Organized Real Estate Successfully Lobbies for Modernizing the Home Buyers’ Plan

Feb 10, 2020

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Matt Mayers

In a win for homeowners and REALTORS®, the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA), Canadian Real Estate Association and real estate boards have successfully advocated for changes to the federal Home Buyers' Plan (HBP).1

Canadian homeowners who have experienced a breakdown in their marriage or common-law partnership may now be able to qualify for the HBP. This will help Canadians maintain homeownership when faced with new and challenging financial circumstances. The change was announced in Budget 2019 and took effect in January 2020.

Another HBP win from Budget 2019 was an increase in the maximum RRSP withdrawal limit to $35,000 (previously $25,000). This change, which took effect in March 2019, gives first-time home buyers greater access to their RRSP savings to buy or build a home.

While BCREA welcomes the change, there are more opportunities to modernize the HBP to better reflect the BC housing market. The maximum withdrawal limit of $35,000 can only have a limited impact on access to housing in BC, which has an average price of $700,000. We will continue to look for opportunities to promote and advocate for future positive changes to the HBP.

The updated HBP is just one of many steps needed to substantially improve housing affordability in BC. You can find BCREA's other housing affordability solutions here.

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  1. The HBP allows qualifying homebuyers to withdraw up to $35,000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to put toward a home purchase or new build. The withdrawn funds are then repaid on a non-deductible basis to the RRSP over a maximum 15-year period. To learn about the HBP, visit the Government of Canada website.

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