We welcome the Conservative Government’s announcement today proposing to increase the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) withdrawal up to $35,000 from the current $25,000 for first-time homebuyers. If implemented, a couple buying a home together would have access to an extra $20,000 of their RRSPs to help with their down payment and other expenses relating to their home purchase.
Borrowers are considered first-timers if, in the past four years, they have not lived in a home that they or their current spouse/common-law partner owned. (See Conditions.)
As you may be aware, CAAMP regularly visits both federal and provincial government officials. This announcement is in line with the kind of recommendations that CAAMP makes during meetings with officials in the Ministry of Finance Office and the Prime Minister’s Office.
The government respects our industry-leading research and sees your association as a positive resource. Our latest research report released in June – A Profile of Home Buying in Canada prepared by CAAMP Chief Economist Will Dunning – shows withdrawals from RRSPs (including via the HBP) accounted for 10% of down payment funds for first-time buyers. If put into action, this proposed HBP withdrawal increase would go a long way in helping first-time homebuyers across Canada.
Today’s announcement follows Stephen Harper’s first big-ticket promise of his campaign: another tax break for home renovations made earlier this month.
Taxpayers would be able to claim up to 15% of the cost of permanent “substantial” renovations to homes, condos and cottages. The tax credit would apply to renovation costs between $1,000 and $5,000, allowing a taxpayer to get back up to $600 per year.
We look forward to more positive housing-related announcements from other campaigns leading up to the fall election.