How CREA and the Federal Government Can Help You Kickstart 2021

Please note: the federal government is constantly updating their website as new information is announced. Remember to check Canada’s official coronavirus webpage and CREA’s COVID-19 online hub to stay up to date.

As 2021 begins shrouded in uncertainty resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, CREA is here to help REALTORS® navigate a complicated market and maintain the highest standards of service for their clients. We work with key decision-makers year-round to drive legislative and regulatory changes that benefit Canadian housing and are pleased to provide summary of measures that can help you kickstart the year.

COVID-19 Support

CREA has been in ongoing discussions with government since the emergence of COVID-19. We’ve had meaningful conversations about the unique challenges facing REALTORS® and the potentially devastating outcomes of any interruptions to their day-to-day business. The government responded to calls for significant action with the following measures:

Help for First-Time Buyers

Despite the pandemic, CREA continued to trumpet the importance of housing to government in 2020. The following is a summary of some advocacy wins for REALTORS® and their clients.

  • the Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) is a program that allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 in a calendar year from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to buy or build a qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability.
  • the Home Buyers’ Amount (Home buyers’ tax credit) offers a $5,000 non-refundable income tax credit amount on a qualifying home acquired during the year. For an eligible individual, the credit will provide up to $750 in federal tax relief.
  • the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive offers eligible first-time home buyers 5 or 10% of a qualifying home’s purchase price to put toward a down payment through a shared equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
  • the GST/HST new housing rebate allows an individual to recover some of the GST or the federal part of the HST paid for a new or substantially renovated house that is for use as the individual’s, or their relation’s, primary place of residence.

Looking Forward

  • To help homeowners improve their home energy efficiency, the federal government has proposed providing up to 700,000 grants of up to $5,000 for energy-efficient improvements to homes, and up to one million free EnerGuide energy assessments. Additional information on home energy efficiency grants will be provided in a future announcement, and eligibility for these grants will be retroactive to December 1, 2020.
  • The aforementioned First-Time Home Buyer Incentive will be expanded in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria. Changes include the eligible buyer’s income threshold being raised from $120,000 to $150,000 as well as the ability to purchase a home up to 4.5 times household income— an increase from the current limit of four times household income.

This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. If you need professional advice you should consult a lawyer, accountant or other qualified professional.