Support announced for Canada’s first-time home buyers

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Government of Canada has revealed plans to provide additional support for Canadian home buyers. At a March 25 press event in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau detailed several measures within Budget 2019 that will make housing more available and affordable to citizens across the country.

“Too many Canadian families are being priced out of buying or renting where they live because there are not enough homes to keep up with the demand,” he said. “Safe, affordable homes give Canadian families the stability and opportunities they need to thrive in their communities. Our government is taking action to increase the housing supply in communities across the country, make housing more affordable for more Canadians, and make sure our cities remain great places to live, now and into the future.”

Those actions include launching the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which will see the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) provide interest-free loans to eligible first-time homebuyers equaling 10% of the purchase price of their newly built home, or 5% of a resale. The Government has earmarked $1.25B towards this “shared equity mortgage” strategy, which is meant to help first-timers take our smaller mortgages and lessen their monthly payments. More details are expected to arrive this fall.

Additionally, first-time buyers will be able to withdraw up to $35,000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan to pay for a down payment without adding to their annual income – an increase from the previous $25,000 limit. The Canadian Government will also bolster support for the Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability, and issue a “Housing Supply Challenge” to municipalities and organizations as a means to generate “innovative solutions to get more homes built.”

“Together, these measures will help housing prices grow at a more moderate pace and make it easier and more affordable for more Canadians to rent or buy a home, while keeping markets accessible for future generations,” states the government’s press release, adding, “They will play a key role in our plan to help all Canadians build a better future for themselves and their families.”

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