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The BC government introduced its 2016 budget February 16th, and there is some really good news here. The budget included a number of items intended to affect affordability and availability in the Lower Mainland’s housing market.  Here’s a summary:

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

• a New Housing exemption will apply to newly built homes or newly subdivided units priced up to $750,000, saving buyers up to $13,000; and

• a partial exemption will apply on newly built homes priced $750,000 to $800,000.

• a new 3% PTT rate will apply to the portion of a home sale that exceeds $2 million. For homes that sell for below $2 million, the PTT will continue to apply at a rate of 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance. 


These changes will take effect on February 17, 2016. 


Data collection

Starting this summer, individuals and corporations buying property must disclose if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada and if neither, their home country. These changes will provide information on the volume of foreign investment in BC. 


Home Owner Grant

The Home Owner Grant threshold will increase to $1.2 million from $1.1 million for the 2016 tax year.

Affordable housing

The province will invest $355 million to help the BC Housing Management Commission support more than 2,000 affordable housing units for residents with low-to-moderate incomes.  


Additional Government resources:

Read the Housing Affordability Backgrounder. Read the Budget Speech. (Opens 24-page pdf)

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