How To Buy A House in Canada While Living in Nigeria


Famous for its beautiful scenery, freezing weather, ice hockey (Canada’s winter sport), maple syrup, and politeness. 

Featuring beautiful lakes, mountains, and prairies, Canada has something for everyone. 

Also, the country is popular among skilled immigrants due to its immigrant-friendly policies and economic advantage.

In the past year alone, Canada welcomed 431,645 immigrants, according to IRCC. Recording one of the highest percentages of skilled foreign migrants. 

This alone has raised housing demand in the Canadian real estate market, making it highly competitive.

Even so, the allure of the Canadian real estate market is attracting profiteers, wealthy investors, and foreign corporations. All looking to benefit from its real estate market boom.

Canada, as a country in North America, shares its western and southern borders with the United States. 

Also read: Top 20 Real Estate Marketing Ideas To Increase Sale In 2023

Also, Canada is divided into 10 provinces called federated states, and three federal territories. These together are grouped into four main regions; Western Canada, Northern Canada, and Eastern Canada, which includes Central Canada and Atlantic Canada together. 

Canada borders the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Making it the world’s second-largest country with a total area of 9,984,670 km2.

The country’s capital is Ottawa, and the official languages are English and French. Canada also practices 3 forms of government; federation, constitutional monarchy, and parliamentary democracy. The official currency for Canada is the Canadian dollar (CAD).  

Canada experiences extreme cold, i.e., harsh winters, especially in the prairie provinces. In some regions, snow covers the ground for almost six months in a year. While in other regions, it’s an all-year-round snow coverage.

Planning to buy a house in Canada? Here are a few things you should keep in mind.

1. Mortgage Loans

A mortgage is a house loan offered, usually by a bank, to beneficiaries. These borrowers/ beneficiaries pay back the loans over a stipulated period of time with interest.

Mortgage loans in Canada for foreigners

  1. For US citizens with a verified income, the bank may offer them 80% of the house purchase price.
  2. A non-US foreign buyer with verified income could borrow up to 65% of the house purchase price 
  3. A foreign buyer with unverified income would have to put down a payment of 50% or more of the house purchase price. 

You can also check out the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Canada’s national housing agency for more inquiries.

However, nothing is definite. The bank has the final say on everything. They determine if you qualify for a mortgage. 

It is, however, in your best interest that you have the amount for the full cost of the house pre-planned. 

However, if you are looking to immigrate, you can do research on the price of renting a home in your preferred location. 

2. Travel Advantage 

Buying a house in Canada gives you no advantage when applying for a work permit, visitor visa, study permit, or permanent residence.

There is also the chance of you never visiting the property after the purchase. 

When you buy a house in Canada as a foreigner, you must obtain a valid visitor visa to live in the house for a limited time. Usually a maximum of 6 months in a year.

However, owning a home in Canada with proof of living in the house shows your attachment to the country. This may count when applying for permanent residency (PR).

3. Immigration Advantage

There are no immigration options attached to buying a house in Canada. Buying a house in Canada as a foreigner would not provide you with any special immigration privileges. 

You have to qualify on merit for permanent residency (PR) under Canadian immigration laws.

4. Outright payment 

Most times, the bank may find it difficult to verify your income. As a result, you may be denied a mortgage loan

To avoid being caught unawares, it is preferred that you have the required funds to buy the house yourself. This entails making an outright payment of the entire sum.

5. Property Taxes 

In some jurisdictions, properties bought by foreigners and left unoccupied by the owners incur additional taxes of 20% to 25%. 

The properties are classified as speculative investments. Also, foreign buyers have to file annual tax returns with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

Taxes paid in Canada include property taxes, payroll taxes, and income taxes (personal and corporate).

6. Other Fees 

There are a host of other fees involved in buying a house in Canada. You are required to pay these fees even when you are absent from the country all year. Some of them are; sewer fees, electrical charges, water hookups, and services.

7. Necessary Paperwork 

It is important to be conversant with Canadian laws on property documents and the necessary paperwork. Especially before buying a house in Canada. 

Other important factors to keep in mind before you buy a house in Canada include:

  1. Provincial laws 
  2. Zoning laws and permits 
  3. Necessary associations to join 
  4. Building codes 
  5. Renovation policies

Nonetheless, if you are investing solely for immigration purposes. It is best to buy a business instead. As this may result in faster entry into Canada.

For best practices, work with an immigration expert or seek legal advice, for a comprehensive immigration strategy to Canada.

The New Housing Laws in Canada


The recent ban on Nigerians and other foreigners has put a damper on several prospective buyers of houses in Canada. 

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However, there are certain ways one can still own a home in Canada. Only if you meet certain criteria.

The Canadian government set a ban preventing foreigners, i.e., non-Canadians, including Nigerians, from buying properties in Canada, with a few exceptions (properties valued at less than 500,000 Canadian dollars or in areas with a population of less than 10,000). 

The ban is intended to reduce speculative investments in Canada’s housing markets and make housing more affordable for Canadians.

The ban went into effect on January 1st, 2023, and would be repealed after 2 years. i.e. The ban expires in 2025 and may be reviewed.

Experts believe the ban is a result of foreigners buying vacation homes in Canada, and leaving it unoccupied for most of the year. 

Everyone, including Canadian citizens, wants affordable houses in desirable parts of the country. Same as foreigners who buy vacation houses in desirable areas of Canada. 

Also read: 20 Reasons Why You Should Build a Home in Washington

These houses are seldom used and reduce the number of available houses in the market pool. 

Therefore, ramping up competition on available houses and driving up the price of real estate. 

The government of Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau enacted the ban to curb sky-high house prices. 

Which averaged $633,000 (CAD), or 466,000 U.S. dollars as of November 2022. And averaged higher in major cities.

Houses in some of these cities peaked just above $800,000 (CAD)

The Canadian government restricted foreign buyers from purchasing houses in less populated locations where houses are cheaper (this includes popular vacation and resort areas). 

Indirectly compelling foreigners to buy in more expensive areas, lowering the percentage of speculative investments. 

Although certain provinces already had foreign buyers taxes were enacted to curb the practice. 

The BC (British Columbia) provincial government​​ment already implemented a 20% tax on foreign buyers of houses. Which covered major metropolitan areas. 

The province of Ontario has a similar tax of 25%. The Greater Vancouver area has a vacancy tax for not occupying your residence.

Characteristics of Canada’s Housing Ban

For better clarity, let’s review aspects of this ban and how it may affect you as a Nigerian citizen hoping to buy a house in Canada.

The housing ban prevents non-Canadians, and corporations controlled by non-Canadians from buying homes in Canada.

Non-Canadians in this sense include: 

Landed immigrants, workers on temporary visas, refugees, and some international students. 

Definition of a non-Canadian by the housing ban 

  1. An individual who is neither a citizen nor registered as an Indian under the Indian Act. 
  2. Not a permanent resident. This includes: 
  3. A corporation that isn’t incorporated in Canada or under the laws of Canada or a province.
  4. A corporation that is incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province whose shares are not listed on a stock exchange in Canada.  For which a designation under Section 262 of the Income Tax Act is in effect, and is controlled by persons described in (I) or (II).

Who The Housing Ban Does Not Refer To:

The ban doesn’t refer to the following persons;

  1. A temporary resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Who satisfies prescribed conditions.
  2. A protected person within the 95 (2) of that act. 
  3. An individual who is non-Canadian and purchases residential property with their spouse or common-law partner, if the spouse or common-law partner is a citizen of Canada, registered as an Indian under the Indian Act, a permanent resident, or a person referred to in (I) and (II).

Residential Property Under The Housing Ban Is Defined As: 

Buildings with three homes or fewer in them, as well as parts of buildings like semi-detached houses or condominium units. 

The Type Of Property The Housing Ban Does Not Refer To

The law does not prohibit the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units.

Penalty for Breaking Canada’s Housing Ban

Anyone found breaking the ban would be fined, and may be required to sell the property. This is to recover solely the amount used to purchase the property

Those who knowingly assist a non-Canadian citizen to purchase, directly or indirectly, any residential property. 

Either by giving counseling, inducements, aids or abets, or attempts to do any of the above mentioned, according to the bans description would pay a fine of not more than $10,000.


The housing ban in Canada does not apply to non-Canadians looking to rent.

Keep in mind that the premise of the ban is to prevent foreigners from buying homes, not from owning homes. So if you already own a home, you have no issues with the ban.

Knowing how the ban may affect you as a Nigerian, listed below are some of the cheapest places to buy a house in Canada

Cheapest Province To Buy A House in Canada According To CREA

  1. Nova Scotia – A province in Canada where the average price of houses cost $186,000 (CAD).
  1. New Brunswick- located in the Bay of fundy. A maritime province in Canada. Houses average $265,800 (CAD).
  1. Quebec – Is the most affordable city to live in Canada. The average house price costs $267,000 (CAD).
  1. Newfoundland & Labrador- The East Coast province also referred to as the rock. Asides from house prices, this province in Canada has the lowest average cost of living. The average cost of housing is $280,200 (CAD).
  1. Manitoba- Located in Canada’s Prairies at the center of the country. Manitoba offers city living at more affordable rates. Often considered a province with a stable economy that offers quiet living outside the city. House prices average $336,485 (CAD).
  1. Yukon- A province in Canada that shares the lowest tax designation with Alberta. The house price costs around $487,133 (CAD).
  1. Alberta- Alberta is a province in Canada that offers the lowest tax in Canada. Also a prairie province and has no sales tax. Average house price costs around $429,496 (CAD).
  1. Saskatchewan- House prices average $316,100 (CAD) in Saskatchewan.
  1. Prince Edward Island- House prices average $352,300 (CAD) in Prince Edward Island.
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When considering the cheapest places to live in Canada, Along with housing prices, one should factor in other living expenses, which include: electricity, groceries, water, home insurance, and car insurance.

Provinces like British Columbia and Ontario have the most expensive houses. The average prices of houses in these two provinces range from $812,338 (CAD) to $907,456 (CAD).

While cities like Toronto and Vancouver generally have the most expensive houses in Canada. Usually above the $1 million (CAD) range. 

Prices of Houses in Canada

In the suburbs of the cities, it costs $700,000 to buy a decent apartment.

In towns near a metropolis, it costs around $400k – $600k for a bungalow. With usually long commutes of 30km – 50km.

In downtown Toronto, it costs upwards of $1 million to buy a small apartment.

Services You May Need When Buying A House In Canada 

  1. Real Estate Lawyer 
  2. Appraiser 
  3. Home Inspector 
  4. Moving Company 
  5. Contractor 
  6. Home Decorator
  7. Mortgage Lender 
  8. Real Estate Agent

To successfully buy a house in Canada, you should understand how the real estate agency works. 

Doing this prepares you for what to expect and safeguards you against fraud and misrepresentation.

Below Is An Overview Of What You Should Know About Real Estate Agencies In Canada

A real estate agency in Canada has fiduciary and contractual duties to its clients. Meaning they are obligated to you, their client, under the law. 

If the agent breaches those duties, the agent may accrue ‘liability’.

Certain criteria where a real estate agent has liability include;

  1. Conflict of interest: This involves the real estate agent representing both sides of the transaction without disclosing the parties involved.
  1. Hidden Fees: A real estate agent in Canada cannot receive hidden fees or be compensated by anyone except the client.
  1. Kickbacks: A real estate agent in Canada would have “liability” if they received ‘kickbacks’ from a third party that provided services to the client. E.g., appraiser, mortgage lender, moving company, home inspector, contractor, or home decorator.
  1. Negligence: A real estate agent in Canada can be sued if proven that they have been negligent in their duties.

If the house you are interested in is represented by a realtor, the realtor’s fees are paid by the seller. The seller in this case may also pay your realtor’s fees.

If the home you are interested in is sold directly by the owner without a realtor involved. You would either need an agreement that the seller would pay your realtor’s fees (if you are using one). Or you would pay your realtor.

You can file a lawsuit against a real estate agent. Under alleged conflicts of interest, negligence, and kickbacks.

Where to Find Real Estate Agents in Canada.

  1. Linkedin
  4. Fivewalls

Now, let’s look through the following steps on how to buy a house in Canada while living in Nigeria. 

10 Outlined Steps to Buy a House in Canada While Living in Nigeria


Step 1: Have Your Money In Place

Visit a bank if you wish to obtain a mortgage to find out what package you are qualified for. Also, check the conditions of the mortgage. Approach a trusted bank that offers good mortgage rates. 

Get the pre-approved mortgage based on your past year’s tax returns and annual income

If you wish to purchase the house outright without a mortgage, ensure the money is handy.

Step 2: Outline Your Needs

Outline what you need in a house based on certain criteria: Location, the purpose it would serve, budget, house type, style, and access to certain amenities.

Step 3: Go Scouting 

Search for houses online, either through real estate websites, private listings, or local listing websites. Look for houses on sale or open houses.

A site that lists homes for sale in Canada is: 

You can also broaden your search to other localities close to your preferred area. This is usually done to compare prices in other areas and increase your options. 

While searching, stick to houses that best fit your set criteria. Then narrow down the ones you are interested in buying.

Step 5: Hire The Experts 

Before buying a house in Canada, you must go through a trusted real estate agent. One with a good track record, especially one with a strong knowledge of the area. This doesn’t have to cost you much. 

The real estate agent would arrange meetings between the seller and you, the buyer. They would also offer to counsel and research the property. 

Arrange virtual tours for those who aren’t in the country, and look for available houses within your preferred criteria. 

Real estate agents in Canada are obligated to practice the full ethics of their profession. They can be sued for negligence.

You could also hire a real estate attorney to carry out the purchase on your behalf. The advice of a real estate lawyer at the start of the transaction is important. 

The attorney would scrutinize every document part of the real estate transaction, ensuring the transaction is fully compliant with the law. 

Also, offer advice against the client taking steps that may conflict with their best interests in the long run.

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Step 6: Send the Seller an Offer

When you find the house that best fits your criteria. You send an offer to the seller. The seller can either decline, accept, or ask you to increase your offer price. 

Your agent would schedule an inspection once you’ve agreed with the seller. After inspection, if you like the house, you will pay the advance deposit of $10,000 to the seller’s agent. 

Sometimes, there are multiple bidders on a house. The fixed deposit is to withhold the house from further showings to other bidders. 

Step 7: Final Inspection

Schedule a final professional inspection of the property. This inspection is to highlight repairs and negotiate repairs with the seller through your agent. 

This way, you can enter conditions for the sale. Like having the buyer fix the roof, replace the doors, or clear out the garage.

Step 8: Final Mortgage Approval 

Visit the bank again with the property listing for final approval. Then you sign all the necessary paperwork. 

This step can be skipped If you already have the money upfront without needing a mortgage. You can go ahead and pay for the house. 

Step 9: Get Insurance 

Search for housing insurance that fits your budget. Scan through different options until the one that best suits your needs is found.

Step 10: Payment

Once everything checks out, you pay for the property. The lawyer would present the signed document to you. 

You would also be given the ownership documents and keys to the house. Then all utilities will be transferred to your name. 

After following the steps, you are on track to becoming a Canadian house owner.

Cautionary Steps To Take When Buying A House In Canada As A Foreigner


Real estate scams are rife all over the world, and Canada is no exception. Some of these scams involve getting swindled out of your money without recompense. 

Or being stuck with horrible houses simply because you were poorly educated about what to do. Or you were simply new to the area. 

It could also be due to your absence at the time of the transaction. All these can leave a sour taste in your mouth.

However, written below are cautionary tips to avoid housing scams in Canada.

  1. Beware of false agents and companies. Verify that the real estate agent or real estate lawyer is truly who they say they are.
  2. Beware of sketchy websites that promise to find a house for you in Canada. Rather, seek to work with only verifiable companies when finding a house in Canada.
  3. It is essential that you verify every bit of information provided to you by real estate agents and lawyers. Usually before making payments.
  4. As much as possible, visit the property yourself for inspection. Or have a trusted person do it on your behalf. If a trusted party inspects the house on your behalf, request video evidence of the property.

Frequently Asked Questions 

If I buy a house in Canada, can I get permanent residency (PR)?

The answer is no. 

If you wish to live in Canada, you simply need to apply and follow the standard process to obtain a Canadian Permanent Residence (PR).

Can a Nigerian buy a house in Canada?

There isn’t a yes or no answer to this question, let me explain. Recent bans by the Canadian government have restricted all foreigners, including Nigerians, from buying homes in Canada.

This ban would expire in 2025. However, there are certain conditions attached to the ban, including the type of house, the amount of money, and who is buying it.

Can I immigrate to Canada if I invest in Canadian real estate as a foreigner?

There is a Canadian business development visa class wherein some of the conditions to immigrate can be fulfilled by owning property (a business). 

But not all the conditions are fulfilled that way. Furthermore, the business needs to employ current Canadian residents. 

This means personal properties like a family home would not count. To do this, you would invest in a corporation that owns rental properties, as long as you don’t live in any of them. 

There is also the immigrant investor’s scheme. That usually requires you to have at least $1 million (CAD), plus the means to support yourself when you come to Canada. 

What if I already own a home in Canada, Does the ban on foreign home buyers affect me?

No, it doesn’t. The ban was set for intending buyers. Only intending buyers can no longer buy houses in Canada until the ban is lifted in 2025


Although buying a property in Canada as a foreign national doesn’t qualify you to be a citizen. It is generally considered a good investment to own a house. 

This is because real estate has always been the safest way to store wealth. 

To become a Canadian citizen, you need to go through the different immigration options available. 

Then choose the ones that suit you best. However, in exceptional situations, property ownership in Canada may indirectly assist you in becoming a permanent resident.

With the steps outlined in this article, a Nigerian can easily navigate how to buy houses in Canada.


The information contained on this site is for general guidance only and is not to be construed as legal or professional advice.

It should not be used as a substitute for consultation with legal or other competent advisers. Before taking any action, ensure to consult a professional. 

Realty Nub is not liable for any errors or omissions that may arise from the use or reliance on the information contained in this article.