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 Penticton.
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 Penticton, the average purchase price for a residential detached house is approximately $457,000. If a first-time buyer saves $11,425 towards their down payment, or 2.5% of the home’s purchase price, the Province will contribute $11,425, equal to the buyer’s 2.5% down payment. This brings the total down payment to $22,850 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 Monday, Jan. 16, 2017.
Dan Ashton, MLA for Penticton –
“Ensuring the dream of home ownership remains within reach is a key part of our government’s approach to housing affordability. The B.C. HOME Partnership will provide vital assistance to first-time home buyers, in Penticton and throughout B.C., and give them a greater opportunity to enter into the housing market.”
Carol Sudchak, executive officer, Canadian Home Builders' Association, South Okanagan –
“First-time buyers are stretched to pay rent while also saving a down payment. A change to Canada's mortgage rules in November meant a loss of buying power for many buyers. The B.C. HOME Partnership program will encourage home builders to construct new housing and help new buyers to get into the market. The B.C. HOME Partnership loan is a very positive step.”
Garry Gratton, president, South Okanagan Real Estate Board –
“As a professional Realtor, I am very pleased to know that we now have a new tool, courtesy of Premier Christy Clark and her government, to assist our first time buyer clients towards the purchase of their first home.
"This government has made yet another huge commitment towards housing affordability in this province. I've been in the business for over 30 years and I've never seen a program as good as this First Time Home Buyer Partnership program. It's simple, easy to understand and, best of all, will help many first time buyers become proud home owners.”
- 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, please visit: https://homeownerservices.bchousing.org/
B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership program, BC Housing:
Toll Free Number: 1-844-365-4727
A backgrounder follows.