What to know about pre-con as a foreign buyer

January 25th, 2019 - by Admin

If you’re an international buyer looking to invest in a Toronto pre-construction property, what are your options?

In this post we’ll go over typical deposit structures and the varying tax implications for international buyers in Ontario.


Buying pre-construction doesn’t require an upfront, lump-sum deposit on your unit. One of the many benefits associated with a pre-construction purchase is the staggered structure of the deposit.

Canadian citizens usually have to pay 20% of the purchase price as a deposit on the unit, while international buyers may be expected to pay up to 15% more, or, a 35% deposit instead.

Payments are typically spread out over a period of time, lasting as long as 15 months at 5% intervals.

Foreign buyers tax

If we look to Vancouver, a place essentially overrun with international buyers, we’ll see a government’s plan to keep a good portion of available units in the hands of its domestic citizens. The British Columbia government announced a foreign buyers tax that did little to make the province’s biggest city more affordable.

In Ontario, there is a similar tax in place called the ‘Non-Resident Speculation Tax’ (NRST) that comes with specific controls and a 15% tax on the purchase or acquisition of a residential property in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region (GGH).

If you aren’t a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada you’ll have to pay this premium along with Land Transfer taxes and other closing costs associated with the pre-construction unit.


If a foreign national purchases a residential property with a spouse – one that’s a Canadian citizen or permanent resident – you can be exempt from the NRST.

There are also rebates available to foreign nationals who eventually become permanent residents within four years of the purchase.

International students who stay enrolled in studies full-time for two years or longer can also get their NRST rebated.

If a foreign national is legally working in Ontario full-time for one year following the residential purchase, they are also qualified for a NRST rebate.


You can find out about the latest pre-construction offerings in the GTA on our New Builds page.