foreigners buying houses. A couple quick thoughts:

  • A $10,000 (Canadian) fine on conviction is not much of a deterrent.
  • I like the idea of taxing vacant houses but it would need robust enforcement to be effective.
  • An exemption for “recreational” property undercuts the rule’s effectiveness severely.
  • An anti-flipping tax is a bad idea because it deters rehabilitating unlivable houses.
  • An extra tax on foreign purchasers is quite reasonable and could produce revenue to put toward housing availability.

Martin Crim is a shareholder at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, and has been practicing law for over thirty years, primarily for cities, towns, and other local governments. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact Martin Crim at mcrim@vfnlaw.com or call us at 703-36-4738.

This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer