B.C. to offer interest-free loans up to $37,500 to first-time homebuyers

Premier Christy Clark announced loan will apply to homes costing under $750,000.

First-time homebuyers in B.C. will be able to apply for an extra loan from the provincial government starting in the new year.

The loan, which will remain interest- and payment-free for five years, will match downpayment loans up to $37,500 on homes costing less than $750,000. Buyers must have the first half of their downpayment saved up and live within the home for the first five years.

“We must make sure that it is easier for first time homebuyers to find their way into a really tough market right here,” Premier Christy Clark told reporters on Thursday.

WATCH: Buying homes tough for millennials

She said the new three-year program, called the B.C. Home Partnership, expects to see 42,000 people apply, but that there is no cap on the number of accepted applicants accepted or the amount of available funding, which comes out of the property purchase tax.

After five years, the 25-year loan will turn into a market rate mortgage loan, at which point homeowners no longer need to have the property as their principal residence.

According to the regional real estate boards, the November benchmark price for single-family detached homes in both Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is out of the $750,000 range of the program, at $1.5 million and $860,800 respectively.

The benchmark price for a townhouse in Metro Vancouver is $667,100 and $424,000 for the Fraser Valley. Benchmark apartment prices are $512,00 for Metro Vancouver and $258,600 for the Fraser Valley.

Applicants must first be pre-aproved for a mortgage from an approved lender – a guarantee, Clark said, that will ensure buyers don’t try to purchase homes that would otherwise be out of their reach.

“We’re helping people get over that up-to-$50,000 lump payment that they need to pay on a down payment,” she said. “We want people to become homeowners.”

But NDP housing critic David Eby said that the province was just creating a housing shortage and adding more debt to a demographic already “struggling with credit card debt, student debt, record levels of debt.”

Instead, Eby would like to see developments on government-owned land.

“The province has huge parcels of publicly owned land that they could do amazing developments on, to build housing that’s actually affordable, so they don’t have to take on more debt,” said Eby.

“They could be using leasehold, they could be using co-ops, but instead, in Vancouver, which is ground zero for this housing crisis, they’re selling off huge parcels of land, Oakridge, Jericho, Little Mountain.”

According to the province, all names on the title have to be first time homebuyers and must make a combined annual income of less than $150,000.

Applicants must have been Canadian citizens or permanent residents for at least five years and have lived in B.C. for at least one year.

B.C. Home Ownership Loans

 

 


 

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Just Posted

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

City considering task force to look at parking generally – Walker

Surrey memories: How the ‘IGUISBCSIR’ Facebook page became a hub for anecdotal history

Former Whalley resident Wes Mussato launched the group in 2011, 11 years after he’d moved to Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read