BC government offers help to first-time buyers

by Justin da Rosa15 Dec 2016
A new government program promises to match the down payment for eligible first-time homebuyers.

The BC Government has announced today the BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership Program.

Under the program, the BC government will match down payment funds of eligible first-time homebuyers up to $37,500 with a 25-year term second mortgage.

As an example, a buyer purchasing a $500,000 home can put down 5% using $12,500 of their own funds and $12,500 from the BC Home Partnership Program.

No payments are required and no interest will accrue for the first five years of the mortgage term.

The program was announced by Premier Christy Clark Thursday afternoon. Samantha Gale, executive director at the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association, attended the announcement.

“This is a necessary program which will assist many first time home buyers to enter the housing market at a time when housing affordability is a serious challenge. This program will provide tangible, necessary assistance which will facilitate the purchase of first homes for many BC residents struggling to save sufficient funds for a property down payment,” Gale said. “There are many potential buyers in BC who simply cannot afford to buy a home because they do not have the necessary down payment saved, despite having sufficient income to qualify for their mortgage payments.

“We find that most potential buyers are aiming to put down on a property purchase either the minimum 5% for an insured mortgage or 20%, so that their mortgage is conventional with no CMHC fees.  We at the CMBA, believe that the borrowers who are aiming to put 5% down are the ones whom this program is likely to benefit the most.”

Applications for the program will be accepted starting January 16 up until March 31 2020.

Below are the qualification requirements. Buyers must:

•             Reside in the home
•             Be a first-time homebuyer
•             Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for 5 years
•             Have resided in BC for at least one year
•             Have a combined gross income of $150,000 or less
•             Have saved at least half of the minimum down payment they will require, and
•             Be pre-approved for a 1st mortgage before applying. Brokers should treat the second mortgage as a non-traditional source of down payment.

Additionally, the property must be the principal residence for the first five years, must cost less than $750,000, and must not be a rental or recreational property.


  • by J.S. 12/15/2016 2:20:42 PM

    It's great that the BC Government is helping first-time homebuyers but I am wondering what this program is doing to address the increasing house prices. If this program enables even more people to get into the market, will that not just increase demand? Won't an increase in demand with no corresponding increase in supply just drive home prices up even further? When are programs going to be put into place to address the supply issue?

  • by JD 12/15/2016 2:29:02 PM

    The supply issue is a city one - when will the city walk the talk - they keep talking about affordability- but don't increase density or supply - - and the red tape at city hall costs the end purchaser- I don't think the city is living in the same zone as where the housing crisis is occurring- it certainly appears they are really disconnected!!

  • by Tony Bal 12/15/2016 3:02:24 PM

    Very good decision

    First time home buyer's dream will come true

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