Tag Archive: First-Time Home Buyer Incentive


First-Time Home Buyer Incentive Revamped

The Liberal government wants to give its much-criticized First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) a redo. In its Fall Economic Statement this week, the government said it’s going to make it easier for borrowers to qualify. Effective “spring 2021,” first-timers who use the program will be able to purchase a home up to 4.5 times their household income (currently four times)...

Refi Ahead of Condo Trouble?

—The Mortgage Report: Oct. 7— Toronto condo listings have exploded 215% to a record high, reports Bloomberg. And they’re projected to be even higher in October, according to HouseSigma. Driving that surprising number: skittish investors (many with negative cash flow given surging rental listings and a 14% y/y drop in rents) “elevator phobia” people coming off mortgage deferrals relatively higher...

Throne Speech Giveaway Portends Faster Recovery in Rates

The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury.—John Maynard Keynes (1937) Canada’s Liberal government ripped a page out of Keynes’ playbook Wednesday, promising to use “whatever fiscal firepower is needed” to rebuild the economy and recover “one million jobs.” That includes multi-billion-dollar-price-tag initiatives like extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through summer 2021, making...

Daily Mortgage Report – April 17

Crude Unreality: Oil dove to its cheapest level since 2002 on Friday, closing at a staggeringly low $18.27 a barrel (WTI). Three months ago, the lowest analyst forecast for 2020 was $50! Given how important the black stuff is for Canada’s economy, its collapse should add downward pressure to bond yields—which are a leading indicator of fixed mortgage rates. Oil...

Rates Hit by SARS 2.0 (?), the Dud First-Time Buyers Program & More

Today’s big mortgage headlines… Coronavirus Rate Sale Bond yields are getting killed as investors pile into bonds for safety. Traders fear a next coming of SARS (which authorities call the Wuhan coronavirus) could be deflationary. That’s weighing on rates as the inflation outlook is a key rate driver. Fear of the unknown has shaved 1/4 point off Canada’s 5-year bond...

Year in Review: Top Mortgage Stories of 2019

Compared to the chilling regulatory news of 2018 (i.e., the launch of OSFI’s mortgage stress test), this was a year of turnarounds in the mortgage market. For one thing, the year ended with palpable optimism in the housing sector. It was a degree of bullish sentiment that many didn’t think we’d see when 2019 began. Below we recap that and...

Opinion: First-Time Buyer Program Disappoints, Surprising Almost No One

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive can’t be considered a dud, yet. But it’s surely not impressing anyone. What is the FTHBI? As the feds put it, “the government offers you financing [i.e., a 5-10% bigger down payment] without interest. This helps reduce your monthly mortgage payment without increasing your down payment.” One of its champions, CMHC CEO Evan Siddall, said...

Rates Hit 2-Month High + Other Rate Nuggets

Bond Bloodbath It was a grisly Friday the 13th in the bond market. Investors ran from bonds like they were being chased by Jason Voorhees with a chainsaw. U.S. 5-year bonds crashed (yields soared 12 bps), which drove Canada’s 5-year to a two-month high. For non-bondy types, bond selling drives up rates since the two move inversely. Catalysts for the carnage...

The FTHBI Becomes More Useful (to First-Time Buyers)

It didn’t take the government long to propose changes to the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). Just 10 days after the program launched, and following criticism that the Liberals’ new program didn’t address housing needs in high-priced markets, the Libs have tweaked it. Effective as soon as November, if you live in one of three high-cost regions, qualifying for the...

First-Time Home Buyer Subsidy Starts Today

After five months of buildup, the government’s controversial First-Time Home Buyer Incentive is now live. Kind of. Applications for the program, which lowers borrowers’ interest and default insurance costs (using taxpayer dollars that may or may not be recouped), are supposed to be available here. But the forms aren’t on the government’s website yet, despite the September 2 launch date....