BC increases thresh-hold for               First Time Home Buyers

One market has reduced land transfer taxes for first-time homebuyers.It’s been a whirlwind few months for real estate in British Columbia, but the latest news will likely be viewed as a small victory by local mortgage brokers.Effective Wednesday, the threshold for BC’s Property Transfer Tax exemption for first-time homebuyers has been increased to include homes up to $500,000 from $475,000.The news was lauded by one real estate association, which also had some feedback for the ongoing revolution of the exemption.“BCREA appreciates this government’s attention to the needs of first-time homebuyers,” the British Columbia Real Estate Association said following the release of BC’s 2017 budget. “To keep pace with the dynamic real estate market and ensure that homebuyers aren’t left behind, the Association strongly believes that this threshold—and all others related to the Property Transfer Tax—should be indexed, with adjustments made annually.”It was the lone housing-related announcement in the budget.For its part, BCREA actually made recommendations to the government that the exemption be increased to include homes up to $750,000.“That number would align with the exemption for newly-built homes and with the BC HOME Partnership program,” it said. This measure would have expanded consumer choices, because the First Time Home Buyers’ Program exemption applies to all homes, rather than only newly-built homes, which are often out of reach of first-time buyers.”