What Are the Current Government Incentives for New Home Buyers? (2024)

If you're a first-time buyer or looking to make a new investment in real estate, you've come to the right place. The great white north offers a plethora of incentives and programs designed to make the dream of homeownership a reality for all. From tax credits to grants, the Canadian government and various entities are eager to help you take that exciting first step onto the property ladder. 
In this blog, we're diving deep into the world of new home buyer incentives in Canada to help you navigate the often complex and intimidating process of purchasing a home. Whether you're eyeing a cozy condo in downtown Vancouver, cheap houses for sale in Vancouver, Canada, or a quaint cottage in the Maritimes, you'll find invaluable information and insights here to guide you through the exciting journey of buying your first or next home.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Definition of Home Buyer Incentives

A home buyer incentive is essentially any perk, boost, or advantage that assists prospective home buyers in the process of purchasing their first or subsequent homes. 
These incentives can come in many different forms, from financial aid to discounted mortgage rates, and even special programs to make purchasing a home more feasible.

Importance of Incentives in Making Homeownership More Accessible

Homeownership is a monumental goal for many people, but the reality is that it can often feel out of reach due to financial barriers. Home buyer incentives tackle those barriers head-on, leveling the playing field and empowering more individuals and families to achieve the dream of owning a home.  
By providing financial support, reducing upfront costs, and offering specialized programs, these incentives open doors that may have previously been closed to aspiring homeowners.

First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI)

The FTHBI is a groundbreaking shared-equity mortgage program introduced in Canada. It works by providing eligible first-time home buyers with a loan equivalent to 5% or 10% of the home's purchase price, thereby reducing the financial burden associated with obtaining a mortgage.  
What sets this program apart is that the loan is interest-free and must be repaid in full after 25 years or when the property is sold, making it an attractive option for those aspiring to climb the property ladder. Moreover, the FTHBI is versatile—it can be applied to existing homes, new construction homes, and new or resold manufactured or mobile homes, giving first-time buyers a variety of options to explore.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Process

Eligibility for the FTHBI is contingent on several factors. Candidates seeking to benefit from this program must have a total annual income of $120,000 or less and must be purchasing a home for the first time. 
The application process involves a thorough assessment of eligibility, a meticulous review of the criteria for first-time home buyers with a household income within the defined limits, and compliance with the program's requirements. Meeting these prerequisites is an essential step towards tapping into the advantages provided by the FTHBI. 

Benefits and Limitations

The FTHBI comes with an array of benefits tailored to assist first-time home buyers in navigating the complexities of homeownership. By providing an interest-free loan, the program aims to significantly reduce mortgage costs, presenting a more manageable financial outlook for participants. 
However, it's important to note its limitations. Participants are required to repay the loan after 25 years or upon selling the property and must obtain a professional appraisal if they decide to exit the program before selling the home. 
Additionally, contributions made to an FHSA are tax-deductible, similar to an RRSP. This means that individuals can claim a deduction on their income tax and benefit return for the total amount of the contributions made in a year, up to certain limits.

Property Transfer Tax 

Property transfer tax is a provincial tax imposed on real estate property transfers. It's based on the property's fair market value and must be paid when the title transfer is registered with the land title office. 
The tax amount is a percentage of the property's purchase price, and rates differ by province. Importantly, this tax is separate from the GST or HST on new home purchases.

Exemptions Available for First-Time Home Buyers

Many Canadian provinces offer property transfer tax exemptions or rebates for first-time home buyers to facilitate homeownership. These exemptions usually apply to citizens or permanent residents who have never owned a principal residence in Canada. Eligibility criteria and maximum purchase prices for the exemption vary by province. 
For instance, in British Columbia, there is a partial exemption available for newly built homes with a fair market value of up to $750,000 

Significance of Property Transfer Tax Exemptions in Reducing Home Buying Costs

Property transfer tax exemptions play a vital role in reducing upfront home purchase costs, especially for first-time buyers. Exempting or refunding the property transfer tax can lead to significant savings, making homeownership more attainable. This relief is especially beneficial for individuals or families entering the housing market for the first time, easing the financial strain of acquiring their initial property.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The GST/HST New Housing Rebate is designed to ease the tax burden for Canadian home buyers. It applies to the 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) or the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) levied on newly constructed or substantially renovated residential properties. To be eligible, the property must be newly constructed or substantially renovated and have a sale price of $450,000 or less. The rebate amount varies by province and is calculated as 36% of the GST paid on a home under $350,000, gradually decreasing for homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000.

Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Understanding the Rebate Process

When considering applying for a rebate, new home buyers must gather specific documentation in support of their claim. The application process for the GST/HST New Housing Rebate requires careful attention to detail to ensure that all necessary paperwork is to successfully claim the rebate from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Province-Specific Considerations

In British Columbia, the GST rebate specifically applies to new homes used as a principal residence. The 5% GST on a new home can be a substantial cost, making the rebate particularly beneficial, especially for first-time home buyers. The rebate program in this province offers a 36% savings on the GST for homes priced below $350,000, with a partial rebate available for homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000.

Impact on Affordability and Financial Relief

For first-time home buyers, the GST/HST new housing rebate offers a valuable opportunity for financial relief by refunding a portion of the GST or HST paid on the purchase of a new home. The potential savings provided by this rebate can significantly contribute to making homeownership more affordable for individuals and families looking to invest in their first home.

Purchase Price for Home Buyers Incentive

The specific threshold and the amount of the incentive depend on the type of property and its location. For example, in British Columbia, buyers will be exempt pf property transfer tax when buying properties below $500,000.

Additionally, there's an income eligibility requirement. To be eligible for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, the qualifying annual income of the homebuyer must be $120,000 or less.

So, what does this mean for potential homebuyers? It means that if you're considering buying cheap houses in Vancouver Canada, you should focus on purchasing a home below the specified price threshold and ensure that you meet the income eligibility criteria.

Final Words

With a range of incentives and programs available, from First-Time Home Buyer Incentives to government rebates for energy-efficient homes, there are numerous opportunities to make the dream of homeownership a reality. These incentives not only help ease the financial burden of purchasing a home but also promote sustainable and affordable housing options for Canadians. 

As the housing market continues to evolve, staying informed about these incentives will be crucial for anyone looking to enter the real estate market. So, whether you're eagerly searching for your first home or considering a move, be sure to take advantage of the available programs and incentives to make your home-buying journey a little sweeter.


1. What are some common incentives for new home buyers in Canada?

In Canada, new home buyer incentives may include the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), which allows eligible first-time buyers to finance a portion of their home purchase through a shared equity mortgage with the government. Additionally, some provinces offer land transfer tax rebates for first-time buyers, and there may be grants or incentives specifically tailored to certain regions or municipalities.

2. How do I qualify for the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) in Canada?

To qualify for the FTHBI, home buyers must have a minimum 5% down payment, and their total qualifying income must be no more than $120,000. The incentive amount is determined based on the type of home being purchased and will be either 5% or 10% of the home's purchase price.

3. Are there any provincial incentives for new home buyers in BC? 

Yes, there are provincial incentives for new home buyers in British Columbia. The BC First-Time Home Buyers Program and the Newly Built Homes Exception are available to eligible first-time buyers in the province. These programs aim to provide financial assistance and reduce costs for individuals purchasing their first home in BC

4. What other financial assistance programs are available for new home buyers in Canada?

In addition to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, there are several other financial assistance programs available for new home buyers in Canada, such as CMHC's First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, Provincial and Municipal Programs, and GST/HST New Housing Rebate (NHR). 



2024/01/22 | 4 Months Ago