Justin Trudeau’s new home buyer incentive useless in Vancouver, Victoria, and the Valley: report

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      This may disappoint a lot of aspiring first-time home buyers.

      A federal program supposedly designed to help them purchase a home is of little help, according to a new report.

      When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked up the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) program in March this year, he spoke about a “dream”.

      “We believe in investing in people and communities, which is why we are taking real, concrete steps to make sure homeownership remains an achievable dream, not a privilege afforded to only the richest few,” Trudeau said.

      If people are hoping to buy in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, or the Fraser Valley, they’ll have to keep on dreaming.

      Real-estate site Zoocasa indicated in a report Tuesday (August 27) that the maximum purchase price allowed in the FTHBI program is “too low too low to have much traction in larger markets”.

      That amount is $505,000.

      According to Zoocasa, the average home price in the Greater Vancouver area in July 2019 was $967,314.

      The average price in the Fraser Valley in the same month was lower at $717,301, but still more than the price allowed in the incentive program.

      In the Victoria region, the average price in July 2019 was 652,655.

      Zoocasa’s Penelope Graham noted that since the analysis was based on average prices, home buyers may still be able to use the FTHBI depending on the location and specific price of the property they want to purchase.

      A review of the July 2019 statistics by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) provides a guide.

      Note that the REBGV covers the following: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, South Delta, Squamish, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Whistler.

      Benchmark prices for single detached homes in all areas exceed the FTHBI program’s maximum purchase price of $505,000.

      The same is true for townhouses.

      For most condos or apartment units, prices in July 2019 exceed $505,000.

      There were a few exceptions for condos: Ladner, $432,800; Maple Ridge, $347,800; Pitt Meadows, $488,700; Port Coquitlam, $446,000; Squamish, $478,600; Tsawwassen, $458,400; and Whistler, $475,800.

      The FTHBI program offers a loan of five percent of the value of a re-sale home to go for the down payment. For new construction, it’s five percent or 10 percent.

      The program opens Monday (September 2).