PEI is a great place to get on the property ladder if a first time buyer and a great place to make a stable real estate investment. The PEI real estate market does not appreciate at the same rate as other areas in Canada but is also less subject to the peaks and valleys of the real estate markets as found in other major cities and areas. Just compare the average price of Canadian housing.
On the island we have properties that compare favourably with other Canadian coastal areas. We have waterfront properties that are comparable to other Maritime provinces such as Nova Scotia’s Chester, Mahone Bay and Peggy’s Cove and New Brunswick’s Bouctouche, Kouchibouguac, Murray Corner, St. Martin’s and other communities along the Bay of Fundy at prices that leave money in the budget.
You may have heard that it is difficult to buy property on PEI if you are not a resident of the province. While it is true that non-residents do not qualify for a tax rebate and therefore pay slightly higher property taxes than residents (you must reside in the province for 183 consecutive days to qualify as a resident), it is certainly not difficult to purchase lands here. Purchases by non-residents may be subject to one additional step in the buying process and that is approval by IRAC, the Island Regulatory And Appeals Commission, responsible for control of auto insurance, rental regulations, lands protection, gas prices, waste and water. IRAC application is required if your purchase is greater than 5 acres or 165 ft of shore frontage. However you need not be concerned as the purpose of the Lands Protection Act is not to prevent non-residents from purchasing land but to prevent certain entities from owning a disproportionately large amount of land.
As a non-resident you are permitted to own 1000 acres as an individual or 3000 acres as a corporation. Three to four weeks are required after making application for final approval and your realtor should put “subject to IRAC approval” in your offer. Approval is rarely denied however.