For the fourth time in as many years, the British Columbia Government announced in its yearly budget last week that it was increasing the threshold for the first-time buyer property purchase tax exemption. The exemption threshold will rise from $375,000 to $425,000, reflecting the increase in real estate prices throughout the province over the past year. A proportional exemption is available for properties purchased for between $425,000 and $450,000.
Another change: Previously, to be eligible, buyers also had to take a mortgage of at least 70% of the property’s value, and if within the first year of ownership paid down the mortgage to less than 70% of the home’s value, they would lose their exemption. This has been phased out, and the mortgage may be paid down by any amount within the first year without losing the exemption.
A video about the budget: