B.C. Budget boon to Chilliwack home buyers and builders

The $10,000 tax credit for first-time new house buyers should be good news for buyers in Chilliwack, says Cynthia Admiraal.

The $10,000 tax credit for first-time new house buyers in the 2012 provincial budget should be good news for buyers and builders alike in Chilliwack, says Cynthia Admiraal.

“I think we have enough new housing in Chilliwack that it would benefit,” she said, from the additional first-time buyers the tax credit is expected to encourage into the market.

Coupled with already lower house prices in the Chilliwack area, and with continued low interest rates, the tax credit could have a “significant impact” on the housing market here, agreed Admiraal, president of the Chilliwack & District Real Estate board.

“Our city has a lot to offer young families,” she said, including good schools, parks, recreational facilities — and gasoline prices lower than those in the Vancouver area.

But another new housing measure in the budget, an increase in the HST rebate threshold to $850,000 from $525,000 is not expected to have much impact here because of those same low house prices.

“There’s not a lot of those high-end houses” being built in Chilliwack, Admiraal said.

The rebate — up to a maximum $42,500 from $26,250 — will now be available to buyers of more expensive homes, until the HST is finally phased out.

The 2012 budget also contains a grant — equivalent to the HST rebate — on new housing that’s used as a second or recreational residence. Eligibility for the grant is limited to areas outside the Greater Vancouver and Victoria regional districts.

All three budget items are “certainly welcome relief for many homebuilders and developers,” agreed Cameron Muir, chief economist at the B.C. Real Estate Association.

He said the $10,000 tax credit “will likely push some potential first-time buyers off the fence and into the market” rather than waiting until the HST comes off new homes.

And the increase in the rebate threshold should impact homebuyers who “have been somewhat reticent about spending extra money on higher-end houses.”

But Muir said it’s difficult to say when the housing market in B.C. will really turnaround because of “headwinds” related to the “slower than optimum” economic growth seen in Europe and the U.S.

Not until there is “strong” economic growth in the U.S. in particular, Muir said, will B.C. see a “more well-rounded economic expansion” spurring house sales back to pre-recession levels.



Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read