Government Incentives

2017 First-Time Home Buyers

New provincial government incentives, along with a forecasted balanced market and continued strong housing starts, will support home purchases in 2017, especially by first-time home buyers.

First, the new B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership (BC HOME Partnership) program kicks in on Jan. 16. This new, three-year, $700-million initiative gives a hand-up to first-time home buyers by contributing to the amount they have saved for a mortgage down payment. Up to $37,500, or up to 5% of the purchase price, will be provided to qualifying first-time buyers through a 25-year mortgage loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.

On top of the BC HOME Partnership program, other existing programs are available to help first-time buyers. This means instead of renting, families will now be able build their own equity in the housing market.

First-time home buyers can save up to $7,500 when purchasing a home valued up to $475,000 through the First Time Home Buyers Program, which exempts them from paying the property transfer tax. Or they can access the Newly Built Homes Exemption, which can help them save up to $13,000 in property transfer tax when purchasing a newly constructed or subdivided home worth up to $750,000.

For housing starts, 2017 is shaping up to be another good year for purchasers. In its latest Housing Market Outlook, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is forecasting between 32,000 and 34,300 housing starts will take place in B.C. in 2017, including 10,200 to 10,800 single-detached homes.

While down from 2016 levels, CMHC’s housing starts forecast for 2017 remains well above the historical average. Not only is this great news for home purchasers but also for those involved in the residential real estate sector including contractors, builders and suppliers.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Real Estate Association (BCREA), in its 2016 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast, predicts that, “market conditions are expected to trend toward greater balance in the face of moderating demand and rising new home completions.”

In addition to the BC HOME Partnership and property tax exemption programs, the provincial government has taken other steps to address housing market activity. This includes imposing a 15% tax on foreign home buyers and a 3% “luxury” property transfer tax on the portion of a home’s value over $2 million.

Government Incentives

There are many useful incentives that the federal and provincial governments have put in place to ease the burdens associated with purchasing a home. To view more details check out my link page, where I have included a small breakdown of what’s what. Again it is advised that you do further research into these topics and speak with your legal professional, as they do tend to be amended from time to time.

Property Transfer Tax Exemption

In order to gain the full benefits of this tax exemption, the property owner must be a resident of British Columbia, must never have owned a property anywhere in the world, and must live on the property as principal residence for at least a year after purchase. For a full exemption the price of the property must be under $425,000, but a partial exemption is available for properties between $425,000 and $450,000.

Homeowners Grants

This is a great way to reduce your property taxes. You should contact the grant program but generally speaking the grant is available to residents of British Columbia to reduce the property taxes on their principal residence. A basic grant in 2011 may reduce property taxes by up to $570, and the additional grant (available for homeowners 65 years of age or older) may reduce taxes by up to $845. Note that the full grant is only available for properties with an assessed value of up to $1,150,000 but a partial grant will be applied to properties assessed between $1,150,000 and $1,319,000. This Grant is strictly for your permanent residence and not an investment property or summer cabin.

New Housing Rebate –HST

HST is charged on new or substantially renovated housing in British Columbia. Both the federal and provincial governments offer rebates to reduce the amount of HST payable. The federal program controls the amount of HST that is actually GST, and the provincial program controls the amount that is actually PST. It is important to familiarize yourself with the rules specific to each rebate program.


For first-time homebuyers, affordability is everything. Thanks to the new BC HOME Partnership program,

people like Sam and Natalie can get a down payment loan for up to 5% of the purchase price.

Check your eligibility today! #BCFirst 2017

holds promise for first-time home buyers: