The Canadian government’s First-Time Home Buyer Incentive has drawn criticism for certain limits it puts on participants, but a new study suggests the program will still help Toronto homebuyers when it launches this fall.
Much of the criticism levelled at the initiative stems from the fact that households wishing to take part in the program — which sees the government put forward up to 5 percent on the price of a resale home in exchange for a corresponding equity stake — are limited to annual incomes of $120,000 or less and mortgages four times that amount.
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Real estate company Zoocasa rounds the maximum home price attainable through the program to $505,000, based on a 5-percent downpayment — which might not seem like much in a market like Toronto, where detached homes routinely sell for over $1 million.
But then Zoocasa ran the numbers and found 13 neighbourhoods (technically Toronto Real Estate Board Areas, which can include several neighbourhoods each) where the program maximum is lower than the average condo selling price from May.
The local market in which the average price was farthest below the $505,000 threshold was West Hill, Centennial Scarborough. There, the average price of a condo was $352,389. That the market was in one of the city’s one-time surrounding boroughs is a theme linking all of the qualified markets.
However, although none of the markets are in the downtown core, there are opportunities to take advantage of the program and live within the old borders of the City of Toronto, pre-amalgamation, when six boroughs became one larger city.
For example, the average price of a condo in East York, Danforth Village is $449,750, and the community is home to the Danforth GO Station, which can bring rail commuters to Union Station in about 10 minutes.
To see the top 13 markets for those using the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, slated to launch this September, check out the infographic below: