How will the cap on international students affect housing?

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Close-up of Canadian visa

On January 22, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a two-year cap on international student admissions, with a projected 35% reduction in new study visas this year.

From one perspective, the goal is to remove any motivation for universities to charge a large influx of foreign students punitive rates compared to domestic students. At the same time, authorities want to relieve pressure on housing, particularly in provinces like Ontario, where new study visas are expected to drop 50% or more.

"We've got two years to actually get the ship in order," said Miller. "It's a bit of a mess and it's time to rein it in. To be absolutely clear, these measures are not against individual international students.”

The announcement comes five months after Minister of Housing Sean Fraser encouraged provinces and institutions to tackle these issues independently.

As the cap takes effect, it is expected to reduce rental demand – and therefore rents – in communities with large student populations, and foster a more equitable educational environment in Canada. Landlords and property managers who rent to students may want to start marketing their properties to professionally employed tenants instead.

More housing policy headlines

Ontario asks colleges to guarantee housing to foreign students – Reuters

Canada tries to save face with study permit “limit” after demand collapse – Better Dwelling

Chow poised to increase Toronto property taxes in 2024 – PayProp

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