Buy a house in a Banff
Buy a house in a Banff

Buy a house in a Banff

Buy a house in Banff: Owning property is one of the most sought-after privileges in Banff, Canada. Is it profitable to buy a house in Banff? According to a recent article in the Globe and Mail, the Banff and Canmore Kananaskis area is the most desirable market for vacation homes in the country.

The list of amenities for anyone passing through the Rockies is pretty clear: with Banff National Park as your backyard, and excellent skiing and climbing everywhere in the surrounding area, it’s no surprise. It is not that these two small towns remain the center of tourist attraction throughout the year.

Weighing the pros and cons if you think to buy a house in a Banff

Some of the most obvious benefits of living in Banff are:

  • Spend your days in a mountain paradise. Banff is at the entrance to some wonderful ski hills, with Norquay just a 5-minute drive away and Sunshine Village only 15 minutes further. The network of hiking and biking trails integrated through the city and surrounding mountain ranges is sensational, to say the least.
  • A close-knit community. Banff has about 8,000 permanent residents, and most people have lived in the city for years, providing a good sense of community.
  • A thriving business district. Tourism has made it potential for the Banff business area to grow. You can find world-class shopping and dining options in plenty.
  • Banff’s immense beauty has inspired artists of all disciplines and backgrounds for centuries. The Banff Center has helped define the art scene and is internationally renowned.
  • Meanwhile, some of the obvious disadvantages of living in Banff include:
  • Property ownership becomes difficult due to the residency requirement clause. The provincial government has made it very difficult for people in the city of Banff to buy houses and land. This drives many people away, including well-intentioned real estate investors.
  • The cost of living is high. There is no doubt that Banff is an expensive place to live. Any place with such incredible demand is naturally going to be expensive.
  • Tourist saturation. If you’re not keen on indulging in the bars and crowds, Banff is not for you. Roughly 4 million people will be visiting the small mountain town in 2018!

Section Residence Requirement

Ultimately, the most important hurdle to tackle is the ‘residence requirement’ clause. Since Banff is a city located within the larger surroundings of a national park, anyone wishing to purchase a property must have an active or planned business opening in the city with someone living or living in the city. There should be a blood relation. 

That’s the only way to qualify for the ‘residence requirement’ clause – otherwise, you’re out of luck.

So, if you want to live in Banff, your best bet is to spend a lot of time looking for work available in the park on government job boards or consider getting an established business.

The residence

Banff didn’t experience a single construction boom; The construction of new buildings in the city lasted for several decades in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In this city, about 45% of the dwellings are small apartment buildings, and the remainder is mainly single-detached houses and townhouses. The ratio of tenants and landlords is almost even. The city is mainly made up of three bedrooms and two-bedroom houses.


Cars are an attractive means of transportation in Banff. Finding a place to park is very convenient, and many real estate listings are a short drive from the nearest highway. Traveling on foot is not very practical for homebuyers in this city as it is difficult to meet daily needs.


Parents and their children will often be able to walk to the high school in this city. However, families can find it challenging to walk to elementary schools for their children as pedestrians. As far as food is concerned, the nearest supermarket in Banff is usually only a short walk away. Residents also benefit from over 50 restaurants and coffee shops.

What constitutes a “qualified resident”?

To buy real estate or a home in Banff National Park, you must be a qualified resident. See below for Banff eligible resident requirements.

  • A person whose primary employment is in a national park
  • A person who carries on business in a national park and the presence at the place of business is necessary for the day-to-day conduct of business.
  • A retired person who resides in a National Park and who resides for 5 consecutive years immediately before retirement,
  • Mainly employed in National Parks
  • Conducted a business in the national park and place of business whose presence was necessary for the day-to-day conduct of business
  • A retired person who resided in the National Park at the time of the person’s retirement and who resided in the National Park on 30th July 1981
  • A person who is a student in full-time attendance at an educational institution located within a national park and registered under the Income Tax Act or an applicable provincial law relating to education
  • A person who is a lessee of public land in a national park and who was a lessee of those public lands before the 19th May 1911, or
  • Is the descendant of a person, by blood or adoption, who was a lessee of those public lands before May 19, 1911.
  • Spouse or dependent of the person referred to in

A lessee who has been granted a lease of public land … shall, at the request of the Minister, provide evidence to the Minister by way of an affidavit or solemn declaration that every occupier of the public land given on lease is an eligible resident.

For the qualified resident, business means a business that is licensed under the National Park Business Regulation or a by-law passed by a corporation of the City of Banff.

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