Housing Minister floats cap on international students

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Group of students holding Canadian flags

The Canadian government could put a cap on international students, according to Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities Sean Fraser.

The rise in rental housing costs is widely believed to be due in part to the growing number of young people in Canada, many of whom are in the country on study permits. In 2022, the government reported 800,000 international students with active visas, up from 275,000 in 2012.

But cutting student numbers may not make housing more affordable. Fraser has already advised that, “We have to be really, really careful that we don't have a conversation that somehow blames newcomers for the housing challenges that have been several decades in the works in Canada."

At this time, a cap on international students is just an idea. Fraser is more inclined to first meet with post-secondary institutions to discuss their role in the reported exploitation of more vulnerable international students.

If a limit is ever implemented, property managers with a focus on student housing could experience a slight lull in business. However, the 500,000 non-student immigrants Canada expects to welcome every year for the next three years could more than make up for any loss, creating an opportunity to expand your typical single-family rental portfolio.

More student housing headlines

Integrity of immigration system at risk as international student numbers balloon, minister says – CBC

New residences at McMaster University aim to ease student-housing crunch – The Globe and Mail

Is it better to rent out furnished or unfurnished properties? – PayProp

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