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

UPDATED: Three dead in South Surrey crash: police

Motorists asked to avoid 32 Avenue between 152 Street and King George

Surrey woman marks 30 years as art gallery volunteer

Saker Senaratne received Shakti Award for community service

White Rock council calls for needs assessment study for new city hall

Staff study would determine possibilities for new ‘civic precinct’

White Rock Mexican restaurant told to remove flag from patio

‘I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life,’ Primo’s Mexican Grill general manager said

OUR VIEW: Young Surrey athletes stir pride

Better than trophies are the lessons these sports-minded youngsters hopefully carry into adulthood

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should havea dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Yellow snake spotted slithering in Greater Victoria neighbourhood

Police describe it as ‘large, pale [and] yellow’ suggesting the snake may be exotic

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read

l -->