First-time buyers’ bonus expires Monday, with very limited effect

A $10,000 new home buyers grant has had few takers, because of strict eligibility rules.

With the April 1, 2013 expiry of the first-time new home buyers’ grant looming, the experts at Envision Financial see the removal of this incentive having little effect on the local housing market.

The bonus, worth up to $10,000, has been available to qualifying home buyers who have never previously owned a primary residence anywhere in the world and who are buying or building a new or significantly renovated home. Mohamed Samman, vice-president of credit at Envision Financial, says those who qualified made up a very small number of buyers.

“Given the qualifying criteria, the first-time new home buyers’ bonus provided incentive for a limited number of people,” says Samman. “Most first-time buyers aren’t buying new. They’re looking for an affordable way to enter the housing market.”

Samman believes mortgage eligibility rules, which were tightened last year in the face of growing concerns about household debt and over-extension, are having a greater impact on market activity.

“What has had a bigger impact on the market over the last six to nine months is the stricter mortgage eligibility rules,” says Samman. “Shorter amortizations and increased down payment requirements have left some potential buyers on the sidelines. At Envision Financial we focus on helping our members, particularly young families trying to break in to the housing market, structure their financial lives in a way they helps them realize their home ownership dreams.”

While some would-be buyers have yet to enter the market due to the tighter mortgage rules, Samman notes others are biding their time and waiting for spring when there is traditionally more activity in the market.

“Although there has been a dip in market activity and housing prices recently, spring is traditionally regarded as home-buying season,” says Samman. “I don’t see this year being any different. Low interest rates continue to make buying an attractive option for some and as we approach home-buying season we expect to see an upturn in market activity.”

Just Posted

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Jacob Tremblay tells Langley film fest about playing a boy with facial differences

It was a long stay in a makeup chair, but it could have been even longer

Langley Rivermen inviting fans to anti-bullying painting party

Come down to George Preston Recreation Centre Wednesday night to take stand against bullying

Update: Eyewitnesses kept driver who hit Langley pedestrian from fleeing (with video)

Police issue tickets for multiple offences after Sunday incident

VIDEO: A Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

The “Beaver appreciation tour” was timed for country’s 150th birthday

Update: Police report “physical altercation” during Langley gas station holdup (with video)

Incident on Glover Road involving armed robber draws massive police response

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

SAR suspends search for missing man at Sun Peaks

RCMP will continue to search for a missing man near Kamloops but SAR has suspended their role

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

B.C. RCMP officer officially cleared in car wash shooting incident

A report found the Salmon Arm officer fired 14 bullets at the man’s truck

Fallen cedar knocks out Otter area power

Strong gusts of wind caused an entire cedar to split off and crash into power lines

Aldergrove U18 soccer boys keep on win streak

Aldergrove’s boys prevailed in this game and have a 8 win, 1 tie and 2 loss record

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Most Read