A re-elected Liberal government would expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) to include more properties – particularly in high-priced regions such as Vancouver and Toronto – Liberal party leader Justin Trudeau pledged on Thursday.
“Today, we’re announcing another important step to help Canadians buy their first home,” Trudeau said.
If re-elected, the Liberal Party said it will “fully implement” the FTHBI, which they which provides Canadians with up to 10% off the purchase price of their first home.
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Further, the party would “immediately expand” the incentive by allowing homes in the greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria regions valued at up to $789K to qualify.
As it currently stands, the FTHBI provides shared equity loans of 5% toward the down payment of a resale home, and 5% or 10% for newly-built homes.
The idea is that by boosting the size of buyers’ down payments, the FTHBI whittles down
monthly mortgage costs, offering some relief on the costs of homeownership.
Thus far, the largest point of contention with the new program has been the FTHBI’s income and MTI caps. Based on the criteria, a household earning the maximum income of $120,000 and making a 5% down payment would be limited to a resale home purchase price of $505,000 – an amount too low to have much traction in larger markets, such as Vancouver and Toronto.
“Liberals believe in investing in people and in communities, which is why we are taking these steps to make homeownership an achievable dream, not just a privilege for the richest few,” said Trudeau.