Mayors join finance minister to discuss, share feedback on landmark tax

Tax savings will help people buy homes, boost construction

April 2, 2024 at 3:08 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

Homes will be in reach for more people in B.C. as first-time homebuyers can now save thousands of dollars more, and new measures are put in place to encourage new home and rental construction.

“Everyone wants to find a home they can afford and build a good life in the community they love, but high property prices and interest rates have made this harder,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “We are taking action on the housing crisis at every opportunity. By making it easier for people to purchase their first home and encouraging home and rental building, we’re building on our actions to make housing more affordable and available for families across B.C.”

As part of Budget 2024, the threshold for the first-time homebuyers’ program has increased from $500,000 to $835,000 to help more people buy their first home. Starting April 1, 2024, qualifying individuals buying homes up to $835,000 now receive an exemption on the property transfer tax on the first $500,000 of the home’s value. Qualifying individuals can get a reduced exemption for qualifying homes valued between $835,000 and $860,000.

An estimated 14,500 people, twice as many as previously, will be able to own their first home while saving up to $8,000 in property transfer tax.

To encourage the construction of new homes and support families to take the next step in homeownership, the threshold for the newly built home exemption increases from $750,000 to $1.1 million. This is expected to boost new home building and help 10,400 individuals and families move up the property ladder every year, 2,400 more than in previous years.

To support the delivery of more rental homes, purchasers of qualifying new purpose-built rental buildings of four units or more, purchased between Jan. 1, 2025, and Dec. 31, 2030, may qualify for an exemption from the general property tax. This means that those purchasing a purpose-built rental building valued at $10 million could save $278,000 in general property transfer taxes. These buildings must be held as rentals for a minimum of 10 years.

“These new property transfer tax thresholds will definitely benefit our first-time homebuyers,” said Laurie Lidstone, chair of the Victoria Real Estate Board. “Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases a person makes in their lifetime. Anything to make that first home more attainable is fabulous.”

Learn More:

For more information about the first-time homebuyers’ program, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/exemptions/first-time-home-buyers

For more information about the newly built homes exemption, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/exemptions/newly-built-home-exemption

For more information about purpose-built rental exemptions, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/exemptions/purpose-built-rental-exemption

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