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

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

Who are the Frozen Franklins? Find out at the Alberni Valley Museum

The museum and Echoes in the Ice exhibit are open April 20 during Easter weekend

Former teacher returns to Port Alberni to lead Alzheimer’s Walk

Jory Mitchell celebrates his journey with late wife and her Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues cougar warning at Kennedy Lake

Cougar encounter reported between Tofino and Ucluelet.

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

Most Read