A new program launched by the British Columbia government to partner with first-time homebuyers on the down payment of their mortgage will benefit first-time buyers in Prince George.
On Dec. 16, the Province announced the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program. The program contributes to the amount first-time homebuyers have already saved for their down payment, providing up to $37,500, or up to 5% of the purchase price, with a 25-year loan that is interest-free and payment-free for the first five years.
Through the B.C. HOME Partnership program, the Province is investing about $703 million over the next three years to help an estimated 42,000 B.C. households enter the market for the first time.
In Prince George, the average purchase price for a residential detached house is approximately $297,000. If a first-time buyer saves $7,425 toward the down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $7,425, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $14,850 or 5% of the home’s purchase price, as required by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
During the first five years, no monthly interest or principal payments are required as long as the home remains the homebuyer’s principal residence. After the first five years, homebuyers begin making monthly payments at current interest rates. Homebuyers will repay the loan over the remaining 20 years, but may make extra payments or repay it in full at any time without penalty. The loan must be repaid in full when the home is sold or transferred to another owner.
To be eligible, buyers must be preapproved for an insured high-ratio first mortgage (mortgage down payment is less than 20% of the home price). On completion of the sale, program funds will be advanced and the loan will be registered as a second mortgage on the property’s title.
The B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program will start accepting applications Jan. 16, 2017.
Shirley Bond, MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“The B.C. HOME Partnership will provide British Columbians who are preparing to purchase their first homes with greater opportunity to enter into the housing market. Residents who have worked hard to secure a down payment for their first home will now be eligible for further support from the Province, helping B.C. families in Prince George and across the province.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie –
“This HOME Partnership program is great news for first-time home buyers in Prince George and around the province. Saving for a down payment can be hard, but through this program we’re helping give people a leg up into the housing market.”
- The Province’s commitment to Housing Action is driven by six key principles:
- Ensuring the dream of home ownership remains within the reach of the middle class
- Increasing housing supply
- Smart transit expansion
- Supporting first-time home buyers
- Ensuring consumer protection
- Increasing rental supply
- The B.C. government has committed $855 million over five years, including $575 million this year, to support the construction or renovation of 4,900 units of affordable housing throughout the province.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $4.9 billion to provide affordable housing for low income individuals, seniors and families.
- More than 104,000 B.C. households benefit from a diverse range of provincial housing programs and services.
Learn how to apply: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Housing_Campaign_HOME.pdf
To learn more about the Province's actions on housing affordability, visit: http://housingaction.gov.bc.ca/
For additional details about the B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, visit: https://homeownerservices.bchousing.org/
B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, BC Housing:
Phone: 604 439-4727
Toll Free: 1 844 365-4727
A backgrounder follows.