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Canada's answer to a hot housing market: ban foreign buyers for 2 years

OTTAWA, Ontario — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government announced Thursday it will ban foreign investors from buying homes in Canada for two years in a bid to cool off a hot housing market.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland took a number of measures to tamp down speculation and demand amid record home prices in announcing the federal budget for the year.

The government announced a two-year ban on foreign home buying as well as higher taxes for people who sell their home within a year, though both measures include multiple exceptions including for permanent residents and foreign students.

The budget also includes billions for new housing and measures to help Canadians trying to get into the market, including a new savings account and changes to the first-time home buyers tax credit.

The government is under pressure to cool an overheated market after prices climbed by more than 20% last year, while rental rates have also been rising.

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