The Quebec and Newfoundland governments have pledged new funds to bolster homeownership. Provincial budgets, released in both provinces on March 27, outline different approaches to financial assistance that’s projected to benefit about 430 recipients in Newfoundland and 47,000 in Quebec.
First-time homebuyers and purchasers moving into accommodations better suited to their disabilities can claim Quebec’s new non-refundable tax credit for sales closing on or after January 1, 2018. The credit applies to non-mortgage costs associated with the purchase of a principal residence, including inspection, legal and property transfer fees and moving expenses, and is capped at $750 of tax relief. However, in combination with the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, qualifying claimants could realize up to $1,376 in tax savings.
“We want to facilitate homeownership for first-time buyers,” Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão said, as he announced the ongoing credit forecast to cost the province $28 million annually.
Meanwhile, existing homeowners will have an extra year to take advantage of the RénoVert refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for energy and water efficiency upgrades, renewable energy installations and/or rehabilitation of contaminated soil. The new budget allocates $172 million to extend the program, which was launched in 2016, to March 31, 2019.
Programs unveiled in Newfoundland and Labrador target both homebuyers and home builders. The First-time Homebuyers Program replaces and expands upon the province’s previous Down Payment Assistance Program, while the new Home Purchase Program will disperse grants of $3,000 to the first 330 qualified applicants.
“These are innovative programs that will stimulate new home construction, economic activity and job creation,” Finance Minister Tom Osborne told the Newfoundland and Labrador Assembly as he introduced the budget.
Funding has been allocated for approximately 100 first-time buyers who can qualify for a combination of loans and grants, prorated to their household income and the location of their new homes. Recipients with household incomes of up to $75,000 are eligible for a $2,000 grant and loans equivalent to 5 per cent of the purchase price of homes to a maximum of: $10,500 in St. John’s and Labrador; $8,000 in Clarenville, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook and Stephenville; or $4,750 elsewhere in the province. First-time buyers with household incomes up to $84,000 qualify for the full $2,000 grant, but an incrementally reduced loan amount.
Qualifying criteria for the Home Purchase Program are tied to the product, not grant recipients. Homes must be new to the market and priced at less than $400,000, including HST.