BC Government to Offer Down Payment Loans for First-Time Buyers

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Premier Christy Clark unveiled a new loan program today to help first-time home buyers come up with their down payment.

The BC Home Owner Mortgage and Equity (HOME) Partnership program will offer qualifying home buyers loans of up to $37,500, interest and payment free, for five years.

The province will begin accepting applications on January 16, 2017.

To qualify, buyers must:

  • be buying their first home;
  • obtain a high-ratio, insured first mortgage for at least 80 per cent of the purchase price;  
  • have a combined gross household income not exceeding $150,000;
  • have saved a down payment amount at least equal to the loan amount;
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for at least five years; and
  • have lived in BC for at least the full year preceding their application.

The loans will be due in full if the buyer defaults on a payment, ceases to use the home as a principle residence or resells the home.

Key facts:

  • The loans will match a home buyer’s contribution to a down payment up to five per cent of the home’s purchase price. 
  • The maximum purchase price to qualify for a loan is $750,000 (excluding taxes and fees).
  • After five years, buyers can either repay their loan or enter into monthly payments at current interest rates.
  • Loans through the program are due after 25 years.

“This program will boost sales to first-time home buyers. Without question, they’ll take advantage of it wherever they can,” said Helmut Pastrick, Central 1 Credit Union chief economist.

The province estimates this initiative will help at least 42,000 buyers or households province-wide over the next three years. About half of these buyers will be in the Lower Mainland, according to Pastrick.

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