Mortgages in Canada

Find out what you need to know to get a mortgage in Canada.

Home Overseas Mortgages Mortgages In Canada
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 8, 2024

If Canada’s many virtues have attracted you to want to buy a property there, you should also be pleased to know that the country has typically operated an ‘open door’ policy to foreigners wishing to own a home there.

If you’re looking at buying a house in Canada from the UK, first you will need to know more about what the rules are, how much you’ll likely be able to borrow, and how to go about securing a mortgage. Read our guide to find out more.

Can UK residents get a mortgage to buy a property in Canada?

The simple answer is yes. Generally it’s achievable, so long as you are considered an attractive borrower and are granted approval with a lender following eligibility and affordability checks, as you would be required to do anywhere else.

There are certainly extra factors to take into consideration as a non-resident and borrowing from overseas though, such as having an accessible credit history that’s recognised among Canada’s lenders, or understanding the different legislation in different provinces. Gaining the expertise of a mortgage broker who specialises in the Canadian market will help towards overcoming any challenges you might face.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in the Canadian property market

How do mortgages work in Canada?

Firstly, you should be aware that you will need to get a mortgage with a Canadian lender, rather than a UK provider, as foreign lenders are not permitted to register mortgages in the country. This inevitably means that there will be extra checks, detailed documentation to provide and potentially even interviews to ensure you are a legitimate and suitable borrower and pose little risk to the lender.

Despite this, the eligibility criteria should be relatively the same as it is at home: your credentials will be scrutinised for income, affordability, credit history, type of employment, age and what kind of property you want to buy.

Because of Canada’s ‘open door’ policy, you won’t need a visa to buy property in the country, and can even stay there for up to six months without having to apply for one, however you might be liable to pay additional taxes as a non-resident (non-resident speculation tax – NRST – is typically between 20-25% of the purchase price, depending on which province you’re buying in).


This is an area where getting a mortgage in Canada for foreigners is different. Most Canadian lenders will only lend up to 65% of the cost of a property to non-residents, meaning you will need to have a deposit of 35% if you’re buying from the UK.

High loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages are also required by law to have mortgage loan insurance, so you should factor this into your overall budget. This does have its benefits, as having this policy in place offers the lender a degree of security, which in turn could disclose better rates of interest on your mortgage.

How a broker can help to get a mortgage in Canada

The support, insight, knowledge and practical assistance of specialist Canada mortgage brokers will be invaluable when making such a bold step as buying a property across the Atlantic. Knowing how the mortgage market works in the country, as well as what’s involved with borrowing as a foreigner, is crucial when taking such a huge long-term financial commitment, and, like most Britons, it’s likely that you’ll need to outsource this.

An experienced broker will help you to understand what evidence you’ll be expected to present (proof of income and deposit, banks statements, a reference letter from your UK bank, proof of a Canadian bank account etc), as well as what extra costs you should be considering (different land taxes in different provinces, home inspections, home insurance, legal fees, new-build taxes etc.)

Contact us on 0808 189 2301 for a free initial consultation to match you with the right specialist broker, or make an online enquiry.

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How much can you borrow?

You’ll need the insights of a professional broker who will take on board individual factors and nuances to your circumstances, as well as the current market fluctuations, to truly ascertain how much you’ll be likely qualify for. However, if you’re at the start of your Canadian property journey, you can get the ball rolling with an estimate via our affordability calculator.

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Use this calculator to determine how much you could potentially borrow for a mortgage, based on the typical salary multiples used by most UK lenders.

Input full salaries for all applicants

Your Results:

You could borrow up to 

Most lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 4.5 times your household income, the standard calculation used by the majority of mortgage providers. To borrow more than this, you will need to use a mortgage broker to access specialist lenders.

Some lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 5 times your household income, a salary multiple you might struggle to qualify for without the help of a broker. This income multiple is not widely available to customers who are applying directly with a lender.

A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 6 times your household income, a salary multiple you will struggle to get without a broker. Six-times salary mortgages are usually only available under very specific circumstances.

Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.

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Which lenders offer Canadian mortgages?

You should make sure you are dealing with a legitimate lender with a good reputation first and foremost. While your broker will know which organisations are above board, you may still have to make decisions based on the type of lender you use.

This is because there are a number of different institutions who provide mortgages as well as banks and building societies in Canada, including trust companies, pension funds, finance companies and ‘caisses populaires’ (a type of credit union). The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has a comprehensive list of approved lenders under the National Housing Act.

Generally speaking, you should find that Canadian mortgage rates are similar to those in the UK.

How does buy-to-let work in Canada?

The Canadian Government has taken a hard line with any foreigners investing in property in the country for two years in an attempt to solve the housing crisis and property price explosion since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. A law is in place which prevents any non-residents from buying homes in metropolitan hubs such as Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver.

If you’re wishing to buy outside of these provinces or wish to buy once the Act has expired, you should speak to your broker about how the current buy-to-let landscape looks before you proceed. If the province you wish to buy in is open for business, there are certain limitations you may face if you don’t intend to occupy the property or questions you’ll need to answer around whether you’ll need a commercial mortgage.

Speak to a broker who specialises in Canadian mortgages

You can get all the answers you need and the support you’re looking for with one of our specialist Canada mortgage brokers. With experience and insight into the way this non-resident borrowing works, getting matched to the right advisor will make all the difference to your peace of mind, as well as the ultimate outcome of your pursuit of buying a home in Canada.

To find out more about how one of the fully qualified five-star brokers from our network can help you, contact us for a free initial consultation on 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry.


The country’s current legislation around buying a property to let out on short-term holiday rentals will have a direct impact on whether you can get a mortgage for one, as will the individual rules in each province. Non-residents are banned from buying in particular areas of Canada in an attempt to solve the housing crisis, however in some areas this is not an issue.

If the law allows, a holiday-let may be permissible with some lenders, as long as you can prove you are able to afford the repayments and pose minimal risk. You should find a specialist broker to help if you’re considering this option.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in the Canadian property market

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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