'It feels impossible': Federal budget offers incentives for first-time home buyers
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2019 7:13PM EDT
The Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, delivered the Trudeau Government’s final budget on Tuesday, six months before the federal election.
In it, the government offers incentives for first-time home buyers, with the aim of making it easier for young people to purchase.
The new program will allow buyers with the minimum down payment for a mortgage to finance 10 percent on a new home or five percent on an existing home through a shared equity mortgage with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Many people, however, say they are still priced out of the market and are lacking the amount of savings needed in the bank to take advantage of the ‘relief’ being offered.
Alyssa Norton and her family have been renting their home in Stayner for a decade.
Their landlord has decided to sell, and Norton says finding the three-bedroom, two bath home they need for their family of four is proving difficult.
“It feels impossible,” she says. “We’ve been pinching pennies here and there and cutting back costs everywhere we can, but to come up with that amount of money in such a short amount of time has been a real stress on our family.”
The Norton’s have been pre-approved for a $350,000 mortgage, but so far, they haven’t had any luck finding anything affordable, including another rental.
“There’s a house similar to ours a few streets over, and they want $1,800 plus. Who can afford that?" she asks. "And with the utilities on top of that, it’s insane.”
According to the Barrie and District Association of Realtors, the average price of a home in Simcoe County in 2018 was nearly half a million dollars.
Experts say the steep prices, combined with the introduction of the 'stress test' have made it tough for millennials to cobble together enough cash to buy their first home.
“They’re chasing the market, and unless something happens to make it more affordable for them to get into the market, they’re never going to get in the market,” says real estate broker, Geoff Halford.
Norton says she’s trying to stay positive but is frustrated because in two months they have to pack up.
“We really don’t know if we’re going to have a place to go.”
- With files from CTV News Ottawa News Bureau Online Producer, Rachel Aiello