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Housing Affordability Issue March 2019

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) has recently stated that it is pleased with the measures announced in Budget 2019 that will help address housing affordability in British Columbia. REALTORS® in BC recognize that home ownership is a difficult goal to achieve for many British Columbians, and the policies announced in this budget provide meaningful assistance with this complex challenge.

BCREA supports the newly announced First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program, which introduces shared equity mortgages that will help to directly foster affordability. The budget also proposes increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, further supporting first-time buyers.
While the incentives for first-time home buyers is generally welcomed, the announced measures fail to address the damage done by the mortgage stress test. BCREA is particularly encouraged that the federal government is carefully monitoring the effects of the B-20 mortgage regulations, as was recently voiced concern regarding the overreaching impact this policy is having in the Lower Mainland. The federal government needs to review the policy against interest rate changes since its introduction and re-institute 30-year mortgages to further help Canadians achieve their goals of homeownership.

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