Liberals promise boost for first-timers, national non-res owner tax

by Steve Randall13 Sep 2019

The Liberals have promised to increase limits and make some other changes to the First-Time Home Buyer program, if they win the federal election.

The flagship program, introduced earlier this month, has been criticized for limits which exclude potential buyers of homes in the priciest markets such as Toronto and Vancouver.

But the party says that it would immediately expand the Incentive to provide more help to communities in the greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria regions by allowing homes valued at up to $789K to qualify.

Reacting to the announcement, Toronto Real Estate Board issued a statement:

“Today’s First-Time Home Buyer program announcement responds to the fact that housing markets vary from region to region, something TREB has long pointed out. The higher limits now take into account higher priced properties in markets like Toronto and Vancouver,” it states.

TREB re-stated its belief that its recommended solutions, including revising the mortgage stress test and bringing back 30-year mortgage amortization, will be effective in addressing ownership housing affordability.

Foreign ownership

The Liberals have also pledged to introduce a consistent, nationwide speculation and vacancy tax for non-resident Canadians.

In response, TREB says:

“Further analysis is required to understand if today’s proposed speculation and vacancy tax announcement will help increase the supply of available housing over the long term, or aid with affordability. We’re also keen to hear from the other federal political parties regarding their platforms on measures to assist with home ownership affordability.”

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