2 Jul, 2024
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New Incentives

For First-Time Home-Buyers

The Canadian government has introduced several incentives and programs to help make home ownership more accessible for first-time buyers. These initiatives aim to address the challenges of rising home prices, limited supply, and tighter mortgage regulations that have made it increasingly difficult for young Canadians to purchase their first property.

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI)

One of the most significant new programs is the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), which was announced in Budget 2019. Under this shared equity program, the government provides a 5% or 10% interest-free loan towards the down payment of a home for qualified first-time buyers.


The FTHBI was designed to help reduce monthly mortgage costs without increasing the buyer’s financial burden. However, the program has faced some limitations, including low income and home valuation caps that excluded many buyers in expensive markets. Additionally, the requirement to repay the government’s equity stake upon resale or after 25 years has been criticized as a potential drawback.

The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)

Another popular option for first-time buyers is the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), which allows individuals to withdraw up to $60,000 from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to put towards a home purchase. This represents a significant increase from the previous withdrawal limit of $35,000.

To be eligible for the HBP, the RRSP funds must have been in the account for at least 90 days, and the home must be purchased or built by October 1st of the year following the withdrawal. The withdrawn amount must then be repaid to the RRSP over a 15-year period.

The First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit (HBTC)

The First-Time Home Buyers‘ Tax Credit (HBTC) provides a $5,000 non-refundable tax credit to help offset the costs associated with purchasing a first home. This translates to a tax rebate of approximately $750, which can be used to cover expenses such as legal fees, moving costs, and land transfer taxes.

To qualify for the HBTC, the property must be located in Canada, be either an existing home or a newly built home purchased after January 27, 2009, and be occupied by the owner or a person with a disability within one year of purchase. The buyer must also be a first-time home buyer, meaning they have not lived in another home owned by them, their spouse, or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or the previous four years.

Provincial and Municipal Programs

In addition to these national initiatives, several provinces and municipalities offer their own incentives and assistance programs for first-time home buyers. These can include grants, tax rebates, and other forms of financial aid.

For example, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador introduced the Home Purchase Program in 2018, which provides a $3,000 grant towards the down payment of a newly constructed home valued up to $400,000. In Alberta, many of the first-time buyer incentives are offered at the municipal level.

Considerations for First-Time Buyers

While these incentives can make home ownership more attainable, it’s important for first-time buyers to carefully consider their financial situation and the long-term implications of taking on a mortgage. Factors such as job stability, future plans, and the ability to make lifestyle sacrifices to afford a home should all be carefully weighed.


Buyers should also be prepared for the realities of the current housing market, which may include limited supply, intense competition, and the need to adjust expectations or make multiple offers before securing a property. Working with a real estate agent who specializes in the desired area can provide valuable insights into local market conditions and strategies for success.


The Canadian government’s new incentives, combined with existing programs like the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers‘ Tax Credit, offer a range of options to help first-time buyers overcome the financial hurdles of home ownership. However, it’s crucial for prospective buyers to understand the eligibility requirements, limitations, and long-term responsibilities associated with each program.

By taking advantage of these incentives, carefully planning their finances, and working with experienced real estate professionals, first-time buyers can increase their chances of successfully navigating the Canadian housing market and achieving the dream of home ownership. Cashin Mortgages, are transforming the dream of homeownership into a tangible reality for many. By addressing the key financial challenges through down payment assistance, reduced interest rates, tax credits, educational programs, and personalized advice, these initiatives are paving the way for a new generation of homeowners to build their futures with confidence and security.