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Government Reduces Tax burden on first-time buyers
First-time home buyers received welcome news in today’s provincial budget. Any REALTORS® currently working with first-time buyers will want to share this news with them as soon as possible.
The government has announced, effective February 19, 2014, under the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) First-Time Home Buyers’ Exemption program, qualifying first-time buyers can buy a home worth up to $475,000. The previous threshold was $425,000.
The partial exemption continues and will apply to homes valued between $475,000 and $500,000.
With this change, the government estimates 1,700 additional first-time buyers will annually be eligible to save up to $7,500 in PTT when they buy their home.
The government estimates this measure will cost $8 million in lost tax revenue each year.
The Real Estate Board, together with BC Real Estate Association, has actively lobbied to make home ownership more affordable for first-time home buyers. This increase in the threshold clearly signals our efforts have paid off as in past years.
In 2008, as a result of industry lobbying, the provincial government increased the threshold to $425,000 from $375,000.
In 2005, the government increased the threshold to $325,000 from $275,000.
The PTT is calculated at a rate of one percent on the first $200,000 and two percent on the remaining value of the purchase price.
Looking to Calculate a PTT Exemption?
Check out this great BC Property Transfer Tax Exemption Calculator!
Here is a table for the new British Columbia Property Transfer Tax Exemption from $475,000 to $500,000:
Qualifying for the BC PTT Exemption
To qualify for a full exemption, at the time the property is registered you must:
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- have lived in B.C. for 12 consecutive months immediately before the date you register the property or filed at least 2 income tax returns as a B.C. resident in the last 6 years
- have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere in the world at any time
- you have never received a first time home buyers’ exemption or refund
and the property must:
- be located in B.C.
- only be used as your principal residence
- have a fair market value of $475,000
- be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller
You may qualify for a partial exemption from the tax if the property:
- has a fair market value of less than $500,000
- is larger than 0.5 hectares
- has another building on the property other than the principal residence