OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau has tasked Canada's housing minister with implementing a temporary ban on foreign buyers of non-recreational residential properties.

In a mandate letter sent to Ahmed Hussen today, the prime minister asks for the measure to ensure that housing does not sit vacant and unavailable to Canadians wanting to buy homes.

Foreign buyer taxes and bans have long been controversial and some experts say they do little to address the lack of housing supply Canada has.

Trudeau also asked Hussen to ban blind bidding and introduce an anti-flipping tax on residences that requires properties to be held for at least 12 months before they can be sold.

Trudeau wants down payment requirements for investment properties reviewed and a fund created to test, develop and scale up rent-to-own projects.

The ministerial instructions came the day after the Canadian Real Estate Association said the national average home price was $720,850 in November and is projected to reach $739,500 in 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2021.