For many years, the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) has supported the Canadian Real Estate Association’s efforts to have the federal government enhance the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP). The QFREB has proposed raising the maximum withdrawal and allowing use of the HBP on an intergenerational basis, among other things.
The QFREB has released a statement welcoming the Québec Liberal Party’s commitment to negotiate with the federal government for the maximum HBP withdrawal to be doubled from $25,000 to $50,000.
“Considering that half a million Québecers have used the Home Buyers’ Plan since it was created in 1992 and that it has been losing momentum in the last few years, an improvement to this plan is good news,” said Patrick Juanéda, QFREB president, in a press release. “Raising the maximum will also more faithfully reflect the rise in real estate prices in recent years.”
To assist first-time home buyers in their quest for home ownership, the QFREB has maintained that parents should be able to withdraw amounts accumulated in their RRSPs for transfer to their children, so they may be able to more easily buy their first home. The Québec Liberal party’s commitment to allow use of the HBP on an intergenerational basis could help increase the province’s home ownership rate, which is below the nation’s average. In Québec, the home ownership rate stood at 61 per cent in 2016, while throughout the rest of Canada, it was 68 per cent.
“This is a step in the right direction. The next step, in our view, is to help homeowners get through major changes in their lives. The federal government should allow people who have already benefited from the HBP to use it again, under certain conditions, such as loss of a spouse, a separation, a work-related relocation or a decision to shelter an elderly family member,” continued Juanéda. “I urge the other political parties that have not yet done so, to announce the measures they plan to implement to facilitate access to home ownership in Québec,” he added. “Young families seem to be at the heart of this election campaign, but this aspect has been almost absent from the discussions.”