The BC government introduced its 2016 budget today. The budget included a number of items intended to affect affordability and availability in the Lower Mainland’s housing market.
Here’s a summary:
Property Transfer Tax (PTT)
• a New Housing exemption will apply to newly built homes or newly subdivided units priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and
• a partial exemption will apply on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.
• a new 3% PTT rate will apply to the portion of a home sale that exceeds $2 million. For homes that sell for below $2 million, the PTT will continue to apply at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance.
These changes will take effect on February 17, 2016.
“While we applaud the government’s efforts to improve affordability for home buyers purchasing new housing, there’s more work to be done, including indexing PTT thresholds to keep pace with changes in home prices over time,” Darcy McLeod, Board president said.
Starting this summer, individuals and corporations buying property must disclose if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and if neither, their home country. These changes will provide information on the volume of foreign investment in BC.
Your Board supports this change. We advocated for this initiative in a letter to the Finance Minister earlier this year.
Home Owner Grant
The Home Owner Grant threshold will increase to $1.2 million from $1.1 million for the 2016 tax year.
The province will invest $355 million to help the BC Housing Management Commission support more than 2,000 affordable housing units for residents with low-to-moderate incomes.
Watch for more information on today’s budget in next week’s edition of our REALTOR® News.
Additional government resources:
Read the Housing Affordability Backgrounder. Read the Budget Speech. (Opens 24-page pdf)